Carmageddon 64: Disastrous Port of Controversial PC Racer

Carmageddon 64
Press start… or what!? Don’t order me about!

Here’s a critically panned Nintendo 64 title that really was something of a nadir for the console. Shall we reminisce? Yes, we shall.

A Brief History of Carmageddon

Launching in 1997 on the PC, this was as provocative as DMA Design’s Grand Theft Auto, which came out the same year.

From Software Creations (Stainless Games on the Isle of Wight now has the licensing rights), Carmageddon was highly controversial and banned in some countries due to its violent content.

Principally as you can drive over digital sprites representing people. That led to bans in Germany and the UK. However, to get around that the developer changed the humans sprites to zombies.

The game was a hit thanks to its controversial nature—gamers flocked to it to see the “mature” content and see what the fuss was all about.

And the result is Stainless Games ported it over to consoles. One ended up on the Nintendo 64 in 2000.

And it was savaged by the critics. N64 Magazine handed over 8%. The second lowest score in its history. Looking at the game in action, it’s perhaps not difficult to see why.

The point of the game is vehicular combat. Set in various environments (usually in the city), you must race against the competition. And destroy them a bit.

It is racing essentially, you have to win each event. But you collect bonus points for destroying other cars and running stuff over.

There are some 36 tracks on the PC version, we’re unsure if that translated over to consoles.

However, what’s notable here is the port was difficult. Software Creations clearly struggled with the the shift over to the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation.

And the publications, such as N64 Magazine, were quick to point out the game’s many flaws. Including terrible AI and confusing track layouts.

It’s interesting to note back around this era how developers could release such awful games and essentially get away with it.

These days, they’d get a thrashing online. Such as with No Man’s Sky (which wasn’t even that bad when it hit the gaming world).

But the Nintendo 64 sure wracked up a bunch of terrible racers during its run. And this is very clearly the worst of the lot.

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