Fire up that diesel, and hit the gas as you command 18 wheels of thunder. From coast to coast, you'll be hauling various loads trying to stay ahead of the law as you race across America to reach your destination before your competition.
Choose from four different rigs complete with trailers, as well as four unique routes including the Desert, Forest, Plains, and cities. As you race towards your destination, day turns into night creating a more challenging driving scenario. Three levels of play exist, each more challenging than the previous until eventually players will encounter the ultimate speed trap -- a police road block.
Where does one start with Big Rigs? In the short time it's been out, it's gained some cult notoriety going as far as earning the lowest possible score. I'd say it falls in between the creative faux-pas of Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space and the Garbage Pail Kids Movie. I'd even go further as to say that Big Rigs doesn't even qualify as a game as it's more of a tech demo for a subpar 3D engine. After all, to qualify as a game, it must be interactive and I've seen fly-through demos more interactive than this. Needless to say, I'm going to throw out the usual review formalities and write on my gripes of this game and the companies that designed and published it.
There isn't much of a story to Big Rigs. You're a trucker in a "race" to deliver cargo to its intended destination while (as the box professes) "avoiding the law". There are two catches to this statement. First, there's no sign of any cops. Second, you barely have an opponent. You begin a race at a starting line with another truck, but it doesn't really go anywhere. The result? You guessed it. You win every time.
The trouble starts right off the bat. You get a generic looking main menu. I went into the options to adjust the settings, since the game defaulted to resolution of 640x480. You can only toggle texture quality between low and normal and the game tops the resolution off at 800x600. You can choose between two game modes, custom and random race. After choosing your game type, you're taken to a truck selection screen. Here you can choose one of four trucks including "Thunder", "Megaone", "Thunderbull", and "Sunrise W12". It really doesn't matter what truck you select, they all drive the same. One amusing characteristic on this is that only two of the trucks have cargo trailers. You then proceed to choosing a level consisting of Devil Passage 1 and 2, Forgotten Road 1, Nightride, and Small Town Road. Even though Nightride has a portrait of a expansive cityscape, it's the same level as the two Devil Passage levels. Forgotten Road 1 looks similar to the first two levels and only offers a drive through a small village for variety. Small Town Road takes you through a town complete with street signs in the middle of the road and mountains that you can drive through. One can honestly say that there are only three levels in this game since three of them are similar in every way save for day/night effects.
After playing the game for a bit, I discovered there was in fact a patch available for the game. Seems like too little too late, but I opted to give the game its just due for the review. After restarting the game, all of the technical problems still existed, but there was hope, my opponent started moving slowly. I proceeded to disregard the race at hand and took in some of the more comical elements of the game, only to reach the finish line just to see the other truck parked there waiting for me to win.
Game play is non existent. I'll go on record by saying this game is a beta test pure and simple. You just don't see a finished product that acts this way. Let's start with collision detection, or lack thereof. You can go through everything in your path including buildings, street signs, your "opponent", and even bridges. You heard me right, bridges are there on the road, but you'll just clip right through them and back up the other side of the ditch they go over. Now, I don't talk to myself when I'm alone that much, if at all. But I found myself laughing and exclaiming things at the top of my lungs as I played this. It's beyond ridiculous. As if this isn't comical enough, the game defies even more laws of physics. Your truck never loses speed when traveling off road and can scale the steepest cliffs without a problem. This interesting form of free roaming freedom goes further, as you can travel outside of the level into purgatory and back in as you please. This is easy since your truck can speed up to 85mph in reverse and stop on a dime.
The bad doesn't stop at the game play. Environments are boring, repetitive, and downright ugly. Everything is painted with a coat of the blurriest most boring textures seen in a game in years. All of the trucks look generic, and don't even have working brake lights, just floating red orbs on the back end. The engine also does a horrible job of drawing the road in front of you with a draw distance of about ten feet. You'll also see such environmental anomalies as floating houses, or houses that are sunken into mountains, or street signs in the middle of the road. Hell, your opponent's wheels don't even move when they attempt to drive off.
What was Stellar Stone thinking when they gave the go ahead to release this game? Do they have any quality assurance at all? This game is an embarrassment to them, as well as the people who produced it. Their website claims to "provide our clients with best of gaming technologies and cut their development expenses, allowing them to concentrate on product rather than on technology hustles of development." Looks like nobody concentrated on the product on this go around. I don't know what kind of money there were going to lose if they gave the game more development time so they could crank out something of even middling quality.
People who downloaded Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing have also downloaded:
Big Mutha Truckers 2, Big Mutha Truckers, Autobahn Racing, Cabela's 4x4 Off-Road Adventure 3, Big Scale Racing, Armored Fist 3, Armored Fist 2, Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now
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