May: Speedball 2
Home › Forums › Previous Months › 16 – May 2018: Death Rally › First impressions
- This topic has 24 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 9 months ago by rnlf.
May 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm #1386
I played quite a bit of Death Rally over the years. I’m not sure if I’ve played right when it came out, but I certainly have played it on & off on various occasions ever since.
I always like these race/upgrade games and the fact this one comes with weapons makes it even more interesting. The gameplay is basically Supercars II (which is also available for DOS by the way), but this game is a bit fancier, as it also is quite a bit newer.
When revisiting it now, I thought I knew this game in and out, but I was actually quite surprised how good it looks. Not just the overall look of the game, but also the nice effects on transitions and such. I appreciate this stuff way more now than I did back then, haha.
A warning though: the gameplay loop of this game is very compelling and can easily lure you into playing well past your bedtime 😀
wanParticipantPodcasterMay 2, 2018 at 8:18 am #1387
This game stood the test of time surprisingly well!
The graphics are still very respectable, and the game loop is indeed quite unusual and addictive. I’m also surprised by the game difficulty and complexity.
The game reminds me of the (much more recent) Little Racers STREET game, which was fun in similar ways and probably found some inspiration in Death Rally (except it removed the weapons :P).
So far I’m sitting at rank #18, and I’m actually having a hard time amassing money, so still plenty to learn.
Those damn mines though!
MgoddardParticipantPodcasterMay 2, 2018 at 8:38 pm #1393
Like many top-down racers I really wish I could see ahead further in the track when racing. For both turning or other racers.
I think more recently techniques like zooming out if you are going faster have been used by games but at the time of Death Rally I’m not sure if that was viable.May 3, 2018 at 9:12 am #1394
Well, GTA uses zooming quite extensively and was released only a year after Death Rally, so I think something could have been done. But after playing for a while, you start to learn the tracks and then it becomes a lot easier too 🙂May 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm #1397
My initial thoughts on Death Rally are going to also be my last thoughts as I ended up finishing it in a marathon 3 hour session last night. I certainly hadn’t intended to play for that long so it’s definitely got an addictive quality.
The game is a sort of RPG/racing hybrid if you ask me. It’s more important to always be making money than actually winning races so it’s very much about grinding away for cash to get the best car. What car you are driving and a high degree of luck has way more impact on whether you win a race than driving skill. The opening sections were quite tough though as it’s tricky to compete with the basic car at the start of the game and you are still learning the ropes.
I didn’t especially like the actual racing mechanics. The cars handling isn’t all that satisfying as racing line, conservation of speed and the like don’t seem to play any part whatsoever. The cars don’t really drift either which would have added a bit more skill to things. The racing comes to little more than not touching the sides and using your turbo at the right times. I never used my brakes once in the entire game. As far as the combat aspect, the cars get more and more expensive to repair and the only way to play the game is to hang back at the start while everyone blasts through all their ammo in the first half a lap. This just feels a little broken. Also, I found I never bought anything from the underground garage as it wasn’t worth spending the cash when you were always trying to save up for the next car.
The hardest part of the game is transitioning from the medium to the hard races. I hadn’t really noticed up until this point that there is a scramble for which driver goes into which race. This is where the dumb luck comes in. I found I could earn good cash in the hard races but if I ended up against the best drivers in much quicker cars on a fast track, they would lap me every time and I’d get nothing. Basically, it comes down to saving your game, entering the hard race and if you get the wrong drivers or track, load up your game and try again. You simply can’t compete until you get a good enough car.
I didn’t realise it until it happened but apparently the aim of the game is to get to the top of the leaderboard at which point you face “The Adversary” in a one off 9 lap race. This guy is in a quicker car than you are so winning this race is not easy. I tried about 5 times until he ended up stuck on a wall and I just about held the lead until the end at which point you win the game.
Graphics were nice enough for the era but nothing too special. The same goes for the music. My general thoughts on Death Rally are that it’s fairly average and a little bland. I know other people love it but I’m just not seeing it. I’d much rather have been playing Micro Machines if I wanted this sort of racing game or if you want a car combat RPG, something like Autoduel has way more going for it. I should say this isn’t the sort of game I would usually play so I’m not really the target audience. It was still a whole lot better than Nitemare 3D.May 5, 2018 at 7:28 am #1398
I’m loving Dos Club. This is yet another game I haven’t played. I’ve only played it for around 30 minutes, I’ll have a full play tomorrow when I have more time. First impressions, it’s hard, however I like it! I have fell victim to the mines on a couple of occasions, I’m sure with some practice I’ll improve.
Attachments:May 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm #1401
Wow, well done Richard. You’re quite the gaming expert, beating this whole thing in a mere 3 hours 😀May 5, 2018 at 4:33 pm #1402
I wouldn’t say expert but I’ve certainly spent way too long playing dos games over the years. You can add at least another hour from the night before so maybe 4-5 hours total. It’s not that hard a game as there isn’t much new to learn once you get going.May 5, 2018 at 8:31 pm #1403
Welcome AngryDinosaur by the way! Glad to hear you like our little club 😀May 7, 2018 at 7:57 am #1404
Thanks Tijn.May 7, 2018 at 11:08 am #1407
What are people playing Death Rally on? Original? DOSBOX? Steam?
I bought it on Steam, £3.99. I had a problem initially with Wineskin, however thanks to Google I was able to fix the issue.
Dr. DosParticipantMay 9, 2018 at 5:20 am #1408
Got around to trying the game out tonight. I’m surprised I hadn’t ever played it as a kid, as I’d defintely have been a big fan then!
Playing it today so far it’s definitely a lot of fun, once you rebind the controls. I wound up putting accelerate/brake on the up/down arrow keys which makes a lot more sense to me. I found myself slowly getting better and decided I’d quit for the night after winning a race. I wound up playing a few more after finally doing so!
I’ll definitely keep going back to it as I’m still playing easy races with the starting car.
DavidNParticipantPodcasterMay 11, 2018 at 2:40 am #1411
I grew up with most of the Apogee catalogue but didn’t encounter this one at the time – I played it for the first time for a video that I did a couple of years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG8chy-kRRg#t=19m10s . I ended up really enjoying it and playing all the way through to the end! The 3D Realms Anthology came with the original DOS version at the time, but the Windows-ized version that comes with Steam is functionally identical and works a bit better.
It feels a bit short because all the tracks are theoretically open to you from the start and there isn’t much in the way of feeling like you’re progressing, just the same loop of signing up for a race. But once you’re over the initial hump of difficulty and have the hang of the game, it’s satisfying to work your way up the ranks. It definitely wouldn’t have flown as a “full” game even at the time, I think (it was considered a budget title if I remember right), but it’s a fun enough diversion.
One tip that I remember seeing somewhere is to always pick the Duke Nukem portrait for yourself, because this takes him out of the game and he’s the hardest opponent by a mile!
LunarLoonyParticipantPodcasterMay 12, 2018 at 10:19 pm #1418
I’ve played this game before, but never got in-depth with it. I’m gonna have another go before I share my thoughts on it.
In answer to AngryDinosaur’s question, I found a Windows version that Remedy Games released for free in 2009. It seems to be identical to the original DOS version, which is pretty neat. Had the shareware version worked in DOSBox, I would’ve played that, but it was way too slow and choppy.
DavidNParticipantPodcasterMay 14, 2018 at 12:13 am #1420
Yes, the Windows update is definitely a lot easier to get going – Death Rally runs under DOSBox with some configurations because the 3D Realms Anthology version ran fine, but even then sometimes the music went strange.
Repetitive though it is, I’m very into this game again 🙂 Just having some races occasionally and increasing your stash is enjoyable. The only thing I can’t get over is how laughable the “edginess” is – for example, the inclusion of heroin delivery by a pitch-shifted dealer that sounds like what I used to do for my games when I was twelve and didn’t have a deep enough voice 🙂
dollaroneParticipantPodcasterMay 15, 2018 at 4:46 pm #1424
I started playing this again – apparently I played it a bit a few years ago according to steam. It’s a lot harder than I remember from the DOS days, perhaps I’m just older and slower?
The cutscenes are hilarious as the cop guy looks exactly like George Lucas. George Lucas wants to make you race death rally for him! Do it or it’s the rock, kid. You better not mess up! Why hasn’t this movie been made? I’m just surprised you’re not racing Boba Fett and Han Solo.
Anyway, back to the racing. I’m struggling to win races but also spending too much time upgrading vehicles I won’t really use.May 15, 2018 at 9:34 pm #1426
I’ve got myself an almost fully upgraded Porsch- erm… Wraith now. I think I’m getting quite close to the end!
Spent quite a bit more than Richard’s 4 hours though, haha.
HunterZParticipantMay 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm #1430
Just spent a few minutes playing this. I never played it back in the day for some reason, so I have a nostalgia-free viewpoint on the game.
My first impression is that it’s not my kind of thing, except that it reminds me a bit of R.C. Pro-Am on the NES. I think I’m getting too old to be any good at racing games lol.
Technologically this game is pretty interesting:
– Amiga-style sample-based soundtrack
– SVGA graphics?
– Some usage of 3D polygons for the track borders I think?
Some things that I really bounced off of while playing:
– Walls on sides of track that can bring you to a standstill in an instant are not fun.
– For some reason, they put some things in that block your view of your car, and sometimes they’re even on corners. This is pure evil and not fun.
– I don’t have an objection to being able to run over people in a racing game, but it feels extraneous in this game, like it was just added for shock value.
I bet multiplayer is pretty fun.May 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm #1442
I’ve never tried it but I guess it should be possible to play this multiplayer via DOSBox IPX. Wouldn’t mind giving it a go if anyone is up for it.May 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm #1446
Oh yeah, I’d love to try to setup a multiplayer session. I’ll make a separate thread for it.May 22, 2018 at 8:15 am #1454
I am somewhat positively surprised by the game. Yes, there are some problems with the physics, especially how touching an obstacle *lightly* can bring your car to a dead stop and how you cannot turn your car anymore once an enemy bumps into you and pushes you even slightly around.
But at the same time, these physics problems, which are bad for racing are *great* for fighting. It’s much easier to target enemies and stay on target than it would be in actual racing physics.
I also like how they apparently saw some problems with the game design and counteracted them by imposing additional requirements for the payout of money and such:
In theory you could just go very slowly and collect all the money in a race. That would allow you to reliably (though slowly) save the money you need for better cars and upgrades. But the game actually requires you to place at least 3rd so you actually get the money. I like how they found an ingame explanation for the fact (“Money is for winners!”).
The same goes for being lapped. You could just sit in one spot, waiting for your enemies to come by again and shoot them until all three of them are dead. That would make you the winner and doesn’t require any driving (except to collect up machine gun ammo). But being lapped also means no money for you at all, with more or less the same explanation. Even though you technically won the race, you’re still considered a disgrace for the racing community and get nothing.
The only thing they were fair enough to still give you is the wrenches you picked up. So when you have a badly damaged car, just drive slowly behind everyone else and pick them up to fix your car for free.
toastyParticipantPodcasterMay 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm #1492
I’d never played this game before, but after seeing @rnlf’s stream and then joining the multiplayer stream I had to give it a go.
First impressions were really positive. I think the music and graphics are great, and this game has a lot in common with GTA stylistically, which I also love. The racing starts off quite hard but after purchasing new tyres I settled in quite easily.
I ended up doing exactly what @pix did and smashing through most of it in a marathon session that ended in the wee hours of the morning. I think this actually says quite a lot about the game, though: the rewards are perfectly spaced apart, and there’s always something to aim for. Also the idea of reaching the top of the rankings is quite obvious from the very start. This simplicity and the raw competitiveness makes it pretty addictive. (I ended up having an intense rivalry with Clint West after he rammed me into the side of a track and blew up my car. Oh boy was I angry…)
The only major detractor for me is the physics: in particular how hitting rough terrain completely kills your speed, and how sometimes your car ends up flipping direction. Other than that, though, the game is brilliant!May 30, 2018 at 3:40 pm #1497
There are also some collision glitches. Sometime you tunnel through the wall. If there’s road on the other side, it won’t count as progress until you reach the place you left (or some hidden checkpoint, I assume).
But if there’s nothing behind the wall you tunnel through, the game just freezes…
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Home › Forums › Previous Months › 16 – May 2018: Death Rally › First impressions