Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
|Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing|
Cover art of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
Tim Maletsky (interface)
|Programmer(s)||Sergey Titov (engine)
|Artist(s)||Yaroslav Kulov (3D art)
Svetlana Slavinskaya (3D art)
Peter Jameson (3D art)
NixPix Ltd. (3D art)
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (often simply referred to as Big Rigs) is a 2003 third-person racing video game developed by Stellar Stone and published by GameMill Publishing for Microsoft Windows PC systems. The game was released as a largely unfinished product and many parts of it do not work properly at all.
The packaging of Big Rigs states that the main objective of the game is to race a semi-trailer truck (known colloquially as a "big rig") in order to safely deliver illegal cargo being carried by the vehicle, while avoiding the local police force. In actuality, there are no police in the game, no such objectives are presented within the game itself and there is no load attached to the truck. Much of the game instead centers on the player racing their truck against fellow drivers to the finish line; however, in the earlier versions the player's computer-controlled opponent vehicles have no AI and never move from the starting position. In a later version, the computer-controlled opponent will race around the track, but will stop just before crossing the finish line. The timer in the game is merely aesthetic and has no limit on the gameplay. In addition, due to a lack of collision detection, there are no obstacles to navigate within the game, and the player is able to phase through environments and leave the game altogether.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing was critically panned. The game's criticism is largely directed at its "blatantly unfinished" state: lack of collision detection and frequent violation of the laws of physics, frequent and major software bugs, poor visuals, and severe lack of functionality. As a result, the game is now widely regarded as one of the worst video games of all time.
The players may freely drive their trucks on and off roads without any loss of traction, up or down 90° slopes with no loss or gain of lateral speed, through structures such as buildings, trees, and bridges (due to a lack of collision detection), and out of the boundaries of the map into an endless grey void. If the player presses and holds the reverse key, the vehicle can accelerate until reaching 1.23×1037 mph (1.98×1037 km/h), at which point all checkpoints will turn green and the player will instantly win the race.[self-published source] However, the truck will halt instantly when the reverse key is released. This speed is obviously impossible in real life, as the aforementioned figure is at 12.3 undecillion miles per hour (≈5.8 × 1020 light years per second over 1028 times the speed of light).
Though there appear to be five courses from which to choose, only four are playable. One of the maps, titled "Nightride", does not function and selecting it simply crashes or quits the game. Upon completion of the race, the game displays a large three-handled trophy and the text "YOU'RE WINNER !" [sic]. The game occasionally fails to distinguish between whether the player is starting or finishing the race when they pass through the starting/finishing line, and so this congratulatory screen may appear within seconds of starting a game, thus ending the race prematurely on the first pass.
Stellar Stone released a patch that addressed some of the game's complaints. With the patch, the opponent vehicles participate in the race, but stop before they reach the finish line, making the game still impossible to lose. Nightride, the non-functional track, was replaced with an exact mirror image of the first track, Devil Passage 1. Some versions of the patch replaced the "YOU'RE WINNER !" text with "YOU WIN !". The patch also added sound effects, a feature that was missing from the original game, and later copies shipped with the patch by default. However, no effort was made to alter the physics of the game, and other common complaints were not addressed.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing was developed in Ukraine by California-based company Stellar Stone. The game was developed offshore so the company could produce the game at a relatively cheap price of about US$15,000, compared to costs three to five times higher in price with other European or United States-based developers. The game's programmer was Denis Julitov; Artem Mironovsky served as its designer; Yaroslav Kulov, Svetlana Slavinskaya, Peter Jameson, and NixPix Ltd. served as its 3D artists; Tim Maletsky designed the game's interface; and Alex Burton composed the music and provided sound effects.
Big Rigs was built on the Eternity proprietary engine, developed by Sergey Titov of TS Group Entertainment, who licensed it to Stellar Stone in exchange for a "large chunk of the company." According to an interview with Titov on yourewinner.com, a Big Rigs fansite, the company "want[ed] to do things cheap and [was] not willing to pay even 200-300K" to create an engine of their own. Titov is credited in the game as producer and co-programmer, but in the interview, he claims he "didn't have much design and development input or any power to stop [Big Rigs] from being released."
Big Rigs was originally intended to be released with Midnight Race Club: Supercharged! as a single, combined title. Instead, GameMill Publishing decided to split the project in two early on in production. Both games were released in their pre-alpha stage. The reason for the splitting is unclear, although Titov speculates it was to increase sales.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing was heavily panned by critics and gamers alike, and has been listed among the worst video games of all time. It garnered an 8 out of 100 score on Metacritic, with the only aggregated scores higher than 0 being 1 out of 10, given by websites that did not have a zero score. The game also has an average score of 3.83% on GameRankings, making it the number one "All-Time Worst" video game on the website.
Matt Wadleigh of Thunderbolt Games stated, "I wish I could think of some redeeming factors for [Big Rigs], but there simply aren't any", rating the game a score of 1/10. It was also featured on the X-Play "Games You Should Never Buy" segment where series co-host Morgan Webb described Big Rigs as "the worst game ever made," and refused to even rate it as their 1/5 rating system does not have a zero score. Netjak gave the game 0.0, commenting that a preferable negative score was not given because the design of the site wouldn't let the reviewer do so.
Alex Navarro of GameSpot called it "broken", "terrible", "worst of the worst", and "atrocious", declaring that Big Rigs is "as bad as your mind will allow you to comprehend" and imploring of viewers, "Please do not play this game. We cannot stress this enough." Considering the game to be "blatantly unfinished in nearly every way", Navarro's video review consisted solely of footage from the game interspersed with scenes showing him staring in disbelief, crying, beating his head on a desk and finally exiting the building and lying down in the middle of an alley in disgust. In the Halloween video Frightfully Bad Games, Navarro stated, "This game received the lowest score in the history of GameSpot, a 1.0 (Abysmal). And by lowest, I mean it can't go any lower. We don't hand out zeros, but maybe we should have for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing." For the next nine years, Big Rigs remained the only game to have scored a 1.0 on GameSpot, until this score was shared with Ride to Hell: Retribution.
In GameSpot's "Best and Worst of 2004" awards, Big Rigs was given the "Flat-out Worst Game" award, despite the fact that the game was actually released in 2003. They said that they would use the "YOU'RE WINNER !" trophy as a symbol for the 'Flat-Out Worst Game' award from then on, but by 2005, a more generic logo was used. In 2009, the game was nominated for Worst Video Game of the Decade at the 2009 SAGY Awards by ScrewAttack. Actual sales figures for the game are unknown, although GameSpot has stated that "perhaps most disgusting of all is that this game actually sold copies. More copies, in fact, than more than half of our finalists in the Best Game No One Played category," the criteria for which is selling fewer than 20,000 copies of the game.
- Navarro, Alex (January 14, 2004). "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing for PC Review". GameSpot. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
- Navarro, Alex (January 14, 2004). "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing Reviews". Gamespot. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
Just how bad is Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing? It's as bad as your mind will allow you to comprehend. ... Not only is it almost completely broken and blatantly unfinished in nearly every way, but even if it weren't, there's so little of an actual game to be found here that it would still be terrible. Big Rigs is a game so astoundingly bad that it manages to transcend nearly every boundary put forth by some of gaming's absolute worst of the worst and easily makes it into that dubiously extraordinary category of being one of the most atrocious games ever published.
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- Satterfield, Shane (March 23, 2004). "Games You Should Never Buy". X-Play. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
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- "Flat-Out Worst Game". GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2004. GameSpot.
- "SAGY Awards 2009 Worst Game of the Decade Winner | ScrewAttack – Metal Gear Ben Finale LATER TODAY!". ScrewAttack. Retrieved May 14, 2010.