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
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.
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
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.