As off-road racing games become more popular in general, a greater diversity in the types of off-road racing are clearly becoming visible--there are games that take a more realistic approach, while others skew more toward fast, simple, arcadelike gameplay. Inspired by the tasteless 1997 shooter, Redneck Rampage, Off-Road Redneck Racing falls into the latter category, though it has a few characteristics that you might associate with the former category, like the ability to upgrade vehicle parts. Redneck Racing also features impressive graphics, complete with realistic weather effects and detailed tracks that rival the most visually sophisticated off-road racing games to date. However, the game does have a few problems that mar an otherwise completely enjoyable racing experience: The game's inconsistent collision detection and cheating computer opponents can be quite frustrating, especially at first.
Despite its slightly offbeat theme, Off-Road Redneck Racing is a fairly straightforward arcade driving game that has all the standard modes of play that you would expect. The driver's championship lets you compete in a series of different races with the opportunity to earn upgrades, as well as unlock new cars and tracks if you perform well enough. There's also a challenge mode in which you can compete against a specified number of computer opponents on any of the unlocked tracks or drive against another human player via a split-screen display. For those who don't particularly care for a split-screen multiplayer mode, Redneck Racing also offers a network mode, but the network mode doesn't have a server searching utility built in, which may make it difficult for you to find an opponent. If you're not in the mood for competition, the time trial mode lets you race alone against the clock. The bulk of your time will probably be spent in the driver's championship, since it provides such a large portion of Redneck Racing's replay value, which is actually quite high since there are a substantial number of new cars and tracks to unlock.
On the other hand, most of Redneck Racing's major flaws surface during the driver's championship mode. The most obvious of these lies in the computer's propensity to cheat if you're in the lead. The fact that your initial car is already underpowered aggravates the problem even further because when the computer does pass you, it usually takes a stroke of luck, or nearly all of your nitro boosts, to retake the lead. Occasionally, the computer drivers do make mistakes--but these instances are rare, and the computer recovers from any mishaps rather quickly. As bad as the cheating can seem, it does give ample motivation for learning each track well and for finding as many shortcuts as possible, as even the slightest bump with other cars or trackside objects can result in your falling behind the pack.
Driving a perfect race is absolutely necessary to advance past the first group of cars and tracks in the championship mode, but such a difficult task is made even harder by the game's inconsistent collision detection. Some of the tracks have small objects jutting out from walls or barriers, particularly on sharp turns, but even when it looks as though you've safely cleared the object, your vehicle may still inexplicably collide with it, ruining any chances of winning the race. It's possible to safely avoid these objects by slamming on the brakes, but you shouldn't have to, since it'll appear as if there's clearly enough room to take such turns at top speed. At least when you do become a little more familiar with each of the tracks, colliding with these objects won't seem nearly as bad. Despite this flaw, track design in Redneck Racing is generally good and features plenty of shortcuts and surprises to keep them entertaining, even after numerous laps.
Visually, Off-Road Redneck Racing is surprisingly good, and it's easily one of the best looking off-road racing games to date. During storms, clouds race overhead, lighting streaks through the clouds and hits the ground, and the rain changes direction and hits your car as you speed around. Most cars have a small driver who can be seen shifting gears, and on some cars, you can see individual shocks located near the tires. Texture quality is also very high, giving the environments a more natural look. Unfortunately, the frame rate of the game can be a little unstable on a few tracks, particularly in sequences with extra visual detail, such as reflective puddles of water.
Though its problems may cause some frustration in the early going, they become less of an issue as you learn the tracks and the computer cars' behavior. The game looks great, and its soundtrack is well suited to its lighthearted theme, though most of it is forgettable and not really worth listening to after the first few races. The network mode is a little disappointing since it's so hard to find an opponent, but the two-player split screen mode makes it a little easier to play against human opponents. Overall, Off-Road Redneck Racing is a fun game, and its low price makes it especially attractive for fans of arcade-style racing.