“ Manufacturer: Stellar Stone / Genre: Racing / Release Date: 2003 „
"Big Rigs Over The Road Racing" is a racing video game. It was first released in 2003 as a PC CD-ROM title by GameMill Publishing. In the United States, the game received an age guidance rating of "E" which deemed it suitable for all ages. The system requirements to run the game are minimal but include:
System: PIII 1GHz or equivalent
RAM: 64 MB
Video Memory: 32 MB
Hard Drive Space: 300 MB
In terms of the racing genre there is almost always fairly consistent requirements. Most games require the player to navigate through a select track while avoiding obstacles in aims of completing the course in the shortest period of time. Big Rigs has these factors present, yes, but any notions of a race course are thrown out the window. I also noticed no damage or loss of speed recorded when plunging through the terrain or buildings; all aspects of the truck remain impervious to damage and real-world physics. The only true to life aspect I could find in relation to physics was the game's poorly designed bridges. Here, players simply fall through the surface and plummet into an infinite grey void which requires the player to exit the game in order to make another attempt at playing.
Big Rigs offers the player five race courses but only four are playable. Every time I attempted to select the "Nightride" course my game would crash and force an exit. Another bug I found present was that I was able to execute a three point turn through the starting point. This results in the race restarting from the beginning. I suppose this could be useful when in a difficult situation but as I can mindlessly rocket through hills and the local shops there's no challenging element to the game.
The graphics of this game could described as average for a three dimensional presentation. At the bottom right of the screen rests a large speedometre which occupies a large portion of the screen. This can often be blinding at times; often making me miss turns which are hidden behind the large decal. While this aspect doesn't necessarily matter due to the fully glitched gameplay experience, I did find it somewhat annoying when attempting to play with some level of integrity and honesty. The imagery is otherwise acceptable with a decent design of the front cab of a truck, and a good race course presentation based on seemingly generic urban locations. Surprisingly, Big Rigs does not include any sound effects. There are no roars of the engine or other noises typical of a racing game. Instead developers opted to insert looping techno music which is often short and becomes very repetitive throughout play.
Overall, Big Rigs is not a game I would recommend to prospective buyers under any circumstances. I can't quite remember how I came across this title but upon reflection I sincerely hope it was found while rummaging through a bargain bin. This seems to be something which would be appropriate for alpha testing as opposed to a final product, and the lack of any true gaming features is testament to its testing procedures.
I feel that it is my duty to share with you all my experiences with this title and can confidently that this is without doubt the worst game ever made. With metacritic giving this game a score of 8%, it is important to note that the only scores other than 0 that this game received were submitted by review sites that did not use 0 and as such the highest rating given was 1. The game was reportedly developed in the Ukraine for less than $30,000 and put together in just a few months. And you know what? It really, really shows.
The box of this game shows an 18 wheeler truck ramming a police car and the back of the box promises me that I will be able to race across the country (US presumably) delivering illegal cargo and racing against the police. So not the best concept for a game but it was a budget title and racing a huge truck against the police has the potential to be fun, right?
Well unfortunately I wouldn't know, the game simply contains no police and technically it doesn't really contain any racing. So what does it contain? Unfortunately the game is just five levels long, I say 5 but one isn't really a level, more something that if you select simply crashes your pc. That's right 20% of the levels are unplayable! But when you play the four levels which don't crash your system you kind of stop caring. One of the remaining four levels is simply a duplicate track thus cutting the actual number of levels down to three. A three level racing game against the police but without the police. Already it sounds pretty bad and I haven't even spoken a word about gameplay yet.
If you do decide to play this game please be aware that the loading times for the working levels are inexplicably long and just bar with it. So eventually the game loads and for some reason I'm about to race against a rival truck (I was promised a police chase but ok), the lights turn green and were off. The first thing that strikes me is the fact that my truck sounds like a washing machine as it speeds up, definitely nothing like a truck. Also the handling of the vehicle is horrendous, luckily though this really doesn't matter and for a whole number of reasons. Firstly any objects in this world other than the floor appear to be made of some exotic form of matter which simply doesn't interact with my truck. This means I can simply drive straight through houses and trees without fear of injury or even loss of speed, unfortunately this also applies to any bridges in the game making it impossible to cross valleys and rivers. Or so you would think, but this truck is not worried about cliffs it can simply drive up a 90 degree incline with no loss of speed or any negative effects on its already atrocious handling. Physics in this world just don't work the same, which is a shame as it takes any challenge out of the game.
It is also possible to drive outside the map into a grey void where you can spin the truck around, this is fun but soon becomes boring, luckily when you do get bored you can simply just drive back into the map and continue. Did I mention the awesome capabilities of the truck? As well as being unaffected by all objects and inclines it is also capable of doing infinite speed, albeit only when doing a perfect reversing donut, and after travelling at 800mph in reverse can simply come to a complete and instantaneous stop.
So as I have already stated this game really isn't challenging but what's more it is impossible to lose a race. I have left my truck stationary for around 20 minutes before driving to the finish line expecting to loose, however upon arrival my opponent appears to have broken down just short of the finish line. This happens every time and thus this game would be great for anyone with low self esteem as it is impossible not to win a gold trophy and the slogan "YOU'RE WINNER !". After getting the 10 minutes (if I'm being generous and accounting for time spent messing about) gameplay out of this and attempting to exit the game you will be simply returned to the games menu screen, luckily pushing "ctrl alt delete" or "alt f4" will close the game.
This game was so bad that an exchange was offered to anyone who had bought it allowing them to swap the game for any other in the Activision Value range. Many review sites have reviewed this as the worst and lowest scoring game of all time. I have to agree. It barely works and is bugged beyond belief. Unfortunately the game has gained somewhat of a cult following but if I were you I really would just stay away from this one.
There have been some terrible computer games released over the years. In the 1982 Atari 2600 game ET- The Extra-Terrestrial was so bad that retailers couldn't even give it away, with Atari finally resorting to thousands of copies in a desert in New Mexico. Then there's 1994's Shaq Fu, a poorly conceived beat-em up endorsed by NBA player Shaquille O'Neal, which prompted the creation of Shaqfu.com, a site dedicating to destroying every last copy of the game in existence.
Then, in 2003, came the release of Big Rigs- Over The Road Racing. Had the game been halfway to being completed at the time of its release it would have been at best dull and mediocre, but as it stands the game is beyond abominable. You can race one of several truck cabs around a handful of small and bland racetracks, although one of the levels simply crashes when you try to play it and you have to download a patch just to make your opponent truck actually move. Even then, he will pause just before the finish line, meaning that the races are completely impossible to lose. In any case the game would still be practically unplayable however, as you can drive your truck up 90 degree inclines without losing speed, and also drive through houses and bridges as if they weren't there: your cab just clings to the valley floor whenever you try to cross a bridge and sails through other obstacles like a ghost. On top of this you can reverse in perfect circles whilst accelerating indefinitely, up to warp speed levels if you like, and messing about with this bug is actually the most entertaining part of the game.
The 3d-accelerated graphics are pleasant if uninspired and unfinished, but the gameplay is nonexistent, and its blatantly obvious that the game's Ukrainian programmers never actually bothered to play it. Even the menu systems are full of bugs: you can alter the graphics settings but they never actually change whatever you select; there's a high score table but you can't enter any name other than Driver1; even the button to return to Windows just takes you back to the Main Menu again. Best of all however is the congratulatory message you receive when you 'win' a race: an image of big gold trophy accompanied by the legend "YOU'RE WINNER" (sic).
Put simply, Big Rigs is an abomination of a game that should never have seen the light of day, and its only entertainment value comes from being so hilariously bad. Avoid.