Extremely fun and totally underrated racer, Re-Volt is worth a second chance!
Graphically (on the PC at least) Re-Volt was phenomenal. It is usual, when reviewing old games to add the caveat of ‘for it’s time’ but I think Re-Volt, to a certain extent, still stands the test of time today. The lighting was excellent and graphical effects for the weapons (especially the rocket) exceptional. Frame rate drops occasionally spoil the game but Re-Volts visuals are definitely worth the awards it received from various PC magazines. The sound for Re-Volt is also very good although the realistic yet whiney engine noises grate after a while. That’s the price you pay for realism I guess!
The area in which I believe Re-Volt is underrated is its game play. The controls and their responsiveness are often areas that are picked on for faults but they were clearly made with a tinge of realism (although it’s difficult to talk ‘realism’ when you are talking about RC cars that fire rockets). Sure, your RC vehicle spins out of you take a corner badly or hit a bump at top speed but that adds to the fun and evens off the playing field a little. The fun factor is also solid due to the excellent and imaginative course design. Although the ‘Toys in the Hood’ level will always be the favorite, other notable mentions go to the level set on Titanic and the Wild West levels. Multiplayer is a little thin on the ground with only LAN support available but the modes involved within are enjoyable.
In some ways I think Re-Volt was ahead of it’s time. Not necessarily because of game play (there are similar experiences available today in other games) but graphically, Re-Volt was a stunning game that was mercilessly shoehorned into the visually restrictive console formats of the day. This could have been made an amazing online game for Xbox Live for example (there was a rumor there was a test version available in XBL’s infancy) – Xbox Live Arcade anybody?