Review by JPeeples

"Big Daddy wants YOU... to give him your vacation money.. Now that's not a GOOD thing, that's a BAD thing."

Rogue Trip was released in September of 1998 for the Sony PlayStation. It was developed by Singetrac (the developers of the critically-acclaimed Twisted Metal, and Twisted Metal 2 games) and was published by GT Interactive. Rogue trip uses a refined form of the Twisted Metal 2 game engine, this enables players of that game to feel right at home in Rogue Trip. Rogue Trip adds an interesting twist to the car combat genre; the addition of tourists. That’s right, tourists, you see, in Rogue Trip, you’ll have to pick up numerous tourists and take them to places where they want to go so they can snap photos, allowing this to happen will net you some cool cash. However, your opponents are after those tourists as well, so be sure to do whatever it takes to keep the one you have. Big Daddy, the game’s head bad-guy, is the reason behind all of this. He has made taking trips very expensive, so it’s up to you, the auto vigilante that you are, to take out a chunk of his profit and take the tourists out for a trip they’ll never forget. The money you get from the tourists can be used to purchase weapon upgrades, or to fix the damage done to your vehicle. Be sure to use your money wisely because the tourists can leave you high and dry, and without cash, if you’re not careful.

The gameplay is very tight. The Twisted Metal 2 game engine, widely regarded as the greatest car combat engine ever, is used to full effect in this game. The game engine runs the game engine runs smoothly. Gameplay nuisances such as flicker and slowdown are minimal, even when things get hectic. The game’s levels have many little nuances to them, no two levels feel the same, because of this, they all need to be played with their own, individual strategy. The game’s levels also have their own little secrets that experienced players can exploit to their advantage. For example, the numerous sniper spots in Daddywood that allow you to pick off foes at your leisure. The addition of tourists to the mix really helps to spice up the gameplay. These tourists are highly sought after, and your opponents are willing to kill in order to get them. The fanatical nature of your opponents really forces you to stay on your toes. If you want to achieve anything remotely resembling success in this game, you’ll have to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Namely balancing destroying your opponents with keeping your tourist happy. Because if you don’t you’ll either end up dead, or destitute.

The controls in Rogue Trip are rock solid. They are never jerky, and enable you to execute every maneuver in the game flawlessly on your first try. The button layout is virtually identical to that of the first two Twisted Metal games, so TM vets can just jump right in without having to worry about learning a totally new control scheme. If you aren’t used to the TM control scheme, or you feel that you can improve upon the existing one, you can, thanks to the game’s control configuration abilities. No matter how you prefer your car combat controls, you’ll be in for a blissful ride because they perform flawlessly without any delay between your button press, and the on-screen command.

The graphics in Rogue Trip are some of the best I’ve seen for this genre. The characters and levels are finely detailed. They are also bursting at the seams with personality. This game has everything from a demonic dominatrix, to an Elvis impersonator, with all sorts of weirdos and oddballs in-between. If you enjoyed the insane levels in Twisted Metal 2, then you’ll love the ones in this game. You’ll battle in places that may seem normal, like an airport, or Washington D.C., only to find out, when you dig deep into the level itself, that it holds many secrets for you to unlock for your amusement.

The sound in the game is as rock-solid as everything else. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ fast-paced rock music fits the game's high-octane gameplay perfectly. It gets you into the mood to play the game, and it really motivates you when your adrenaline starts pumping. Aside from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the game features numerous in-house songs. Most notably, a rap involving Big Daddy in the Washington D.C. level. This song really gives you a glimpse into the twisted mind of Big Daddy, and it helps to set a mood for the game. The sound effects in the game fit the action, and they really help emphasize the carnage on-screen.

All in all, Rogue Trip is one of the most fun car combat games ever. Singletrac made the most out of their experience with the Twisted Metal series, and their efforts showed off in the final product. The game is full of personality as well as rock-solid gameplay, control, graphics, and sound to top off the total package of automobile carnage.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/05/02, Updated 02/05/02

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