Carmageddon 2, like its predecessor, doesn't bother disguising its premise. Through the entirety of the game you get to take place in a number of races where the three methods of winning involve either a) being first around the designated course b) destroying all the opposing cars or c) killing every last pedestrian. Given that the laid out course is often difficult to follow and there are often in excess of a thousand pedestrians in a level, the most common way you'll finish levels involves pounding the opposition into accordions. Of course, you can complete that goal any way you want. If you decide to take a break and run over pedestrians, that's fine. If you want to push your opponents off a cliff and then dive down on top of them, that's fine too. Carmageddon doesn't expect you to finish things all that quickly, which is why your game time is so easy to increment - given that hitting pedestrians is so easy and gives you plenty of additional time, the chance of actually running out of time is pretty slim. Your opposition ranges from slightly modified production cars to the flat-out bizarre, from a Herbie-style bug with massive monster truck tires to a legimite combine and even a massive earth mover that is at least 30 times bigger than anything else. Defeating them in a course lets you acquire their vehicle, and by the end of the game you'll have a huge assortment of wacky vehicles to choose from, even if many of them are too weak to use in practice. Still, the variety is nice and it's amusing even driving lightweight cars around, as they tend to lose control when hitting a pedestrian. Speaking of control, Carmageddon has pretty exaggerated physics and gravity often feels like you're on the moon. You can get air off almost any jump with minimal effort and it's difficult to turn without sliding - then again, it doesn't hurt the game any as you'll rarely be heading in a specific direction. Power ups are scattered all over the levels and range from ones that stock up (like power boosts, kangaroo jumps, pedestrian zappers) to ones that run on a timer. Some of them bestow your car with abilities like a huge spiked tail or hot rod handling. Others affect the world gravity, and yet others alter the pedestrians, either by enlarging their heads or making them dance or have to pee. All are bizarre and amusing in that sick and twisted world that Carmageddon operates in. The crashes are quite satisfying. The sound of wrenching metal is quite pronounced and the sparks flying from the twisted body of your opponents car scraping along the pavement as you push it towards a concrete block at high speed just makes it even more amusing. Pedestrians themselves will attempt to run away somewhat, but some just accept their fate and literally bend over to take it. Hitting pedestrians results in a deightfully squishy noise and more often than not they'll sail away from your car in pieces. You get bonus points for elaborate methods of taking them out, so sliding sideways into pedestrians or crushing them from above will net you bigger returns. The existence of a replay feature lets you watch the bloodiest moments again and again, especially if you choose to save a portion of the replay as a video file. Ultimately there isn't much of a point to Carmageddon other than smashing cars and killing pedestrians. However, it's executed so well that it's hard not to derive a disturbing amount of pleasure from the phrase PILEDRIVER BONUS! slapped across your screen when you crush a little polygonal person against a wall. Ultimately that will probably be the deciding factor in your enjoyment of the game - if you ahbor violence, Carmageddon will just disgust you. However, if you find over-the-top mayhem obscenely amusing, then Carmageddon is absolutely perfect for you.
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