Last month Runescape creator Jagex promised to bring fast-paced combat racing to Facebook. What they've actually delivered in Carnage Racing is better than that, and it's all thanks to portals.
The game call it phase shifting. I call it portals. As you do laps around the various tracks in Jagex's social racer, performing tricks and shooting powerful weapons at the competition, a gauge slowly fills on the right side of the screen. Once you're full you can drive towards one of the many warp spots scattered about the track, press the space bar, and whoosh.
Whoosh is the official sound of going through a portal.
Suddenly you're way ahead of the pack, unless of course they use portals, or hit you with the Warp gun and create a personal portal ahead of you. It's complicated.
Pressing the space bar with a full phase shift meter is also a means to avoid enemy weapons. It turns the world a pleasant shade of blue as well.
This nifty phase shifting mechanic also means that the developers didn't have to worry about making circular tracks. Just place a warp at the end that takes you back to the beginning and presto! Lazy, or brilliant? Yes!
Carnage Racing has a goal-oriented single-player mode to help get players up to speed, but the real meat is in multiplayer. Players can take on random opponents, challenge their friends in real-time or post their score and give their contacts a day to do better. Win in-game cash, customise your car, upgrade your weapons -- all the fun bits of console combat racers are right here, for free.
It might not be Need for Speed Most Wanted, but Carnage Racing is definitely miles ahead of any other racing-type games on Facebook. Indeed, it might be too hardcore for the average Facebook gamer to handle, but I'm sure you folks will do just fine.
Carnage Racing [Facebook]