Previews

Crashday

A hi-octane racer that believes a car isn't a car until it's hurtling through the air in several thousand pieces

Despite the somewhat serious implications of real wrecked cars (we're talking serious injury to adverts for car insurance), the virtual smashing of vehicles has always been fun - a sentiment shared by the creator of Crashday, a hi-octane game that believes a car isn't a car until it's hurtling through the air in several thousand pieces.

Amazingly though, the origins of this sleek, adrenalin-fuelled racer came when its creators were proud owners of bumfluff beards - at a tender 13 years of age. "Back in 1997, Crashday started as a hobby project of my friend Jan Bodenstein and me," explains project leader Robert Clemens. "Our dream was to create a game that blends the classic stunts and its track editor, with the wrecking action of Carmageddon."

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In short, we're talking about some serious pubescent passion that went into developing the title - you can almost smell the inability to talk to pretty girls.

STUNTED GROWTH
"After a few years of development (without any budget) and lots of effort, we ended up with something that was good enough to start considering a commercial release. At that point we were really running out of resources, so in 2003 we joined forces with Hamburg game development studio Replay Studios to finish work on Crashday."

At this point, I think it's only fair we put into words what everybody is thinking: the huge half-pipes; the loop-the-loops; the physically improbable stunts; this is TrackMania isn't it?

"Well, both TrackMania and Crashday focus on easy accessibility and feature a track editor, but that's where similarities end," continues Clemens. "We try to avoid comparing Crashday too much to any other racing game since it's rather a new breed - a crazy mix of racing, speed and destruction that allows you to build your own mad courses. It's a blend of different action racing games: the casual gameplay and destructive fun of Burnout; the open terrain and wrecking action of Carmageddon; a track editor similar to TrackMania; and the game's Stunt mode, which is best compared to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, only with cars."

Despite the fact that Crashday is melding together so many different ideas from so many different games (what with a UT2004-on-wheels feel to vehicular deathmatch), it still feels different enough to warrant its own existence. With a huge amount of customisability, Crashday will at the very least be a huge pile of something, and our bet is that something won't be putrid faeces. And seeing as it's being made by two men who must have sacrificed no end of school discos to get it to us, that's nothing but a good thing.

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