Carmageddon: Max Damage

Key events

The seemingly insatiable THQ Nordic has announced the acquisition of yet another beloved, but regrettably dormant gaming IP. This time around, it's classic (and notorious) vehicular smash-'em-up Carmageddon's turn to join the publisher's rapidly swelling ranks.

Face-Off: Carmageddon: Max Damage

Developed by original creators Stainless Games, Carmageddon: Max Damage serves as both homage and sequel to the first PC titles from 1997 and 1998, combining car combat, racing, and general road rage in a package boasting a reworked physics system, an upgraded engine, and updated visuals. Produced for just 250,000 via a Kickstater funding campaign, the game originally appeared on PC in the form of Carmageddon: Reincarnation, which saw final release in February 2015 after early access and public beta phases. However, on consoles Max Damage takes the form of a further update to this game, boasting extra features and more content. It's exclusive to PS4 and Xbox One for now, but a PC release is planned for the near future.

Of course, as a budget indie production we're not looking at the same level of graphical complexity as the latest triple-A titles.. It seems that the developers have chosen to focus on the key elements essential to the gameplay, while perhaps compromising on the visual presentation in a number of areas. For example, the cityscape is pretty barren with relatively low geometry complexity, and there isn't a huge number of NPCs roaming the environment. Alpha effects for smoke and fire also look quite flat, and there's a sense that the presentation appears more in-line with an Xbox 360 title than one built for current-gen systems.

It's a little disappointing, but it's worth stressing that key aspects of the game have more extensive work put into them. Post-processing effects are rendered to a high standard, with impressive use of depth of field and deployment of object blur on the cars. But it's the physics system that is the highlight, with the way the cars handle and react to the environment having plenty of variation. Constant collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and scenery see bodywork deform and become misshapen, while in more direct impacts wheels come flying off - and it's even possible for your car to be cut in half. What's really cool here is that it's possible to repair your car while still driving, reversing the destruction in real-time. Parts fly back onto your vehicle and bodywork reforms into its original shape, all while you race.

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Carmageddon: Max Damage release date wheeled in

Carmageddon: Max Damage arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the UK on Friday, 3rd June.

Max Damage was previously announced for PC as well, but there's no mention of when that version will launch.

You should know what to expect from a Carmageddon game by now: bloody racing and vehicular combat. The game's press release puts it a little more bluntly: "power-up fuelled destruction and pedestrian pummelling".

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Carmageddon: Max Damage announced for PS4 and Xbox One

UPDATE: A PC version of Max Damage will be released, Stainless has told Kickstarter backers. It's free for those who own Reincarnation.

ORIGINAL STORY: Stainless Games has announced a new Carmageddon for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's no mention of a PC version.

Carmageddon: Max Damage, due out on console mid 2016, continues the vehicle combat game's over-the-top violence. There are over 30 cars, 10 environments and, as you'd expect from the series, moving targets to hunt down for points, including pedestrians in wheelchairs and mobility scooters, cyclists, bears and aliens.

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