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Renegade Racers

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Promethean Designs
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 8
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

Renegade Racers' graphics are absolutely STUNNING. This may very well be one of the most visually engaging 'wacky racing' games of all time, boasting incredibly detailed character & boat models, amazing reflective surfaces, and lush track environments complete with mist, transparent water textures and fog layers. Although the character-specific cutscenes look a bit grainy and unpolished, half of this game's appeal lies in the eye candy, hands down.

The sound effects accentuate the game perfectly as well, with each colorful character spouting his/her own brand of insults and hoots of victory, and the lively music adds a welcome sense of festivity to the competition. Oddly enough, though, the designers didn't set the in-game music to loop after it's done playing the first time through (so that on the longer levels the music totally cuts off around the 2-3 minute mark), which ends up making things seem a tad less professional than most likely desired. Perhaps a future patch addressing this feature (among others) could be in order...?


In terms of innovative gameplay, this title truly stands out in the jumbled mass of wacky racers available these days. In addition to the standard Battle Race mode (single player vs. computer-controlled opponents in a straight race with weapons & items), Renegade Racers offers clever race variations like Smash & Grab, Air Time, Drop Zone, Treasure Hunt, and Check Point Challenge, all of which heavily strengthen replay value. The controls are smooth and simple, the differing abilities of each boat are a nice touch, and the creative array of special items & weapons scattered along each track really gets the action going.


RR offers three levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Easy mode has 32 levels, Medium's got 40, and Hard contains 48 levels of zany fun. Surprisingly, the passing requirements for several of these levels prove to be quite formidable -- even the first track on Medium difficulty may see seasoned racers hitting 'Play Again' half a dozen times before clearing it. But, the challenge has to exist somewhere, eh? Also, the player is rewarded for completing the game on Hard mode with the revelation of a secret character, as well as the inviolable pride of having completed a wacky racing game on its toughest level.

Game Mechanics:

Technically, this is one of the most skillfully designed racers on the market today. The computer AI is fairly impressive, and the implementation of extra in-game creatures & features really makes this game stand above the rest. Despite its few shortcomings (especially the VERY noticeable slowdown in 2-player split screen mode), Renegade Racers could easily become the Super Mario Kart of a new generation -- although we probably won't see this game's popularity shoot so high. Still, with decent replay value and plenty of entertaining race modes, RR's got the substance to make a sizeable splash on your PC today.

-Ben Monkey, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ben Lewis

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium II 266, 64 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, 150 MB HD space, Windows 95/98 or higher, DirectX certified video and sound card

Test System:

Pentium II 350, 128 MB RAM, 52X CD-ROM drive, Windows 98 Second Edition, Viper 770 Ultra (32 MB Riva TNT2 Ultra video card), SoundBlaster Live! Platinum

Windows Quake III Arena Windows Soldier of Fortune

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated