Rollcage: Stage 2 Review
The original Rollcage that was released last year, was dubbed by some as Wipeout on wheels. Though they were technically right, Psygnosis who published the first Rollcage used the same premise for RC and Wipeout. ATD (Attention to Detail) who developed the game was hailed for pulling off a great game, though others said that they need to "pay attention" to details. After a few months Psygnosis announced Rollcage Stage 2, I liked the first one and so my anticipation started pretty high. Months and months went by, and out of no where a rumor starts flying around about Midway picking up the rights to publish many of Psygnosis' games for 2000 and one of them being Rollcage Stage 2. A week later the rumor was confirmed at E3, that Psygnosis has given Midway the rights to publish nine of there titles for the 2000 year schedule and in fact Rollcage Stage 2 being one of them. Although Rollcage Stage 2 is not available at stores yet, we have the full review of the European version so you know what to expect.
I've tried and tried to find something wonderful about the visuals but it was a no go. The graphics just don't impress me as much, they aren't horrible but I don't see any stand out qualities to them. The cars are finely structured but they have no polish to them and the overall look is grain. Although on the other hand the are many eye candies to witness, that is a big plus. The racing courses feel repetitive and on the short side, but the level of detail put into them is pretty good. The visuals are more of the same, Rollcage and Stage 2 have pretty equal visuals, to me it seems as if not much was changed.
To start off, I will say that Stage 2 has tons of options and many modes. The game has 65 frigin' tracks to race on, with 5 different leagues to race in. All the cars have there individual stats just like any other racing game. The game's physics have been greatly improved, cars now handle more realistically and they now are easier to control. The game is obviously inspired by the Wipeout series, and ATD does a great job of showing that. The environments are very sci-fi looking and the action feels like a Wipeout game on wheels. My huge complaint about Rollcage Stage 2 is that the first line of cars that is given to you is incredibly slow, and even if they go 300 Km per hour, it feels like they are going 50 Km/h. There is no sense of speed at all, at least at the beginning of the game. A wide variety of control options is available for you, that is a pretty good thing. The gameplay is quite addictive, the weapons are 50% good and 50% boring. The racing may have been innovative at first but the second attempt just feels like Rollcage 1.5.
The sound is nothing too special, techno beats play throughout the whole game. There aren't any voices in the game, or at least I haven't heard of any. The Rollcage cars have great engine sounds, they roar as they zoom through the tracks. Overall good stuff in the sound department.
The control as I said before has a wide variety of options to choose from, 8 configurations, 4 for Digital and 4 for Analog. The dual shock is solid, when crashing into something, you feel the controller vibrate mindlessly almost making it feel as if it was an earthquake, well maybe not. The controls are quite good, they are much better than last years game and that is a fact.
Rollcage Stage 2 is a pretty worthy sequel, it still has its share of flaws, but they are too minor to affect the game tremendously. The visuals may sport somewhat grainy cars, but the graphics engine as far as I'm concerned is pretty good, and has little to no pop-up. The gameplay has received tons of tweaks, the controls mainly and now the game is more enjoyable than before. Rollcage Stage 2 is a definite buy for those who liked the first one, but it is a rental for those who are not too sure.