Racing games are one such genre rife with various niches and subcategories. “Gamer A” may enjoy his simulation style racers, whereas “Gamer B” sticks to over-the-top futuristic racing titles. That being generally understood, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad Racing will mostly appeal to fans of Rally and Arcade racers. Unfortunately, with the presentation and vibe of a last-generation shovelware title; Offroad Racing does not hit enough marks to maintain a very high grade.
Given the genre, it’s important to note that the standalone driving aspect of Offroad Racing is passable. I never once witnessed any game-breaking bugs or difficulties, and only found the game was rather unbalanced. At any point (at least during the career) pressing the ‘Select’ button will reset your car onto the track in a more appropriate place. So instead of viewing the entire car-flip animation, or driving all the way off into the desert; you can easily just press ‘Select’ and act like nothing ever happened. With no limit on the number of times you can do this, it’s best taken advantage of.
Lacking vehicle damage did not bother me, as it helps maintain a balanced setting where cars would be on an even ground. However this is quickly overridden by the supposed “RPG” elements the game has to offer. Driving in particular ways will reward the player with Experience Points: 1,000 points yields a Level Up and a single point to distribute into one of four stats. This is quickly complicated since every single car in the game has its own separate leveling tree. To explain why this is an issue, there are several different car classes in the game. From trucks to rally cars and so forth, there are various different paint jobs and car models to choose from within each car class: each must be leveled up separately.
I gather this was done with the intention of forcefully injecting replayability into the game, but with a limited in length Career mode, and an already barren online multiplayer- it’s simply a poor decision. While I’m sure most players will drive the Monster branded cars for the entirety of their gaming experience, players should not be dinged for wanting to choose a different paint job halfway through a very short career. The decision to include hazards in the game also seemed a tad camp. Offroad Racing is supposed to engage the gamer in something resembling a real-life Rally tournament. What better way to orchestrate the game’s realistic and professional sub-tones than by throwing boulders at the player! Nothing screams “Arcade Racer” more than 3D models from the N64 era obstructing your forward motion.
Graphically I found the cars looked typical for that of a budget racer. Regardless of its place on a digital platform, Offroad Racing did not woo me at any turn visually. Performing one of the biggest crimes in modern gaming, 2D trees and scenery pieces rotate to face towards the player. You know, like that thing they did in Doom. Yeah, developers still do that from time to time, and it’s obvious as hell. “But racing games are not about trees!” The seven outlined courses in the game look fine, I didn’t mind the textures used and nothing really hurt my eyes. Offroad Racing as a whole looks “just okay” for the entire four hours you’ll be playing it.
I don’t suggest spending ten dollars on Offroad Racing. While Offroad Racing will no-doubt go on sale at some point, it’s a moot point. This is a not a good game, there is not much fun to be had here. There are better rally games, and much better racing games out there. On it’s own accord, this brings no positive or unique twists of its own to the genre.
- Easy to Play
- Decent Car Models and Lighting Effects
- Undetermined Level of Realism
- Cars All Handle Identically
- Player is Punished for Changing Car Color