[Review] Rollcage


Rollcage Cover

REVIEW # 00000000 00011010

…the two-player mode will have you jumping around like a nerd on coke and pop-rocks.
(IGN, 1999)

Rollcage is a game I discovered slightly after the release date. It’s always been the same story: a game is released, I don’t care about it, everyone talks about it and when nobody cares anymore I pop up, try it and I don’t find nobody to talk with about it.

With Rollcage I’ve been a bit more lucky since when I tried it the first time, immediately I lost my head on it and I found some friends who loved it too, so I had the chance to play some furious tournaments against them even though they laugh at me since I came out too late to the Rollcage party…I remember a friend of mine who was in my same classroom at school who asked me (obviously in italian but I can translate) a few days after the game was released: “Have you ever played Rollcage?” and I said “Yes, I had a quick look at it”. And he said:

You cannot simply HAVE A LOOK at Rollcage!

He was right, eventually. Once you fall in Rollcage spiral you cannot come out so easily. In fact when I started playing it more often and soon I realized it was the only game I was playing. Foir a couple of months there were nothing else but Rollcage tournaments with its legacy of discussions, quarrels, madness and so on: this was the kind of game you don’t have to play when you are nervous or upset otherwise the risk to crush the keyboard (or the controller) and punch somebody in the face is dramatically high.

Rollcage during the evolution of arcade-style racing/drive and destroy games it’s a small milestone. It shares a lot of concept with the more modern Mario Kart titles but differently from the Nintendo game there’s no comedy and no smiling drivers but only race, wheel-to-wheel fights and speed, a lot of speed.

My heart says…

80%

I have fond memories of Rollcage, first in Single Player Mode on my computer, then in Double Player Mode on PlayStation. This is a wonderful game to play both alone or together (in this case better if you have some supporters that can help you during the hard times). Despite its arcade style that can be one of the cons for modern titles and for people who loves more structurated games, it’s worth to spend time on it. You won’t regret it!

Splash screen

50%

The splash screen is a bit poor and also the menu. It’s a static scene of a combat between cars, so it explains how the game will be but nothing more. They could have done better

Rollcage Loading

Graphics

80%

Very very good. It could have been a problem to manage the crazyness you see on the screen but the developerd did a great job and the game is very linear and among all the mess you see on the screen it’s easy to understand what you’re doing without getting mad.

Rollcage 3

Narrative

60%

There’s no plot in rollcage. Just race!

Gameplay

80%

The gameplay in Rollcage is hectic. You have to be very careful and you have to pay a huge attention on everything because every single little accident can be a great drama. You race at more than 300 kph against opponents fast as you on a ground disseminated with obstacles, landmines and power-ups, where the psychedelic colors together with the sound throws you into another dimension. If you play Rollcage for 3-4 hours you won’t recognize anymore the reality.

Rollcage 2

The game features 20 tracks where you will fight (not drive…) against 5 other opponents in splash-races to win the tournament. The best part of (most of the) tracks is their unpredictability that matches perfectly with the adrenalinic style of the race. On the track you can find some  collectable power-ups (every driver can carry max. 2 of them):

  • Leader Missile: the best offense weapon in the game (unless you’re not the first of the class). It’s an auto-guided missile that will track the player in 1st place hitting him violently. Can be avoided with no damage only if you have the Shield.
  • Worm Hole: as the name says, this “weapon” can connect two different places of the track. It’s a good weapon to use as a last hope in case you need to win at the last corner because can trow the opponent in front of you in the back of the group.
  • Single Missile: It’s a bit unprecise but for a skilled player ift can be very useful, specially against some obstacles on the track or todestroy something in order to slow the opponents.
  • Shield: the best defense in the game. With shield on you can get kicked in the ass by any kind of missile without batting an eye.
  • Speed Boost: Simple. It gives an immediate boost of speed. But use it carefully because in the twisty tracks it will be impossible to control the car.
  • Ice Beam: It’s a beam that frosts the opponents
  • Driller Missile: It’s similar to the Single Missile but you cannot use it to destroy parts of the scenario. However if you have good eagle eye skills you can severely damage the opponents.
  • Continuum Warper: Immediately slows all the oppopnents except you, making easy to overtake all of them.

Sound

60%

Rollcage has no music but the in-game sound is not bad. Obviously it’s only the sound of the engines, the crashes and the roar of the missiles but in the end is not bad.

Longevity

70%

Don’t get me wrong, the longevity is high, but if you play in Single Mode you can start to feel the game a bit repetitive after some time. If you play in two or more instead the longevity is maximum even because, apart from the game, the interaction with the other players (and the tons of “go to f**k) makes the races a real show.

Final score 73/100


Year: 1999

Developer: Attention to Detail

Publisher: Psygnosis

Genre: Racing

Games Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer

Original Platform: PlayStation, Windows

From same developers:

  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Action Game (1992)
  • Sydney 2000 (2000)

From the same editors:

  • Barbarian (1987)
  • Shadow of the Beast (1989)
  • Lemmings (1991) and sequels
  • Innocent Until Caught (1993)
  • Ecstatica (1994) and sequels
  • Guilty (1995)
  • Wipeout (1995) and sequels
  • Destruction Derby (1995)
  • G-Police (1997) and sequels
  • Formula 1 (1996) and sequels

Inspired to:

  • Wipeout (1995)

If you liked you can also try:

  • Hi Octane (1995)
  • Death Rally (1996)

Other chapters of the saga:

  • Rollcage Stage II (2000)

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Good write up. I played this a lot on PC back in the day and loved it. It looked gorgeous for its time and still holds up fairly well (in my mind anyway!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I still play nowadays too when I have time. But it’s good if you play it agains a human player…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sven Wohl says:

    Oh wow, I played this back in the day but completely forgot the name of it. Really enjoyed it too! Thanks for the write up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      You’re welcome. I installed it a few weeks ago on my PC and I’m playing it with PS controller. It’s great!

      Like

  3. As a big fan of Mariokart, I can say I’m kind of surprised that I’ve never heard this game…perhaps it was an obscure title? Anyways, It’s cool to see a game I’ve never seen or heard about before, I’m glad people like you keep an eye out for hidden gems.
    I found your review score system interesting, I can see you go for .1 increments. Any thoughts on why you decided to go with such a review style?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Actually I think Rollcage was not so popular but for me it was since my friends and I in the high school days were crazy about it!
      Regarding the score system I have to confess that I got a bit of inspiration from other blogs but I think the parameters when you have to review a game are more or less those. I focused primarily on my personal grade since this is an “amateur” blog and I wanted to be a bit more emotional…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really do like the emotional, personal style of your blog. Its unique and refreshing, I think, especially when gaming journalism tries so hard to act so professional. I think if you are really passionate about gaming, then it helps you connect with others if you express that in your writing. I enjoy your content benez, keep it up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        Thanks for the reply and for following the blog, I hope you’ll find something interesting in the future. I don’t have the skills to write a professional article neither a wide knowledge of english language to do it so for me be “simple” and emotional is way easier…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a game that had, up until now, totally slipped my mind. I spent many hours or should that be wasted many hours playing this in my youth. Thanks for jogging my memory, I’ll have to hunt a copy down and reminisce this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I’m glad you have fond memories of this, I thought this was an almost forgotten game…if you look on the internet there are a lot of places where you can get it, I’m sure you’ll find it!

      Like

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