Carmageddon: Reincarnation

The new Carmageddon offers a bloody good ride, but too often it's a danger to itself.

Key events

Carmageddon: Reincarnation review

Carmageddon: Reincarnation review

Driven to destruction.

Much has changed since Carmageddon first crashed onto the scene in the spring of 1997. Back then, damage modelling in your typical racing game involved slapping a few scuffs on the paintwork and maybe a crack in the windshield, while the idea of aiming your car at helpless screaming bystanders and having their viscera sprayed at the screen in exchange for added time was seemingly - if the brief period of tabloid hysteria was anything to go by - beyond all common decency.

These days we expect a game's ability to display impairment to be not just realistic but applied universally, whether it's as a result of a collision between a vehicle and a building, or a bullet and a human skull - and if we can get a lingering slow motion repeat and some kind of award to go with it, so much the better.

More significantly in the context of Carma's 15 year absence, the concept of the vehicle-as-weapon is now so evolved and so commonplace as to be secondary to the immersiveness of the game worlds they occupy. The most recent iterations of Just Cause, Far Cry and Grand Theft Auto all come with advanced vehicular manslaughter fitted as standard, but they are celebrated more for worlds that are coherent and developed enough to put context and consequence to a whole range of players actions and objectives, not just running people over for the fun of it.

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Carmageddon: Reincarnation release date announced

Gory vehicle smash 'em-up Carmageddon: Reincarnation leaves Steam Early Access and launches proper on 23rd April 2015, developer Stainless has announced.

The release version of the game includes a career mode, which consists of 16 chapters. Each chapter has three or four events, making for a total of 50. There's also multiplayer for up to eight players.

Here are the event types:

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VideoVideo: Carmageddon: Reincarnation live stream

Streaming from 5pm BST. Win EGX London Saturday early entry tickets!

Splat! Carmageddon is back in a new game, bearing the subtitle Reincarnation, from original Isle of Wight developer Stainless Games. Funded on Kickstarter and now available on Steam Early Access, it's still in a very early pre-alpha state, but so far seems faithful to the series' tasteless renegade spirit.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation Early Access review

It's hard to believe that Carmageddon was once the bÍte noire of gaming. Back in the innocent halcyon days of the 1990s, when Mortal Kombat's crudely digitised dismemberment was enough to ruffle the feathers of the great and good, a game where you were actively encouraged to roar around in armoured vehicles, murdering pedestrians with crazed abandon, was like a red rag to a morally indignant bull.

Today, Carmageddon's gore-soaked take on Wacky Races seems positively quaint, its squealing guitars and brattish sensibilities no more likely to topple society than Limp Bizkit is to reinvent rock music. What was once forbidden fruit has become a strangely cosy nostalgia brand - but while Carmageddon may no longer be guaranteed to raise tabloid ire, that doesn't mean it's stopped being deliciously transgressive fun.

Now available for Early Access purchase on Steam, the version of Carmageddon: Reincarnation on offer lives up the billing. This is a very early build - pre-alpha, in fact - so anyone still harbouring the notion that "early access" means "demo version" will be in for a surprise.

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Carmageddon: Reincarnation becomes a PS4 and next Xbox game as well

"The true triple-A quality of a game should come out of the gameplay, not out of how bloody shiny it is."

Remember Carmageddon: Reincarnation? It was a successfully Kickstarted, modest reboot of Carmageddon for PC, Mac and Linux. Originally it was due out, well, nowish, although development was extended at Christmas time.

Carmageddon Reincarnation Mac and Linux versions confirmed

Carmageddon Reincarnation Mac and Linux versions confirmed

Kickstarter ends with 156% of target raised.

Mac and Linux versions of Carmageddon Reincarnation are confirmed after its Kickstarter ended with 156 per cent of its target raised.

UK studio Stainless Games had asked for $400,000. It ended up with $625,143 after 30 days of campaigning.

In addition to a copy of the game backers receive rewards ranging from t-shirts to posters, miniature models of the game's cars to a chance to appear in the game as a pedestrian. The top tier reward was to become one of the game's driver characters with a custom car of your own design. This reward sold out, with all three places taken up by backers who were willing to give $10,000.

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The Cunning Stunts of Stainless

The Carmageddon story: from controversy to Kickstarter, via Portia the Pig.

The Isle of Wight doesn't really do excitement. My wife, an Islander, often regales me about the time BHS in Newport installed an escalator - and she joined the crowds of people queuing up to have a go on it. If you ignore the increasingly chronic youth unemployment (as most do) the Island is a place of beautiful green fields, cream teas and a well-supported donkey sanctuary. It's not where you'd expect to find the birthplace of Carmageddon.