Review by Odworth?

Reviewed: 08/22/05

So bad that it's good... well, not really.

Chances are, you’ve come into this review for quite a different reason than you would enter any other review. Most likely, you didn’t feel the need to read the opinion of another person to determine if this game warrants a purchase. If you’re the kind of person that would want to buy Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing after hearing just about anything about it, I doubt that any review in the world could sway your opinion. Rather, you came into this review to find out just how bad the game is.

Admit it.

If that’s so, then you might be satisfied, or you might be disappointed. It all depends on how bad you thought the game was. While it’s true that the game is severely lacking in some (read: most) areas, it is not, as some gamers would put it, “WORST. GAME. EVAR.” material. It’s not the kind of game that will actually shorten your life for having played it. No, far too many games fit the bill better. Drake of the 99 Dragons. Fight for Life. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.

But don’t take my words the wrong way. Big Rigs is still a terrible game, a fact that becomes apparent soon after you start playing. A glance at the back of the box seemingly informs you about the game’s premise, as well as brings you up to date on your Trucker lingo. According to the description, you are a Big Rig driver whose objective is to haul cargo (ILLEGAL cargo, no less) through checkpoints spread across various locations. But it’s not that easy, as you’ll have to deal with cops, enemy Rigs, and The Ultimate Traffic Stopper: A Police Roadblock, which is so menacing that it must be typed with capitals.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?” Well, take into account that almost every single statement on the back of the box is a freaking LIE.

There is no cargo, illegal or otherwise. There are no cops on any of the courses, despite the box art depicting a Rig and a cop car meeting in some sort of climactic clash. For the love of goodness, they even left out The Ultimate Traffic Stopper: A Police Roadblock! To tell the truth, just about the only thing the box doesn’t lie about is the fact that this game is a racing game… and even that came so close to being a lie that it’s not even funny.

One of the essential parts of a racing game is the… well, racing part, the attempt to get from point A to point B faster than your opponents can. Big Rigs, if you can believe it, got this basic fact wrong, which makes me wonder if calling this game a racing game isn’t slightly stretching it. Your opponents, the enemy rigs, NEVER MOVE. Just so you can get the full effect of that statement, I’ll say it again. Your opponents, the enemy rigs, NEVER MOVE. At the start of every “race,” they just sit there at the starting line, NOT MOVING.

If that fact came like a slap in the face, this one will have you reeling. Every single obstacle in the course, be it a lamp post, rock, or house, is about as solid as melted butter. Your Rig will PASS THROUGH every single freaking object on the course. That is correct, it will go straight through everything as if it wasn’t even there. Don’t feel like sticking to the pre-determined path? Well, you can simply pass through a fence, barrel through a whole row of houses, and reemerge on the other side unscathed.

Not to mention that your Rig itself handles like… well, it’s kind of hard to make a comparison, because your Rig doesn’t really handle like anything on this planet. Everything starts out fine when you start moving forward, but when it comes time to turn, that’s when everything goes all wrong. Your Big Rig can stop and turn on a dime, and I mean on a dime. As in, if you laid a dime on the ground and had one of these Rigs come roaring at it full speed, and the breaks were jammed the moment its front wheel touched the dime, it would still be on that dime when it came to a full stop. But it gets even better if you for some reason feel like backing up. Your Rig will keep accelerating to unlimited speeds… in reverse.

However, the gameplay does have one redeeming quality, and it may seem insignificant compared to everything else I just mentioned here, but it’s the only thing that keeps me from a trip to the used games store to try and sell this thing.

It makes me laugh.

It may sound corny, but when I started my first race and came to the realization that my opponents were, in fact, MOTIONLESS, instead of crying out in rage, I burst out in laughter. The tears of mirth kept flowing as I passed through every object I came across. When I drove up a mountain and was launched off of the level into the infinite “gray void,” I could hardly breathe. And when I finished a race, and was greeted with a "YOU'RE WINNER" screen, complete with a trophy, that was it for me. No other game in the market is as unintentionally funny as Big Rigs, I’ll tell you that.

The visuals aren’t that good, but the visuals are to the rest of the game as Virtua Tennis is to Pong. The stages themselves look nice and colorful, but somehow the scenery loses some of its appeal when you’ve passed through it a couple of times. Much less can be said for the Rigs themselves. They appear a bit too blocky for my liking. The game contains some rather impressive instances of lighting effects, though. Note that I said “instances.” You’ll seldom see the game utilize the lighting effects I’m talking about throughout the stages, which is a shame.

The sound is mediocre, especially when speaking in terms of the music. It’s not just the music itself, but also the fact that it loops so frequently and ever so endlessly. The sound effects themselves are okay. The sound of the Rig accelerating is especially nice, the low rumble of the engine seems almost real.

Despite the almost-average graphics and sound, Big Rigs cannot save itself from its horrendous gameplay. It has earned, and deserves, a reputation as a bad game, in every sense of the word. It is broken in almost every way, and the few areas it doesn’t completely fail in could use some serious improvement. There really isn’t anything else to say: stay away from Big Rigs.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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