Pedal to the Metal! Post Apocalyptic Mayhem Review
Post Apocalyptic Mayhem is in simplest terms, racing in cars, with guns.Everything is happening in a Post-Apocalyptic setting, though what caused the downfall of humanity is as good a guess on my side as on yours. If you hoped for an in-depth story you are in for a disappointment. The same goes for thinking that you will have a chance to customize your car, or that there will be a few multiplayer game modes to pick from. Despite this, the game is still fun, enjoyable and light on the heart and mind. How? Ready on.
There is a single player and a Multiplayer. There is no clear difference between the two except the intelligence of your opponents (or lack of). In essence it’s all about racing, but more than being “first” in laps, it is about destroying your opponents in any way that your equipment allows you to. The controls are easy and intuitive. Every vehicle has “Nitro” (Limited, rechargeable Speed Boost) a “Forward”, “Sides” and “Rear” weapon. In order to use any of the weapons (except for the body of your car) you have to pick-up power-ups which are used up after one use and do not stack. There are five different “Power-ups”. One for each weapon type, your Nitro and then a random power-up. Once you pick-up a power-up for your weapon the appropriate icon will appear on your bottom right of the screen, meanwhile on your vehicle the appropriate colour coded “weapon” will lighten up giving you and your opponents knowledge of what you have prepared. Without the additional DLCs you have a solid choice of cars and five maps to pick from. The cars are a distinct part of the game so let’s focus on those.
You are on the highway to hell. This does not only mean that the roads will be in poor shape, the traffic is murder and there will be a lot of cursing on your fellow drivers. You yourself are a weapon of chaos. There is a decent choice of vehicles, each one with its strengths and its weaknesses. For example the “Nucleoid” is a heavily modified Smart which drops off small bombs from its rear, mini nukes from its sides or can cause a small explosion in its immediate “forward” proximity. The “Veteran” looks like a mix between some sort of military APC and a garbage truck. It in turn can drop off tank traps from its rear, fire off machine gun turrets on its sides… or impale thing with it’s two giant spikes. The “Space Cowboy” is an extremely fast car, which has highly useful weapons, including the deadly “Magnetic Bumper” as I call it which, when used and the car smashes into an opponent in front of him all the local debris sticks to the opponent until he explodes. There is a modified school bus (with a wide range of area weapons, molotovs and oil spills to be exact), a modified beetle (which has the sweetest unicorn drill on the market) and (among a few other) a car which looks as if Mister Freeze was driving it (and acts like it). Each car has its strengths and weaknesses. Some are faster, slower, bigger, seemingly tougher, and it all comes down to knowing more or less each car.
The maps are beautiful. I really enjoyed driving through them, and a lot of them are very spacious, while others, very claustrophobic. Despite the size of some of the cars handling is not at all difficult, and you will find that often you can use the walls and wrecks of buildings, planes or other cars to reach a short cut or to dodge, let’s say, a whole field of Icy glaciers which your opponent just threw your way. There are, sometimes, unfair elements of each map, where bigger cars will have a problem taking a quick turn, or managing a longer jump, but like mentioned, it comes down to knowing the map and the car. But even without this knowledge you are free to give a random combination a go and still get the hang of it.
Frustrations? Almost none. When your car is destroyed or falls down a pit you almost immediately rejoin the race with a short period of invulnerability. You never have the feeling your death or clumsiness ever affected your total performance. Of course, like with learning anything some things will not come up immediately, such as working out the physics of the game, when to use the Nitro, what will the enemy’s prepared weapon do, etc. All the cars are deadly and balanced. Although you might think the bigger cars are penalised by their size and partial clumsiness or speed they can easily outperform enemy cars, with their sheer size, and very often their choice of weapons. The price is also affordable, and if you do not want to use your keyboard the game is very well suited to be used with game pads. If you are looking for a way to relax with a few quick paced races, and never feel as if you lost this is the game for you. The DLC adds three more vehicle to your arsenal. Is it worth the buy? That depends purely on whether you wish to drive around in a police cruiser, ice cream truck or tow truck.
Alex “WriterX” Bielski
Pros: Nuclear Smarts
Cons: Might get boring after a while
Lacks any sort of realism
Game producer's website: Steel Monkeys
Official website: PAM (Post Apocalyptic Mayhem)
Game available at: