European cover art
June 13, 1997 (Sweden)
June 20, 1997 (EU)
June 30, 1997 (US)
Windows, Mac OS
October 8, 1999 (EU)
December 5, 1999 (EU)
Game Boy Color
October 17, 2012
May 10, 2013
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Carmageddon is a graphically violent vehicular combat 1997 PC video game. It was later ported to other platforms, and spawned a series of follow-up titles. It was inspired by the 1975 cult classic movie Death Race 2000. The game was produced by Stainless Games, published by Interplay and SCi.
In Carmageddon, the player races a vehicle against a number of other computer controlled competitors in various settings, including city, mine and industrial areas. The player has a certain amount of time to complete each race, but more time may be gained by collecting bonuses, damaging the competitors' cars, or by running over pedestrians. Races are completed by either completing the course as one would a normal racing game, "wasting" (wrecking) all other race cars, or killing all pedestrians on the level.
The game featured instrumental versions of songs from Fear Factory's album Demanufacture, with the song "Zero Signal" being used in the game's intro. The other songs from the album that appear are Demanufacture and Body Hammer.
The game that became Carmageddon started out as "3D Destruction Derby", a banger racing sim prototyped by Stainless Software. This was signed by SCi in 1995, but the banger-racing angle was soon dropped and for a while the game was to use the Mad Max license. This fell through, and was replaced by the Death Race 2000 license, as a sequel to the original film was at that time planned (it eventually emerged as a comic book). This introduced the running-over of pedestrians into the game. When this license also fell through, SCi and Stainless took the decision to proceed with the game anyway, creating their own IP. The name "Carmageddon" was coined, and development proceeded with the designers allowed unusually free rein with regard to the content of the game.
Carmageddon was originally released for DOS in 1997, and was eventually ported to Microsoft Windows (1997), Macintosh (1997), PlayStation (1999), Nintendo 64 (2000) and Game Boy Color (2000). The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions of Carmageddon are more similar to Carmageddon II. The Nintendo 64 port was ill-received, being N64 Magazine's lowest rated game at 8% from 1999 till 2004. A port of the first game was in development for the Gizmondo, but was never released due to the system's demise. Carmageddon was released for iOS in October 2012 and for Android devices in May 2013.
Reception and sales
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According to the co-founders of Stainless Games, the Carmageddon series sold around two million copies in total.
In many countries (including Germany and, for a short time, the UK), the first release of the game was censored. They contained zombies with green blood or robots with black oil instead of people, as running over the non-human figures was considered more acceptable by their respective ratings boards. In the UK, the BBFC refused to certify the game unless all blood and gore was removed. After 10 months of appeal, the BBFC certified the original version. In some countries, the game was banned completely, including Brazil. In Portugal and Australia the game was passed completely uncut with an +18 and MA15+ rating, respectively.
The Carmageddon Splat Pack is an official expansion pack released in 1997. The expansion pack included new tracks, vehicles, environments, network levels and 3Dfx support. The Carmageddon Max Pack, also released in 1997, bundled the original game and its expansion pack into one package. As a bonus, it also included a strategy guide, mousepad, and a leather car key chain with Carmageddon's logo on it.
The game was successful enough to become a series. The other games in the main series are:
SCi had originally planned Carmageddon 4 for a late 2005 release. Little to no information was released about the game, then SCi (at the time owned by Eidos) put development on hold for unspecified reasons. SCi and Eidos went on to focus on other projects, while Square Enix Europe obtained the series IP rights.
By 2011 Stainless Games (the original developers) had obtained the rights to Carmageddon; Stainless are now developing "Carmageddon 4" under the name Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Backed by a Kickstarter campaign, the game was in public beta stage, scheduled for final release in April 2015. However, it was released on May 21, 2015 afterwards.
Carmageddon and its expansion Splat Pack were released on GOG.com on 27 September 2012 for modern operating systems, likely in conjunction with the 29–30 September closure of Interstate 405. In addition, a port of the game for Apple's mobile devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad) was released on 17 October 2012. A port for Android-based devices was released on 10 May 2013.
A reboot of the series, Carmageddon: Reincarnation was developed by Stainless Games, who re-acquired the rights to the Carmageddon name, releasing in May 2015. The game is a downloadable or digitally distributed game for Microsoft Windows.
In July 2011, the City of Los Angeles launched a massive media campaign under the title "Carmageddon" to warn drivers about a major closure on the 405 Freeway during the weekend of July 15–17. Stainless Games capitalized on the coincidence to promote the new release by announcing on the official web site during that time that "L.A. Celebrates Carmageddon" and "Yes, it’s official! The news that Carmageddon is back has been such a hit in California, that the authorities have decided to dedicate a whole weekend to the game!"
On September 26, 2013 it was announced that the PC version on Steam would be released in Q1 2014. On March 27, 2014 the first 'pre-alpha' release was available as an Early Access version on Steam. The first beta version was released on February 14, 2015, and on March 18, 2015 it was announced the game would be released on April 23, 2015 via Carmageddon's YouTube channel. The release date was later delayed to May 21, 2015.
- Roadwar 2000
- Interstate '76
- Interstate '82
- Death Race 2000
- Death Race (video game)
- Video game controversy
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