Rollcage (video game)
- A roll cage is also an automotive component.
PlayStation cover art of Rollcage
|Developer(s)||Attention To Detail|
|Release date(s)||March 24, 1999|
Rollcage is an arcade-style racing game for Windows and PlayStation from 1999. It was developed by Attention to Detail, and published by Psygnosis. The game received positive reviews and ratings on release. A sequel, Rollcage Stage II, was released in 2000 for PlayStation and Windows.
The vehicles in Rollcage are all double sided and can be driven on either side, as well as along walls and ceilings if they're driven fast enough. There are numerous scenery objects and buildings placed throughout the tracks that can be destroyed, either by shooting at them with the weapons you acquire or by driving through them. The explosion caused by the destruction of buildings can be used to both give your vehicle a boost and to hinder your opponents.
The gameplay modes available to choose from are: League, Arcade, Time Attack and Multiplayer, wherein League acts as the main single player component of the game and features successive tournaments, with each tournament being unlocked after successfully finishing in first place in the one before it. When the League mode is completed on Easy difficulty, a Hard difficulty option and a seventh mysterious opponent are unlocked. Completing League again on Hard difficulty unlocks a final difficulty option called Expert and the seventh driver's car for use by the players themselves.
The PlayStation version of Rollcage lacks the Arcade mode. This inadvertently locks the player out of single player gameplay with computer-controlled opponents on the remaining five tracks that aren't included in League mode, as those tracks can only be selected in the Time Attack and Multiplayer modes.
Rollcage supports splitscreen multiplayer up to 4 players and networked multiplayer over LAN or internet up to 6 players.
Another mode called Deathmatch is exclusively available in multiplayer. When selected, the players are dropped in one of the four available arenas and are tasked with shooting one another with the only weapon available: the Driller Rocket. The first player to score 15 hits, wins the match.
There are four main Worlds in Rollcage, each with their own subset of tracks properly themed according to the World they belong to.
- Neoto City is largely based on a city in Japan. This can be seen especially in the logo, as it is in the shape of Japan's national flag.
- Harpoon Islands are a series of tracks on a group of tropical islands.
- Saphire Springs is an icy and snowy place.
- Outworld is a mining colony on Mars.
There are many weapons in the game, which can be picked up by driving over floating icons placed throughout the tracks. The player can carry two at a time and they can both be fired individually of one another.
- Driller Rocket, a set of three missiles that fly straight ahead and around a central axis, forming the shape of a drill. Literally capable of 'drilling' through multiple opponents until it hits a wall.
- Time Warp, a powerup that temporarily slows down all opponents. If a different driver activates a Time Warp while one is already active, the effects cancel each other out.
- Wormhole, a weapon with weak homing capability that shoots forwards and sticks with the vehicle in front the player for a couple of seconds. If the opponent cannot get rid of the Wormhole in time, which can be accomplished by flipping their car upside-down, that opponent is teleported directly behind the player.
- Leader Missile, a strong missile that targets whoever is in first place. It can easily navigate entire tracks and is nearly impossible to avoid, but it can be countered with a well-timed Driller Rocket or a Shield.
- Mini Rocket, a short-distance Rocket that can be used to either shoot down buildings or opponents directly in front of the player.
- Ice Sheet, a weapon that continually freezes a small section of the track relative to the player's vehicle for a couple of seconds, causing opponents on that section of the track to slip and lose control of their cars.
- Turbo, gives the player's vehicle a speed boost when used. If both weapon slots are occupied by the Turbo power-up, the player may choose to use both at the same time for increased effect.
- Shield, encases the player's vehicle in a transparent shield, increasing both its ability to withstand weapon fire and its stability in collisions with others cars.
The PlayStation version of Rollcage features licensed music from Fatboy Slim, E-Z Rollers, Pressure Rise, Aphrodite, Ashley Beedle, Des Tong, Hoax, Les Rosbifs, Ratman, Danmass, Ed Rush & Nico, Pascal and Freestyles. Psygnosis released a limited edition 2-disc version of Rollcage, which included a CD soundtrack featuring 12 uncut versions of the licensed tracks from the game alongside the regular game disc. In addition, the PlayStation game is an Audio Accessible disc, which allows the included 15 audio tracks to be played back with normal CD Audio Players.
Audio track #7 of the PlayStation games feature different songs between regions. PAL copies of Rollcage have "Des Tong - Organised" and NTSC copies of Rollcage have "Aphrodite - Spice". Thus the PlayStation version of Rollcage can be considered to actually have 16 official audio tracks.
The Windows version of Rollcage has an original soundtrack composed by Martin Sommerville. One exception to this is "Des Tong - Organised", which makes an appearance as audio track #6.
Rollcage was developed by Attention to Detail, and published by Psygnosis. The Windows version was released in the UK on March 24, 1999. The game's selling point was its unique physics engine, in which cars could drive on walls or ceilings due to the airflow passing over them at extreme speeds. The game also featured an original soundtrack by Fatboy Slim and also featured the song "Love Island" from the album You've Come A Long Way, Baby.
A sequel named Rollcage Stage II was released in 2000 for Windows and PlayStation. The game Firebugs can also be considered a continuation of the Rollcage concept, as it features similar driving mechanics.
In 2015, a group of developers called Caged Element launched a Kickstarter campaign for Grip, a spiritual successor for the Rollcage series. A prototype was completed before the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign using Unreal Engine 4. The development staff has two people who worked on the Rollcage series and the soundtrack has artists Technical Itch and Dom & Roland who were on the soundtrack for Rollcage Stage II.
After the end of support by the developers and publishers a former Attention To Detail developer who previously worked on the Rollcage games, Rob Barker, released in 2014 updated builds of the game's Windows version. These builds, based on the original source code, fix longstanding bugs and update the game for use on modern operating systems.
- Joe Fielder, Rollcage Review, April 6, 1999, GameSpot
- Douglass Perry, Rollcage, March 25, 1999, IGN
- Stephen Butts, Rollcage - PC Review at IGN, April 13, 1999, IGN