Sometimes the advent of a new technology grants us all the opportunity to enjoy anew a past favourite as it is reborn for the new platform.
Often this can prove disappointing, as the halcyon memories of yore shine more brightly than any slickly engineered tribute can today.
It is with this very much in mind that I approached Death Rally on my iPod Touch when I first discovered it on the App Store, but no warning voice of past experience was going to prevent me from jumping on this like a crazed driver with his foot to the floor.
You see Death Rally sits in the pantheon of my classic gaming nirvana (don’t you just love mixing a metaphor!) on a high pedestal alongside GTA 2 as simply the best fun to be had from an overhead perspective in a car.
If I thought you’d carry on reading I would pen an ode to the original Death Rally right now… but I’ll put that after the end of the piece!
So, onward and upward with my review.
Death Rally for the iOS is a fantastic example of how to make the best of a technology whilst still respecting a venerable IP. Not only does it feature a full rebuild using a superbly up-to-date graphics engine and fantastic look and feel all round, it also transports you back into the hot-seat of your Death Rally career.
Now, regardless of how fond of / obsessed with Death Rally you were the first time round, this review is about THIS game, not about the original (despite my strong desire to write an opus dedicated to it… ;-)) so let’s crack on and have a good look at it.
Death Rally iOS, as I shall label it for clarity, is a superb top-down racer featuring numerous game modes, challenges, vehicles, weapons and upgrades.
With myriad tracks and opponents, over multiple tiers, there is just so much to see and do. As is traditional you accumulate cash for racing well with which you can upgrade your vehicle or even buy a newer, faster car altogether. Where Death Rally differs slightly is in the first part of it’s name, as you also get considerable sums for finishing off as many opponents as possible. Indeed, should you manage to destroy all you’re opponents cars in any one race you will automatically win. An excellent and most enjoyable tactic, if a little unrealistic an aim in your first few races.
The game uses a random race generator which adds considerable variety and freshness to the game, you never know quite what your going to be doing, but you do always have a choice. Level of difficulty of each such race is clearly displayed and you will need to pay heed to this as the excellent multi-touch controls take a few races to fully master. Once you have the control system down you can content yourself with racing & obliterating for fun or you can start stepping it up and push your new found skills against increasingly tougher opponents. Beyond that there are always other players to race against, and that really does up the ante as you would expect. The multi-player is very slick and couldn’t be easier to get into as it’s experience is identical to the single player element, except for the even more ruthless and skilled opposition it introduces!
This is currently one of my favourite games on my iPod Touch and I just don’t see that changing anytime soon. The good people at Remedy seem determined to continually add cool new stuff to the game and I continue to delight in enjoying it!
I would finally add that the price they offer all this at should be enough to shame most other developers / publishers to improving their offerings and / or lowering their pricing. Jolly well done Remedy!
Graphics – 5/5: Ridiculously good. Hard to see where they could be improved.
Sound – 4/5: Revs, explosions, tyre screeches and car horns. Spot on.
Gameplay – 4/5: Once the touch controls are mastered it’s destructive high octane fun all the way.
Longevity – 5/5: Constant updates, random race generation, huge variety and excellent multi-player tempt me to give it a 6!
Overall – 4 burnt-out opponents out of 5
Just buy it already and add me (Raxous, obviously) so I can have some fresh blood to… loose… epically… against!
The Ode what I promised…
Oh Death Rally! How verily do I love thee?
So very, very muchly… for thou art pretty…
And bringest racing and destruction to me
So good that I must enjoy it constantly…
But wait! What’s this? You are now reborn?
With shiny paint and new car horn?
I rejoice and truly jubilate!
For you arrive never too late.
And so I play, and drive and crash
Happily parting with my cash
But now to win I must accelerate
And trust the tarmac with my fate!