Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now is the 1998 sequel to the excellent Carmageddon. Although it was developed by the same team who made the first game (Stainless Software), and although it’s still fun to play to a certain degree, in my opinion it’s not a patch on the original.
Graphically it’s very similar to the first game, although pedestrians and other roadside objects are this time are made of polygons instead of bitmap graphics. Also, for some reason the devs have completely ruined the cockpit view by creating car hoods/bonnets that are both uninteresting to look at, and also obscure the view. I really liked the cockpit views in the first game, with the hands moving the steering wheel, but there’s none of that now. You can drive first-person and get rid of the car hood, which is fine, but I wanted a good cockpit view and the game doesn’t provide one.
I also really dislike the auto-save system in this sequel. Like most auto-save systems: it sucks. It’s confusing, it’s limited, and it again doesn’t give me what I want. Even worse – from my point of view – is the roving camera. Or, more precisely: the roving camera controls, which are really bad. You can use the cursor keys to rotate the camera, but it’s slow, it doesn’t easily re-set, and using it is guaranteed to cause utter confusion. Which is a pity, but it’s indicative of Carmageddon II‘s seemingly rushed development.
Another feature I really dislike about Carmageddon II is the menu system. It looks terrible (with an over-use of green), and is under-featured and confusing. It again smacks of a rushed development, and a designer who didn’t know how to design a decent UI.
In spite of the upgrades – and downgrades – Carmageddon II is still fun to play now – if you ignore the lack of cockpit views, the terrible menu system, and the shit auto-save system. And for God’s sake don’t be tempted to mess with the camera controls unless you know how to re-set the view… If you can put up with these shortcomings you might get something out of Carmageddon II. Personally, I have more fun playing the first Carmageddon than this flawed sequel.