The year is 2020. After an environmental holocaust of devastating proportions, the population hovers slightly above the zero mark. The rich have fled underground, where they have formed corporate enclaves. Above ground, the desolate cities and desert wastelands are inhabited by a feral population of freaks and survivors. With 98% of the population dead there's a lot of cars around just waiting to get driven into the ground. The ferals started the Powersliding competition, the corporates banned it. It's dangerous, it's illegal, it kicks butt.
Powerslide is the off-road racing game that makes its own damn track. Through the punishing post-apocalyptic terrain and abandoned, ghostly cityscapes, brutal alpine tracks and icy roadways. You’ll be torching the tundra. Scorching the Savannah. Leaping over canyons. Surfing mud-slides and braving perilous urban and outdoor environments. You’ll be feeding the off-road speed demon within.
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: EVERYONE
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2012-10-02 06:55:52 byShaneus:
I remember having this game back when it first came out (don't ask me when) as it was lauded as having graphics far surpassing the hardware it was running on. But I found underneath all the prettiness (those claims weren't unwarranted, mind you... the game could run at 60fps on even the lowliest machine, provided you had a 3D card) was an incredibly fun racing game with a physics/drivingread more model that was rarely harsh but always fun to wrestle with.
I'm yet to play it on GOG, but the fact that I've been trying to get it working with my original CD copy for the last few years on Windows XP/7 is a testament to how good it is (and I did kind of get it working, albeit with some nasty texture issues) and I'm sure I won't be let down today.
You'd be foolish not to buy this gem that apparently had some serious distribution issues in the US but was praised everywhere that you could actually get a copy.
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Posted on 2012-10-02 08:33:39 byShadowcat:
"Powerslide" was Ratbag's stunning debut title. It features the most imaginative tracks and the least amount of friction I've ever encountered in a racing game.
I'll get the latter point out of the way first: if you're looking for a realistic simulation, this is not the game for you*. As consistent and detailed as Powerslide's physics are, the experience would only bears any relationshipread more to driving in reality if you were in the habit of hitting the ice at high speed, or perhaps liked to hurl your car around a skid pad on bald tires.
Once you get over the mild shock of that lack of friction, however, you are in for an absolute blast, because Powerslide features glorious tracks, tremendous freedom in how you drive them, and genuinely challenging A.I. drivers who can make every single race a nail-biter. As I recall, Ratbag developed and employed genetic algorithms in order to evolve drivers with individual traits as well as the ability to drive the tracks well. Many of the game's features were pretty revolutionary at the time, and not often emulated after, which I think is why the game has held up so well over the years, and why it remains one of my favourite racing games of all time.
The tracks are an immediate attention-grabber: racing up the wall of a dam; leaping into mine tunnels; icy roads; spiraling up an abandoned parking building; even a stunt track to play around in. These are not your everyday race tracks (well, perhaps aside from that one oval :). Nor are you confined to narrow regions with invisible walls; you actually have a great deal of freedom to drive where you want -- admittedly, doing so might not win you the race, but you might establish the occasional short-cut, and you might just find some of the cheat power-ups hidden throughout the levels (which allow you to introduce some fairly hilarious effects into the game). The "Make your own damn track" tag line may be slight hyperbole, however this level of freedom was more or less unheard of in its day.
Really, about the only bad things I can point to in this game is the strangely angular car tires (which always stood out in an what was otherwise something of a graphical powerhouse), and the lack of a sequel ("Powerslide Slipstream" was in development at one point, but much to my dismay it never eventuated, and Ratbag folded.)
Ratbag are probably better-known for the numerous "Dirt Track Racing" simulations they produced after Powerslide, and those are certainly the way to go if it's a serious dirt-track sim that you're after; but if you want an outlandish racing game that plays like nothing else out there, then buy a copy of Powerslide, and come visit the apocalyptic future of racing! It's gripping stuff (even if the tires don't).
(*) Ratbag's own "Dirt Track Racing" series would probably go down a treat.
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Posted on 2012-10-02 08:05:11 bysjleis:
Powerslide provides challenging racing on a wide variety of tracks, most of which have a lot of open space allowing exploration and a few shortcuts. There's even a stunt arena to play around in without actually racing, and the game takes advantage of force-feedback controllers.
It's a pity the development studio was shut down, though their other games were all (IMO) inferior to Powerslide.
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