PII-233, 64MB RAM, 100MB HDD
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Feb 08, 01 (released)
|» All About Insane on ActionTrip|
Hold on... Let me think... How many normal racing games appeared lately? And when I say normal I mean like games in which you only have to race. All of the racing games I played recently made me use various exotic tricks and gadgets... mostly weapons, bombs shields and alike... The ever hungry and displeased players keep looking for something new, and the developers have to design new variants of racing and make weird looking games.
Insane is somewhere in the middle here. It's not as wacky as its title might insinuate. It's a decent off-road racing sim, featuring some strange mods. Codemasters couldn't help throwing in a bunch of mods that sound like they had been taken from a first-person shooter like Capture The Flag... when I first saw this as an option I could hardly believe my eyes. The first thing I remembered was some TV show showing a bunch of cars playing soccer with an enormous ball. What a senseless waste of time.
OK, Insane isn't that ridiculous. Your main goal in the CTF is to hold the flag as long as possible. The flag carrier should avoid other vehicles at all costs because he loses the flag at first contact. Other abnormal modes include Return the Flag and Destruction Zone. The first one is similar to CTF, only now you'll have to bring the flag to a certain location; and the second one, Destruction Zone is so stupid that I have no intention to elaborate upon it. The first mod you're bound to play is Jamburee, a mod resembling Baja races, with one slight difference - instead of having to go through checkpoints in a predetermined order, here you have to be the first one to reach a check point, which has a green light on. As soon as anybody gets to it, it will turn off, and another randomly selected checkpoint will light. This can really look insane especially with all the maneuvers and crashes.
This will give you a chance to employ some tactics. If you recognize the fact you have no chance to reach that green light first, you better focus on finding the next one. Insane multiplayer is a lot more promising than the single-player mode, especially with a lot of people. The AI players are good drivers, but they simply cannot reason the way I expected them to. And that doesn't go for Jamburee only... it goes for all the mods that require anything besides running around the track, or after a specific target. For instance, in the Return The Flag mod, no AI player decided to patrol around the base and wait for the flag-carrier in order to grab the flag from him some 30 yards from the goal. This was a regular occurrence in multiplayer.
As for the controls and car physics, they are quite OK. My first game of insane was pretty unpleasant. I simply couldn't get used to the vehicles turning over this easy. After every sharper turn I used to end up feet in the air, and I spent my first race rolling around the terrain or laying on the roof, rather than enjoying the game. I got so frustrated that even the sight of the oncoming bend used to terrify me at which point I would start panicking because I did not know if I should slow down or just slightly touch the turn key. Whichever way, I always made a mistake, which I tried to correct by steering in the opposite direction, and hence ending up upside down... not to mention what it was like driving on the rough terrain. It took me hours of play before I got used to the commands, but I must admit I still panic from time to time at the site of any larger bumps.
Large number of environments, nice bobbing...
...which can get a bit frustrating from time to time, and the mods could have been a bit more interesting.