Off-Road Redneck Racing
Windows - 2001
Description of Off-Road Redneck Racing
The squealing of tires and clucking of chickens that you hear can mean one of two things: another ho-hum season of Redneck Racing has begun or a franchise that is spinning out of control.
Back in May of 1997 Interplay released the sleeper hit Redneck Rampage based on the Duke Nukem 3D engine. It was a hilarious parody on the 3D shooters of the day, and was followed up by Redneck Rampage Rides Again the following year. Interplay obviously believed that gamers couldn't get enough of hillbillies and rednecks, so they have given us another hybrid title mixed with folksy humor. The end result is a mediocre racing game that Ernest P. Worrell might have liked if he were still around today. It strives to be a good racing game, and to be true to its pedigree, but in the end, it falls short in both areas.
This isn't a racing sim, so gamers looking for realism should go elsewhere. You select your team of rednecks and choose a vehicle, then proceed to race through some treacherous off-road course that only rednecks could be proud of. The tracks are well drawn and varied, and as you progress, more tracks become available. One of my favorite tracks, the Dead Man's Drop, starts you off at the top of a mountain and sends you speeding downhill in a snakelike course. Cool, but very tricky to master in the rain or in the snow.
There are several gaming modes to choose from, including time trials, single race challenge, and a cross-country championship that spans several seasons. These are standard offerings in many other racing titles, so Off-Road Redneck Racing doesn't win any awards for innovation here. The cross-country championship is well done, offering endurance, sprint, and double-point challenges, which mixes things up nicely. In order to advance to a higher division, you need to earn points in each of the races. Advancing through the divisions unlocks tracks as well as cars and teams. If you do well, a team will invite you to join. Do poorly, and your racing career will come to a swift end.
The cars in Off-Road Redneck Racing lack variety - many look alike and your choices are limited when you start out. Other than choosing a paint color or body style, you can't customize a rig of your own. One of the game's shortcomings is that it does not simulate damage, so all you have to do to be successful is learn the course, and keep your finger on the accelerator key, the novelty of which will quickly wear off after several races.
Weather and nighttime driving add to the game's challenge. Snow and rain will make your vehicle difficult to control, while the crate littered road is as much an obstacle to you as it is to your opponents. If this were more like an arcade racer, it would have power ups in the crates, but alas, they are sorely missing. As it is, you are given a limited number of nitro boosts that will speed up your vehicle. You'll need to use them wisely, because once they are gone, there are no more
The game's sharp 3D graphics require an accelerator. And for you rednecks who have cutting edge hardware, you can bump up the resolution to 1024x768 with 32-bit color for a more satisfying visual experience. Selecting 32-bit textures makes things look even better, but will seriously slow down your system when crossing over the numerous puddles on several of the tracks.
The sounds in Off-Road Redneck Racing are not particularly well done. The redneck banter during the race is subdued, while the clucking chickens and remarks like, "It's a good thing that there's a helmet law" get repetitive very quickly. Gamers with sensitive ears beware - there is some cussing going on, especially after crashing into a tree, or flipping over on your back. The folksy soundtrack is cool, but wears thin after a while. The game supports various controllers and up to six rednecks can get together and play on a local area network.
Ultimately, Off-Road Redneck Racing offers nothing that other arcade racers don't already, and it fails on aspects that better games like the Need for Speed series or the more off-road bent Motocross Madness and Dirt Track Racing series get right. Its saving grace might have been the potential it had to provide a more jovial spirit in the Redneck Rampage theme, but this is never really accomplished.
Review By GamesDomain
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