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UK PC Version boxart
DOS4GW, Windows 9x, Macintosh
Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
|Release date||Original: June 30, 1997|
Mobile: Q3 2012
|Mode(s)||Single player, Network Multiplayer|
|Players||1 - 6 players|
ELSPA: 15+ (cut)
USK: 12 (cut)
|System requirements||MS-DOS 6.6 / Windows 95|
20MB Hard Disk Space
2MB Graphics card
4x CD-ROM Drive
SoundBlaster or 100% Compatible
IPX (for network game)
|Input methods||Keyboard & Mouse|
Carmageddon is the first of a series of graphically violent driving-oriented video games produced by Stainless Games, published by Interplay and SCi and released June 30, 1997 on Windows PC and Macintosh. It has the dubious title of being a poster child for video game controversy.
The game was notable for its realistic and ground-breaking physics, and for its in-game movie making features. It was also one of the earliest examples of a sandbox 3D driving game, and may have influenced other later games including the Driver and Grand Theft Auto series.
The aim is for the player to work their way up the ranking system, from 99th place to first. The player vehicle is pitted against a number of computer controlled competitors, in locations such as cities, mines and desert towns. Levels can be beaten in one of three ways:
- Completing all the laps of the race course, as one would a normal racing game.
- "Wasting" (wrecking) all the opponents vehicles.
- Killing all the pedestrians in the area.
There are three difficulty levels to choose from. Each level has a time limit, but more time may be gained by going through checkpoints, collecting powerups, damaging the competitors' cars, and by running over pedestrians (with bonuses awarded for style).
These actions also reward the player with Credits, which can be used to make instant repairs or recover the car (after falling down a chasm, for example). They can also be used to upgrade Armour, Power and Offense stats in the Parts Shop between races. This is also the time to switch which car to drive if others have been obtained.
As well as opponents partaking in the 'race', some levels also contain a number of Squad Cars, which will activate their sirens and hound the player when provoked. They can be attacked and destroyed, but do not count as opponents. A single "Super Squad Car" exists in one level, and it can be claimed if destroyed. An Action Replay is available at any point during a race.
The game also had a multiplayer mode - Up to 6 players could play over a network connection.
The intro movie portrays the build-up to the start of a race, focusing on the drivers and their vehicles on the starting grid. Censored versions of the game had a different voiceover and some alternate footage, in order to justify the presence of zombies as opposed to humans:
- "The year is 2028. Solar flares have contaminated the atmosphere, turning 80% of the world's population into wandering crowds of evil zombies. In this era of peace, where weapons are a forgotten problem of the past, mankind has only one option - to defend society as we know it IN CARS. All pedestrians have been cleared from the streets; Carmageddon is our only hope."
The ending movie was the same in all versions, showing the player mowing down race officials in the Suppressor. The Blood version had no voiceover, but the censored version had the following speech:
- "They presented the cash, the lousy trophy, but the other stuff? The new world? They LIED. There was no end to this hell, no fabled land of clean air and freedom. It was all the same, and now you knew the truth, they'd NEVER let you live. So you've got to keep going, you've got to keep driving, because while you're driving, you're surviving."
Carmageddon features 30 characters, each with their own individual vehicle and three stats; Top Speed, Weight and 0-60 Speed (Miles per hour). Each of these attributes leads to each car having pro and cons, such as light cars being fast but weak. The player can choose one of two characters to play as in the game - Max Damage (male) or Die Anna (female) - and their own username.
Some cars in the game are 'stealworthy': occasionally when an opponent has been wasted, a message will pop up to notify the player that the car has been added to their garage, free of charge. All cars are unlocked upon completion of the game (including the Police vehicles), but those that were not earned are labelled 'CHEAT!'.
- See also: Levels in Carmageddon
The locations of Carmageddon are varied; races take place in mine shafts, the Arizona desert, chemical facilities, city streets and on coastal roads. All are populated by pedestrians, street furniture and parked / burnt-out cars. The countryside features flora and fauna. Many levels have endless drops - if anyone falls down these (player or opponent), they are automatically recovered.
Carmageddon began life in 1994 as a banger-racing game, but it was decided by publishers SCi that a license was needed to ensure success. The rights to a Mad Max video game were sought, but the rights owners could not be found. Development moved on based around a Death Race 2020 license - a sequel to the 1975 cult classic movie Death Race 2000. This brought in the 'running over people' part of the game. Unfortunately the license agreement fell through late in development; in near-final versions of the game, the .exe was still called
Deathrace. Stainless decided to press on and create their own IP.
- See also: Carmageddon (series)#Controversy
The game was controversial at the time of its release, due to players being able to kill people and animals, and being rewarded for doing so. The game did not require certification, but Stainless went for it anyway... which backfired big time. It gathered a large amount of press coverage, culminating in one newspaper claiming in big letters that the Pope wanted the game banned (then revealing in much smaller letters this was actually an MP called Greg Pope, not His Holiness holed up in the Vatican). The game had to be censored before it could be released.
Carmageddon was released June 30th 1997, for DOS (DOS4GW) and Windows 95. It was ported to Macintosh computers the same year.
In many regions the pedestrians were replaced by Zombies with green blood; In Germany they were replaced by Robots with black oil. Downloadable "Blood Pack" patches were quickly released onto the Internet, by Stainless themselves, which would restore the human pedestrians and red blood.
Expansion and collection
- Main article: Carmageddon Splat Pack
Carmageddon Splat Pack was the only official expansion pack for Carmageddon, released in 1997. It was a standalone game, but required the Carmageddon disc to install. The pack featured 19 new cars and 8 new locations, as well as a patch to enable 3DFX Glide support in Carmageddon.
The two games were later packaged together as the Carmageddon Max Pack, which was also available in a Limited Edition.
An unofficial collection titled Level Pack 8: Carmageddon was released, putting several community maps and utilities onto CD.
Carmageddon was included in several compilations when in the budget stage of its original run, accompanying games ranging from Hard Core 4x4 and Interstate '76 to MDK and Earthworm Jim.
After winning their court battle, Stainless was able to sell the original Blood version of Carmageddon at retail with an 18 BBFC rating (although the Blood Patch had already been released by this time).
During the 2012 Carmageddon: Reincarnation Kickstarter campaign, it was announced that Carmageddon and the Splat Pack would both be re-released through the Good Old Games online store. GOG specialize in digital distribution of older games, updating them to ensure compatibility with modern Windows computers. It will retail for $9.99, but anyone who pledged more than $25 to the Kickstarter will receive a voucher for a free copy of the game.
For mobile devices
Later in the campaign, a port of Carmageddon to mobile devices was revealed to be in the works. To be released on iOS (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch) and Android in summer 2012, the game will feature improved graphics resolution, a choice of controls (digital touch-screen/analogue touch-screen/tilt), and the ability to upload replays to YouTube. Any Kickstarter backer will be able to download the iOS version for free from the App Store in the first 24 hours of its release.
The game is open to a significant amount of customization, and many tools are available for doing so. Many object definitions (i.e. a cars acceleration, a powerups duration etc.) and physics numbers are in encrypted text files, but these can be decrypted with the
IWANTTOFIDDLE cheat or external apps. Community-created vehicles and levels can be added, pedestrians can be re-skinned with new looks, and the WAV audio can be replaced.
The game also has a hi-res mode, doubling the resolution to 640x480. You can enable it by right clicking on a shortcut for the game: Go to
properties > shortcut and under
target, there should text saying where "CARM95.EXE" is located. Add
-hires to the end of that line, so it looks like this:
"C:\Program Files\Games\Carmageddon\CARM95.EXE" -hires
Most of the time, enabling this will fix the problem some people with powerful CPUs have experienced, where the clock in the game runs much faster than it should.
- Europe: Drive to survive!
- Germany: Fahr zur Hölle! (Correctly translated into English it means "Go to hell!")
- US: The Racing Game for the Chemically Imbalanced
- OpenC1 - Porting the game to XNA
- Listing on SCi's Offical Site
- GameSpot's Carmageddon Review
- Review scores at Gamerankings
- Edge Magazine's The Making of... Carmageddon
- Thunderbolt Games article
- Trivia at MobyGames
- Carmageddon FAQ by RCS (V1.95)
|Carmageddon games (cat)|
|Main titles||Carmageddon · Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now · Carmageddon: TDR 2000 · Carmageddon: Reincarnation|
|Expansion Packs||Carmageddon Splat Pack · The Nosebleed Pack|
|Console & Handheld titles||Carmageddon (Game Boy Color) · Carmageddon (PlayStation) · Carmageddon 64 · Carmageddon (Mobile) · Carmageddon (Funsize) · Carmageddon: Crashers|
|Cancelled titles||Carmageddon: TDR 2000 (Game Boy Color) · Carmageddon TV · Carmageddon 4|