Carmageddon was the first in a long line of graphic driving games inspired by the 1975 movie Death Race 2000. The game was initially published in the middle nineties by Interplay and SCI, after development by Stainless Games. The game is exceptionally violent, on the scale of the Grand Theft Auto series, and is intended for mature audiences. In the late nineties, SCI published an add-on to Carmageddon: the Carmageddon Splat Pack. This was not a stand-alone sequel, but an expansion pack that added new tracks, more vehicles, more environments, and added network levels. It also added 3Dfx support.
The concept behind Carmageddon began as a game that would be licensed by several movies, including the aforementioned Death Race 2000 and also Mad Max. The game was initially supposed to be a three dimensional demolition derby featuring stock cars. When the licenses fell through, SCI and Stainless went ahead with the game anyway, and more or less punted. What they came up with was a racing game where the user pits his vehicle against others controlled by the computer. The tracks are not conventional, featuring cities, industrial areas and even a mining environment. The addition of new environments was one of the bonuses involved in the Splat Pack. Similar to Pole Position, the user has a limited amount of time to complete each course, and will gain more time by reaching check points in time. It is also possible to gain more time by damaging the competitor’s vehicles, collecting bonus items, and running over innocent pedestrians. The races are completed by either finishing the course, or by destroying all of the competition.
Like its counterpart, Grand Theft Auto, Carmageddon was highly criticized for its violence. In some countries, the pedestrians were replaced with automatrons or zombies to try to downplay the violence of killing people; the gory graphic effects were removed in some renditions of the game; and in many countries the game was banned altogether. But despite its violent nature, Carmageddon was truly a solid three-dimensional driver with very realistic physics, and it seemed to win out over the critics’ complaints.
In short, the Carmageddon Splat Pack adds a little extra depth to the original version of Carmageddon. It adds some new environments to the already interesting races, and offers the user a choice of more powerful vehicles. It is a great expansion pack, and a must-have for people who love Carmageddon as it was originally presented.
Written by: ~Shannon