Carmageddon: Reincarnation attempts to bring a new 3D engine to the classic Carmageddon formula. This is a classic game with a visually impressive engine update. What could go wrong? Well, more than you might expect.
Carmageddon: Reincarnation and Solid Core Gameplay
Races, smashing pedestrians and destroying other cars to capture them are all central to the game. On that level the game is quite fun. Unfortunately there are some other issues that very much complicate a solid core game.
Carmageddon: Reincarnation and Upgrades
Each car has a huge number of upgrades to offense, defense and speed. You collect upgrade tokens in each stage to unlock these. While that’s fun at the start you quickly realize unless you are blazing through the game you can’t access most of them.
Nearly all of them are off limits to you until the later stages, although you acquire a new one every three levels. This really slows down the upgrade progression and flow of the game.
Free-Roaming Carmageddon: Reincarnation
Each map has a decent size and is filled with enjoyable powerups, jumps and sights to see. Overall it seems like a large amount of work went into this and the physics engine.
By far the best part of the game is the physics engine. Cars running on walls and ceilings are just one part of it. You can also repulse or vacuum other cars to damage them. It becomes a massive game of pinball with cars flying in every direction.
Crushing Pedestrians is Awful
By far the worst part of the game is attempting to kill every pedestrian on a level. Since there are several hundred on each level you are in for a world of hurt if you want to 100% this game. There are power-ups to help you but they don’t do enough.
Enemy cars always interrupt the pedestrian slaughter run. Enemy cars, for whatever reason, spend this time trying to smash into you. Unfortunately they are all terrible at the game so they most often just end up killing themselves. As it happened while we were reviewing the game we’d be one pedestrian away from completing the massacre and the AI would explode by crashing itself into a wall (ruining the completion run).
Beyond Artificial Stupidity
Other than in capture the point missions where the AI homes in on the target like a shark smelling blood the computer is as dumb as a brick. In classic “Carma” they often kill themselves for you by chasing you over hazards and into walls. In races they might stay perfectly on the track or they might just wander into the middle of the city. Challenge isn’t really a thing in this game.
While the developers are working on improving the game there are still issues. After we’ve been playing a while it will pause inexplicably in the middle of some fights. Not as in the pause menu comes up but the world freezes. This is on an incredible computer with an i7 and one of the latest Nvidia cards (as well as excessive RAM).
Crude Humor is Back
For those who enjoyed the bizarre humor of the earlier games it is back. Special rewards are in store for those who dance with the opposing cars or launch “peds” into each other.
Blood-Colored Glasses and Carmageddon: Reincarnation
Despite all the very serious problems the game has received many positive reviews in the Steam community. We can only conclude these are from people who loved the original games like we did and can’t see the flaws. So take any reviews other than the one here with a grain of salt, I.E. don’t believe them.
Final Verdict 3/5: Average – A really interesting engine is hampered by poor optimization and terrible AI. For die-hard fans of the series this is probably still a decent game. We hope that the developers continue improving it. With some changes to how “Carma” works and improvements to the engine it could be a truly great game.