1nsane is a fully 3D off-road derby game designed with a distinct focus on multiplayer Internet play. Players choose from one of 20 different vehicles to drive through virtual versions of several locations around the globe. Up to seven other players can meet with their own vehicles for an eight-way demolition derby with no boundaries or rules. There are no mounted guns or futuristic weapons, so players must disable their opponents with strategic, well-placed smashing and ramming, until only one driver remains.
One of the most appealing aspects with current PC games is the ability to play online with several opponents. It's hard to find a current PC game without an online multi-player feature and for many games that is its main selling point. Of course, if the game doesn't amaze with stellar visuals or rock solid gameplay, it doesn't matter how good the multi-player aspects are. While 1nsane's visuals aren't terrible and the gameplay isn't awful, in the huge crop of PC games, it's falls far below the normal standard that we should see. And while 1nsane features some pretty decent multiplayer features, if you got nobody to play, how good can they be?
If you happen to eye the 1nsane game box, it'll boast "no limits, no rules, no roads." And that's certainly the case for the gameplay in this chaotic racing game. There are eight modes of play to be found in this game:
Jamboree - Go through each active gate before your opponents. Going though the active gate first will activate another gate somewhere on the map. First player to get through the required number of gates wins.
Return The Flag - An offshoot of capture the flag, find the flag on the map, grab it, and head to the gate to gain points.
Gate Hunt - Various gates are open on the map, and the object is to get through as many as you can. As you go through a gate, it becomes inactive so race through as many gates as possible.
Pathfinder - All gates are open, but you have to go through them in a certain order. Knowledge of the landscape and shortcuts will help you here a lot.
Capture the Flag - This classic game mode is probably the most fun. Get the flag, and hold it as long as you can. You get bonus points if you head to the correct gate but watch out, as players can easily steal the flag.
Destruction Zone - Gain points by - you guessed it - ramming into other cars. The best is slamming a card hard enough to gain the "rollover bonus."
Off-Road Race - Simple racing through the gates...booooooring.
Free Roam - Like Southwest, you are now free to roam about the country.
Though each mode has its own good and bad features, I had to favor the Capture the Flag, Jamboree, and, of course, Destruction Zone. Controls can take some time to get used to, and while you can adjust the steering in the options, sometimes rollovers happen a bit too frequently. Thankfully, there is a rollover feature for such situations and when you car gets inflicted with too much damage, a "repair" option allows you to fix your car on the spot, though it takes a three seconds for your car to be repaired. Though the physics are quite realistic, the game has more of an arcade feel to it; it's very simple to play and you don't have to worry too much about powersliding techniques. You start off with three selectable cars and three tracks, but as you progress through championship mode, you can unlock new cars, tracks, and racing modes. And with the simple play mechanics, this shouldn't take very long making 1nsane a fun romp when you start, but there's not much substance to make it last.
Visually, the game is a mix of good and bad. Again, the physics are pretty cool to watch, especially when you take a Bug Buggy over a cliff and watch it tumble in a wreck. Car models are pretty well done and the huge environments seem to promise us with nice visuals as we tear up the roads. There are some good dirt effects, but strangely enough, going through a stream of water displays a very lame ripple effect. And when you have huge environments, you're going to have a couple of problems - pop-up and draw-in being two of them. Pop-up happens a bit too frequently, and at the current state of video game technology, draw-in occurs too often as well. While collision detection is pretty good in a gameplay sense, there are some "cosmetic collision" bugs that are kinda weird. I say cosmetic as they don't really affect gameplay... but when you see your driver's head popping out of your vehicle's roof, that's just not right for some reason, huh?
As I mentioned above, a PC game without a multi-player feature is rare nowadays, and 1nsane boasts a pretty good one, allowing eight player to wreck havoc in a vast field filled with mountains, cliffs, and other virtual structures to bash into. Unfortunately during my online playtesting, I couldn't find anyone to play with and hosting a game for an hour didn't grab anyone's attention either. And if you can't play a PC game online, it is left to the game's one-player features to bring entertainment. And while 1nsane might be fun when you initially fire it up, this game is anything but "1nsane".
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