We've had plenty of kart racers, but nothing has quite recreated the chaos of Rollcage. Until now.
Rollcage is the kind of racer that you rarely hear people reminisce about, which I always found a bit bizarre. Perhaps being more along the lines of Wipeout than, say, Mario Kart dented its popularity. And perhaps the existence of Wipeout hurt Rollcage's popularity as well; it was a little more user-friendly from the off, at least from memory.
It's a shame, because Rollcage was a very cool game. It reminded me a little bit of Powerslide as well in the way that the tracks were more interactive, more creative than the standard fare you would get in a racer of this ilk.
But ever since the release of Rollcage's sequel in 2000, developers have given the breakneck, all-wheel driving formula a wide berth. Fortunately, two of the original creators and a collection of "avid fans" are bringing Rollcage back with GRIP, a new project on Kickstarter.
Not a bad prototype from two people.
"We want most modes to come with various options to increase replay value, such as weather changes and time of day, as well as modifiers that let you enable or disable certain pick-ups and change how they work," Caged Element wrote on the campaign page.
"Want an explosive match where racers are equipped only with unlimited mines? You can do that. How about disabling pick-ups altogether to make it just about the driving skill? Sure, why not."
Like Rollcage — and all the other combat racers of that era — the game will sport a pumping trance soundtrack, with Technical Itch, Dom & Roland and Skynet (who contributed to the soundtrack for Rollcage Stage 2) on board.
Caged Element has already promised to include homing missiles, machine guns, railguns, proximity mines, mini-rockets, rear-facing shields, an AOE pulse weapon, EMPs, nitrous and more as the usable weapons, which is more or less what you'd expect from a racer like this.
They've also promised to make sure the tracks span a vast variety of environments, including icy wastelands, military installations, urban areas, jungles and, as can be seen in the footage above, stifling deserts.
"Should we receive enough funding via KickStarter, the development of GRIP will continue directly from our prototype phase and straight into full-thrust development. From our very carefully considered schedules we anticipate that the game will be complete some time before the end of 2016."
There's just one catch with the project: it's after a fairly sizable chunk of money. With 28 days remaining, GRIP has only raised C$55,705, well short of its pledged C$657,000 target. In exchange for your support, however, backers will be able to vote on additions to the game should funding reach certain stretch goals.
"Once a stretch goal is hit, the backers will post in the comments what stretch goal they most want to see happen. We’ll then pick the stretch goal with the most votes and cross it off the list."
It's an interesting idea, and I really hope GRIP gets the support it needs. Looking at it now I'm reminded of games like the Quarantine series, Carmageddon, Wipeout — things we just don't see these days.
That makes me sad. I want my balls-to-the-walls racers back. And if you're the same, then go check out GRIP's Kickstarter page now.