192: Sand Blaster; 192 Games Reviews

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), September 14, 2001 | Go to article overview

192: Sand Blaster; 192 Games Reviews


Byline: Bob Low

PARIS DAKAR

RALLY

PS2THE Paris-Dakar rally is one of the most gruesome endurance rallies known to mankind.

Some 400 drivers, in buggies, off-road vehicles, motorbikes and quad bikes, race against each other over 20 stages and 10,000kms.

It would be tough enough on the main roads of Europe - but this lot want to race through desert, jungle and savannah.

This year's event - run in January - was the 23rd attempt and the first to produce a female winner, Jutta Kleinschmidt, in the car class.

To try and recreate this is in a game is, let's face it, nearly impossible, which is why Acclaim sensible opted for only 12 stages, each some 25km long.

The result is a race across North Africa, from the jungle on the coast, through savannah and sand dunes to the wonders of Egypt.

The game tests skill, endurance - and navigation. Let's not forget Margaret Thatcher's hapless wee boy, Mark, who got hopelessly lost in 1982 and only rescued after a two-day search.

Pot holes cause bone jarring effects and will eventually cause your suspension to collapse.

Fallen trees will block your path, rocks will wreck your sump, mud will bog you down and even tumbleweed, if enough of it hits - will shatter your windscreen.

This isn't a driving game in the old sense - you can't climb in, put your foot down and go. It's all about decision-making - take that gully at full speed or find another route, which looks less dangerous. Test that bridge first and be delayed - or run at it and hope?

All this makes the game interesting anyway and, on top of this, the graphics are ace.

Developer Broadsword Interactive is best known for their Spirit Of Speed 1937 title, which looked as if it had actually been made in 1937.

This new game, does the high-profile Paris-Dakar rally license justice.

It was originally slated for a June 30 release, but was delayed until now, with no explanations. Rumours speak of bug-hunting which, if true, puts Broadsword top of my Christmas card list.

CODENAME OUTBREAK - PCIT'S 2012 and an unidentified object crashes in a forest in Montana. A unit of highly-trained marines is sent to investigate.

The leader is a silent, square-jawed, heavily-armed individual, hunted by an unseen alien, who uses thermal imaging ... hold on, I've seen this. It's Arnie in Predator.

The aliens are hatched out of eggs, which burst open when you least expect them and throw out alien babies that latch on to your face and ... hold on, I've seen this. It's Alien.

Yes, you've guessed it. This is the worst plagiarism seen outside of hip-hop sampling from GameWorld GSC

A flagrant rip-off of everyone else's good work, it is interesting in the last third - if it cost a third of the price it would be worth getting. …

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192: Sand Blaster; 192 Games Reviews
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