Death Track: Resurrection - PC - Review
The original Death Track came out on the PC 20 years ago, courtesy of Dynamix, the now-defunct developer behind some very well-regarded PC games of the early 90s, including the Red Baron franchise. Now, developer Skyfallen and publishers 1C and Aspyr are looking to reboot (or “resurrect”) the franchise with their latest vehicular combat/racing title, Death Track: Resurrection. Death Track: Resurrection is a bright, shiny and fast-paced vehicular combat title that does a capable job of representing a sense of speed and intense action. However, the game often degrades into some pretty messy gameplay, with frustrating mechanics that often take control away from the player. While the game does manage to get some things right aesthetically, the chaotic and random nature of the racing makes the game far too frustrating of an experience.
Death Track: Resurrection takes place in the future, following a massive global war that decimated a sizable chunk of the world’s major cities. The main form of entertainment in this dystopian future is a violent racing circuit, where racers will descend on the destroyed cities like London and Paris, driving through their remains and taking each other out with a host of weapons. The story is not one of the game’s strong suits, as it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense and can be downright silly at times.
The main focus in Death Track: Resurrection is collecting special power-ups as you race through the tracks. In order to win against your opponents, you’ll have to destroy their cars before they have a chance to take you out. Your car takes a few seconds to regenerate on the track as do your opponents, so collecting power-ups and weapons is important to winning the race.
At least that’s how it should be. Death Track: Resurrection throws a lot at you at once, from weapons in the environment gunning for you as well as whatever weapons your opponents may have picked up. The game’s targeting system is exact and once it’s locked onto an opponent (or you), it will never miss. This means that you are essentially at the mercy of chance when it comes to winning the race, since if your opponents pick up good power-ups and decide to continually take aim at you, then you’re pretty much screwed. Winning a race seems less contingent on skill and more on dumb luck, which is an extremely frustrating way to play a racing title.
The other area where Death Track: Resurrection falls well short of the average is the online component, which is to say that there isn’t one. The game features no multiplayer gameplay at all, which seems like a no-brainer in a racing game and yet is strangely absent here.
However, not all is bad in Death Track: Resurrection. The tracks are very engaging to watch, as each one is pretty huge, detailed, and filled with activity. Buildings will collapse, explosions will go off, and you’ll really get the sense that there’s some destruction going on in these cities. Additionally, the game has a very competent sense of speed, with framerates that stay solid throughout.
Graphically, Death Track: Resurrection looks pretty good, due to the aforementioned large and detailed tracks and solid clip. However, there are misses on the graphical front, namely the vehicles, which don’t feel and move very convincingly on the tracks, instead appearing somewhat superimposed onto the action.
The sound effects are also competently done, with a solid (albeit generic) metal soundtrack. The voice work is pretty cheesy and over-the-top, adding to the game’s corniness.
Sadly, Death Track: Resurrection is a missed opportunity. While the big, detailed tracks and fast-paced driving mechanics could’ve made this game a worthy successor to the genre, the frustrating gameplay all but nips that in the bud.
Review Scoring Details for Death Track: Resurrection
The game’s tracks are well done and full of activity, but the gameplay is a bit too chaotic and often relies on chance; there’s just too much going on at once to really focus on, giving the game a random feeling that can be quite frustrating.
The game is admirable for its sense of speed, and the tracks are teeming with activity and action. However, the cars feel and move a bit too artificially and feel superimposed on in the environment.
The crunchy metal soundtrack isn’t really a stand-out score but works for the game, and the voice work is over the top and quite cheesy.
Death Track: Resurrection’s story isn’t top shelf by any means, featuring some generic dystopian theme where the world has been destroyed and transformed into a series of race tracks. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn’t really step up to the plate and instead feels out of control and frustrating, and the lack of multiplayer is definitely a bummer.
Death Track: Resurrection is interesting to watch, as the tracks collapse and everything goes to hell in a hand basket as you race through is pretty cool. However, the lack of online play and often overly chaotic gameplay make it a somewhat frustrating experience.