In the future, races are held across America where the drivers race for money, and their lives. You are the rookie. Welcome to Deathtrack.
Starting off the game with a meager sum, you can choose from three cars (either speedy, plenty of firepower or heavily-armored) and begin practicing for your races against the other drivers.
Your opponents have all been captured in 16-colour digital photo splendour. Featuring 3D polygonal cars racing against each other, they try their best to remove you from the race, permanently.
Your winnings can be used to upgrade your car's armor, weapons and parts to make you car impervious to harm, a juggernaut of firepower, hurtling down the 10 available tracks.
It starts just like any other race. Lights go on from red to yellow to green, the engines roar and the cars quickly vanish from the sight into distance. But this race is anything but normal, as becomes clear when the first missile crosses the air.
Two minutes and sixteen seconds later, only one car completes the final lap. All that remains of the competitors' vehicles are either burnt-out frames scattered across the race track or small chunks just large enough to be mailed in an envelope.
Welcome to the world of Death Track!
Death Track is a pretty strange game: it's graphics are very primitive VGA sprites coupled with basic vector graphics like those in the first MechWarrior, sufficient for gameplay but quite ugly anyway. The SFX are barely existent and the music consists of two or three very similar tunes whose repetitiveness begins to get on your nerves within a few minutes from starting the game.
Yet, it has that "something" that is so rare to find in games of today: that elusive element that makes you start the game at the evening and then play it till early dawn hours. In other words, it's incredibly addictive.
The basic premise is pretty simple - be the first one to finish the race, over dead bodies of your enemies if neccesary - but that's one of the things that make Death Track so enjoyable.
When you start the game you are given choice between three different cars - fast Hellcat, powerfully armed Crusher and heavily armored Pitbull. To face the truth, however, your choice of the starting car affects practically none but your starting weaponry and upgrades (the HUD looks a bit different, but that's pretty much all).
Yes, you've read it right - upgrades. Because apart from nine types of weaponry, your car also has six kinds of internal components - from tires to engine to armor - that you can modify. There are three levels of parts for each, and let me tell you - it can be a tough choice sometimes: not only because of the initial price or the cost-efficiency, but also because when your car get shot to pieces you'll have to pay for the repairs. And let me tell you, the repair bills on top-of-the-line components can be killer!
Only winners finish the circuit alive, so good shooting and meet you at the top!
One of the most underrated sci-fi racing games of all time, Activision's Death Track is a fun futuristic racing game where the objective is to eliminate your opponents-- literally. With names like "Preying Menace" and "Crimson Death," you know you will enjoy driving these cars long before the race even begins.
When the action begins, you have many delightful ways to get rid of the competition: by ramming them, slicing their tires, dropping mines beneath their underbellies, and -- of course-- blasting them with a variety of weapons, including particle beams, leasers, missiles, and good ol' machine guns. You must stay on track, though, so keep an eye out for road signs. Running off the road slows you down a lot, and it is hard to get traction when you're off the blacktop. If your car gets damaged, its performance will drop. When that happens, you can pull over into the pits to repair or get more weapons. The objective, naturally, is to cross the finish line first, but you can do that either by outracing, or outgunning, your opponents. "Kills" are worth points for your final score, but they don't win you any money, so winning each race is crucial to buying more powerful weapons for the next race. With vibrant graphics, furious action, and a wide range of weapons to arm your car with, Death Track is a must-play for all racing and sci-fi fans, and is a true precursor for games such as Quarantine and Interstate '76.
DeathTrack is an interesting racing game offering much more than just the regular racing game experience. Because there are many other ways to win the races than to be the fastest as you can get rid of your opponents in various ways. Some of these are blowing the cars up using mines, drive into them until their car is too damaged to continue and also blow them with your choice of weapon.
The play view is the same as with many other racing games although you only view a limit area of what you are driving because there are several other things in the car like map and all the different controls and panels. I think this was also made to make it more realistic since the cars you can choose from are quite small and therefore there should also be a quite limited front view. While you can damage the other cars they can of course also do the same to you but you can stop at the side of the road at certain points to get your car repaired.
The actual controls in the game are easy and very simple but it can still be hard to always stay on the road which is essential in order to win the game. DeathTrack includes well done and quite detailed graphics (for it's time). Too bad they decided to include sound via the PC speaker as it is very annoying to listen to when playing the game. Overall a decent action game offering gameplay not seen in many other games.
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