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Reviewed: Interstate '82
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: January 6th 2000
Page: 3

Multiplayer in Interstate '82 supports both Internet (though limited to 4 player games) and LAN play (6 players). The servers are already up and there is an in-game server selection list for Internet play, so connecting isn't a problem. The game types get interesting, however: there's the usual free-for-all, a collision-based game of "hot potato" where the only way to be safe is to collide with others and drop a bomb on them, and "Capture the Trout" (capture the flag"). The locations are all pretty fun, from a golf course to Vegas to an abandoned shopping mall.

The AI in the game is decent, although not too much of a threat except for the numbers they arrive in. Enemies do two things that make it nice and easy to take them down. First, they never group fire their weapons: some of those vehicles could destroy anything within 5 seconds if they brought their full firepower to bear. Second, give enough damage and they'll bail from their cars. While this isn't a great time to take theirs (it'll be pretty close to dead) it WILL be a perfect time to fire off a quick round and take a kill while expending less ammo. Finally there's the fact that someone never taught these drivers how to execute a controlled spinout, leaving them easy targets for someone who can pull this maneuver off. As a major problem, however, the final boss (Ronald Reagan in a big robot) isn't much on AI and relies exclusively on heavy firepower to be taken down, leaving the last level as a sniper chase.

Chasing the big robot --
be careful on the corners.
Staring down Ronald Reagan's big,
cheesy war machine.
Out on the golf course, a big
laser shots your enemies.

Controls in Interstate '82 take working with, and there's one caveat here that cannot be empasized enough: the importance of an analog control. Be it a driving wheel, flightstick, or thumb stick as found on many of the higher-end gamepads, it's necessary for both accelerating and braking. Why? Because of the controlled spins and loose turns necessary in the game. A digital control will be like having on/off toggles for one's own automobile, and it makes aiming a dumbfire weapon (the normal type) pretty much impossible. While the keyboard can sometimes handle this if the keys are tapped instead of pressed, for the person serious about enjoying the game an analog control of some type is absolutely necessary.

Laser's got a nasty shockwave,too.
Fun in an abandoned shopping mall.
If you get out, make sure you're safe.
And watch out for the elevator music.

The sound and music of the game are great: the tracks (including 3 from Devo) are good in-the-mood tracks for a demolition-type game, and run long enough that they don't get repetitive till a mission becomes a game of cat and mouse like the Mall mission can. The sound effects are all realistic -- tires squeal, indicators of fire beep, and a whooshing noise is heard upon use of a fire extinguisher, Nitrous Oxide boost, or missile firing. There's even a watery glugging sound when oil is dropped from the slick layer devices. Nothing seems out of place or out of the ordinary, and in fact on the rare occasion that a pedestrian actually connects with a headshot on a driver, their horn will blare as if the body is actually leaning dead on the wheel. Added to this are the in-game movies: the high-resolution cutscenes do wonders for introducing the next level, as to the in-engine cutscenes. If not for the fact that many of them seem contrived, or hurt by the fact that it's obviously being done to eliminate car-consistency problems, they would be great.

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Added:  Thursday, January 06, 2000
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 3/5

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