Ok, as always in most reviews I write involving sequels, I usually say that I have not played the first. well this time its different, I played the first, for about 2 seconds, didn't really like it, thought it was dodgy and never looked back.
Now this is number 2 with better graphics, sound, its still on 1 CD and it's captured my heart, this is why:
The game allows you to choose from differing modes of play, single player allows you to choose whether you want a single race, a demolition race, this is where you need to destroy all objects on the track, time trials, training and more. Each of the differing modes offers a completely new style of gameplay and in most cases new tracks, some of which are just hanging in mid air, odd but there must be some explanation!
Standard racing takes place in many different worlds, each one offering new tracks to race on, extra difficulties and a change of scenery. Each race usually takes place over 3 laps, unless you choose otherwise from the many options available before each race, these also allow you to set the difficulty of your opponents among other things. To help you win the races there are many types of power-ups to collect. You can pickup a speed boost, a teleporter which teleports you a bit further up the track, guns and a cool power-up which if used makes your opponents screen go all colourful and wavy so they cant control their vehicle.
Time Trials takes place over tracks specifically designed to test your skill to the max, some tracks are designed so that you travel over 400 mph then a sudden 90 degree turn appears from nowhere and you fall off the track. Others have bumpy sections which means that if you go too fast your car flips up and usually again, you fall off the track. The falling off track thing can get on your nerves just a tad, but usually you never end up making the same mistake again, or you try to figure a way round the problem. But as in all the cases, the only way to finish many tracks is to take it slow, which is odd as the game is designed to be very fast!
The whole point of Rollcage is that you're in a vehicle that can flip upside-down and still drive, taking away all the crashes seen in other racing games. Its also designed to be very fast so that you can drive on the ceiling of tunnels. To this end many of the tracks are designed so that you can drive up tunnel walls and collect more power-ups but doing this also means that when the tunnel ends and your suddenly in mid air you fall to the ground and are still moving forward. Neat idea that's works well, you do of course still get the 'wrong way' problem, but you can't have it all easy can you?
The games menus are all easy to navigate, options are well laid out and you will never get lost thinking 'where was that option', or how do 'I get to race this track?'. You can always press the 'ESC' key to go back a menu if you do ever get lost, but trust me, you wont.
The best key configuration to use in the game (which I thought up) was this: Arrow keys to move forward, back, left & right, space to handbrake, 'Z' to fire weapon 1 and 'X' to fire weapon 2. To me it's easy to control as every key has a finger on it ready to use, so that's it, how easy can a control system get?, try it.
The in game graphics are really nice, as you may see from the screenshots. The tracks are great to race on, I didn't see 1 tiny bit of clipping (remember I did race on every track more than once), I did destroy a load of buildings to have a look at the explosions, which are mighty fine, so all in all, the graphics rock.
The effects, which do need to be mentioned are great, the shield power-up, the lightning bolts and the teleport effects plus all the others are all individual each with their own cool effects and the dynamic lighting just adds to the whole atmosphere of the game.
The sound is good, there are no unnecessary sounds used up, theres no need for extra commentary, although if there was the commentator it would not be able to keep up as the game moves so fast! It does tell you when theres a last lap, it does have the sounds for the effects and the music, even though I've been told that its not the final score is good, I think they should keep it!
Generally, if you have not guessed it yet, I think the games a treat. It plays well, has a load of options and tracks to race on, each with thier own difficulties, a lot of vehicles to race, great sounds, lovely graphics, and gameplay so good if they took half of it away the game would still be so playable, in short - buy it!