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Roister's Combat Racer Recommendations

Roister Recommends:

Rollcage: Stage II

rollcage 2 screen
Insanely fast and ultra-destructive, Rollcage: Stage II has an unrelenting learning curve, but once it's overcome this becomes one of the most satisfying combat racers of all time. All vehicles are indestructible, which seems odd for a game which equips you with incredible firepower, but the Rollcage series is more about getting one over your opponents and halting them where possible.

Taking its cues from their previous futuristic racing franchise, WipeOut, studio Psygnosis have upped the ante Rollcage's anti-gravity cousin created and offered even faster racing and even more annihilation of not only your opponents, but of the scenery too.

Speeding up to 999mph, firing a well-timed missile at a skyscraper's supporting beams to bring it down on top of your opponent, or even tearing the fabric of space-time and opening up a wormhole to jump ahead of your opponents, anything goes as you perpetually jostle for first place. Add to the mix giant tyres which allow you to race on walls and ceilings, and more importantly never leaving you disabled on your roof, this is as frantic and relentless as racers come.

Also try:

Burnout: Revenge

burnout screen

Arguably the most refined of the incredible Burnout franchise. Its focus is on using your car as the weapon rather than any tacked-on missiles or other destructive ephemera, so ramming your rivals in various ways leads to some very satisfying high-speed takedowns indeed.

What sets Revenge apart from its predecessors, and is bizarrely omitted from its open world follow-up Burnout Paradise, is the ability to ram same-way traffic, rather than have them just total your car. This paves the way for a more flowing racer as you don't have to stop and restart every ten seconds, and becomes a real spectacle as you smash into the back of a car at 300mph and watch it catapult into the distance, or even better into your racing rivals to give you a 'Traffic Takedown'.

The various game modes take full advantage of the fast-paced and destructive elements of Burnout: Revenge, creating a very enjoyable, well-rounded racer. Create multiple-car pile-ups by shunting cars at a crossroad in Crash Mode, speed around the course as fast as possible in your new supercar in Burning Lap, and go nuts by shunting same-way traffic for small time boosts to keep you going as long as possible in Traffic Attack. There are loads of satisfying ways to cause wanton destruction, which is not bad for a combat racer with no weapons.

Also try:

Rock 'n' Roll Racing

rock n roll racing screen

Ultimately short-lived and a little lacking in variety, Rock 'n' Roll Racing is an isometric racer that does exactly what it says on the tin. As you tear through the numerous jumps, chicanes and tight corners, you are treated to MIDI versions of all your favourite classic rock songs... well, five of them anyway. Deploy your rockets to 'Born to be Wild' and narrowly take first place to 'Bad to the Bone'; this racer is full of undeniable charm.

It has an intergalactic setting, pitting the best racers (based on Interplay's own choices of rock gods and references) from all corners of the universe together, and as the races progress you can spend your credits on battle upgrades for your car, including rockets and oil slicks. Even the commentator, Loudmouth Larry, has his own excitable and lightly aggressive personality, though it does grate on you after the constant repetition of the same ten or so cuts of dialogue.

Rock 'n' Roll Racing is certainly the best, easily most enjoyable retro racer to involve blasting each other to smithereens; the references to Heavy Metal-esque movies and the great soundtrack go a long way to back this statement up.

Roister Doister | 10th May, 2013

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