I like driving games a lot, and so when Babbage's called me for my reserved copy of Road Rash I was there in no time.
Road Rash has 2 games, a simple Outrun-like series of levels, and a "Big Game" where you can buy new bikes with your earnings.
The video is ok. There are several sequences when you start a race, win, lose, are busted or destroy your bike. Quality looks good, but the video is washed out, like the lighting in a sleazy 70's biker movie. The background noise for the game is some pretty noisy alternative bands that I do not really like, but it fits the game so well I can get into it.
Gameplay is WONDERFUL. The races fly at 30fps, scenery changes are continuous, and the game as a perfect feel. The bikes definitely handle differently, and one is downright sluggish. My only concern is that you cannot change the control settings. You use the B button for accelerate, and the C. The shift buttons are reserved for leaning left and right, which I rarely need to do in a game. Right C should have been fight, or it needs to be selectable to beat up on people.
This is a game where you can come up over a rise, fly up in the air while bashing another bike. You can win a race while running over the crowd of pedestrians gathered around the finish line. Another thing that is unusual for Road Rash is that hitting an object does not automatically make you crash. Instead you can wing objects and skid. The better bikes seem to be less tendancy to crash.
Surround Sound support is great. You get the doppler of bikes coming up behind you, especially the cop cycles.
One of the other kinda cool touches is that if you leave the game alone for a minute, it will begin playing music videos of the bands whose music adorn the game. It gives the game a feel like it was programmed on MTV. The graphics help a lot.
Summary: EA took a great racing game design, and added the details that make a 3D0 game. Rating 8/10.