Pros: Another Grand Theft Auto clone.
Cons: The whole title is very unoriginal.
ROADKILL (Midway, August 2003)
Who could forget the shock when the Grand Theft Auto Double Pack first came to the Xbox? Xbox owners finally got a chance to play two great games where you steal cars, kill people, and explore huge cities in one awesome collection. If a game like Grand Theft Auto can make millions of dollars then you can rest assure that there will be something to cash in on a good thing, right? Midway is ready to answer the call with the GTA clone called Road Kill, a crazy car combat game where you fight for survival in a post-apocalypse world. This isn't Midway's first song and dance either because with help from Atari Games they were able make the famous Rush racing series which was one of best extreme racing games for the arcades during the late 90's. Can Midway's magic strike twice with Road Kill's new edgy story and multi-player options?
Although it's hard to believe, there is actually some kind of story here in this simple and typical game. The world has been hit hard by a deadly virus called 'The Rot' and everything is now in total chaos. There are no laws, no rules, and many Street Gangs are running wild. You play the role of generic survivor Mason Strong (I'm serious, that's his name) who is looking for Paradise City, a place that wasn't affected by the massive plague here. If you want to find this city however, you have to do a lot of odd jobs first to earn your keep in this new lawless world. Instead of stealing vehicles at will, Mason already has his own truck with a build in gun mounted on the back which is not too different from a game like Twisted Metal.
If there's only one real thing that makes Road Kill so different then a Grand Theft Auto or a Twisted Metal is what the extreme lengths the game goes too here. Instead of the usual TV friendly swear words like Dam, Fart, or Hell, you get all the big four letter words like the 'F' word, the other version of crap, and this game is so even has the dreaded 'N' word on the FUOK radio station. You know you have a bad game when you hear openly racist material in it (Kakuto Chojin anyone?). Road Kill lacks of any sophistication, yet the game is still really boring at the same time.
Not only does this game play like a 3D GTA, Road Kill even looks the same as well. A lot of the gritty urban environments are very interactive so you freely run over street signs and the human by-standers that get in the way. You can even drag your on-foot victims for a few seconds if drive over them which is fun to see for a few times anyway. Unfortunately the textures in the backgrounds are very bland especially since the Xbox is capable of so much more. Road Kill looks just like that: road kill.
This game also comes with a radio like a lot of video games do now of days. Some stations even have some a couple of morons just talking their miserable lives. There is nothing 'laugh out loud' funny here at all, it's just here to try and shock you and it doesn't even do that well because we already know the end of the world plot of the game, we don't need to hear somebody's dismal life story every 5 seconds.
Road Kill is obliviously targeted to the gamer who thinks Grand Theft Auto is too complex, you just kill, shoot and drive around here so you can forget pressing any 'steal' button. Although the game has a fun multi-player that borrows a lot from other great car combat games, this is still no Halo killer. Overall Road Kill tries to be the next big thing in crime based video games but the end result was disappointing. The story is dull, the game play is nothing new, and everything else like the graphics and sounds are second rate as well. This game is a lot like real Road Kill, it looks so gruesome and messy that it can be hard not to feel sorry for the creature but it's just a good idea to drive on and forget about it regardless.
Road Kill overall rating: 30/100
ESRB Rating: M
Players: 1 to 4
StarSoldier1 2004 (Ryan Genno)