Last year, the crude and, at one time, controversial Carmageddon series made a long-awaited comeback in the form of the aptly named Carmageddon Reincarnation. Released as a Steam Early Access build following an astronomically successful Kickstarter campaign, it's fair to say history didn't repeat itself however, as the once notorious pedestrian splattering simulator didn't gain the same traction it did back in 1997 to rile the tabloids and cause moral panic.
Some may argue it was because the Carmageddon series is no longer relevant. After-all, in 2015 the over exaggerated violence depicted is more comical than it is controversial now. But in all honesty, the Steam Early Access build didn't do the series much justice. On show was clearly a very early, unfinished build of the game that was woefully unoptimised and struggledg to run smoothly even on powerful PCs. This isn't unheard of with alpha builds, but it was also plagued with ugly unfinished textures, confusing track designs and erratic car handling. We were hoping to bring you some coverage at the time, but the game was practically unplayable at the time. Suffice to say, a lack of updates meant it ran under most people's radars.
It wasn't all bad, though. Yes, the game was clearly in dire need of some spit and polish, but it was refreshing to embark in some riotous racing that didn't take itself too seriously in the midst of po-faced racing simulations. The advanced damage modelling system also showed potential.
Now, though, Stainless Games appear to be gearing up to relaunch Carmageddon Reincarnation with the announcement of a public beta landing on Valentines Day. For the sulky singletons out there who disassociate themselves with Valentines Day, that's February 14th.
Unlike the Steam Early Access version, the public beta is a lot more feature-packed, and more representative of the fully fledged game. While you could only play the Classic Carmageddon mode in the Steam Early Access mode, the public beta packs in a full career mode, freeplay and multiplayer, plus leaderboards, achievements and a full car and track roster.
You can get a taste of the sort of wanton destruction you can expect from Carmageddon Reincarnation in the tongue-in-cheek announcement trailer:
Current owners of the Steam Early Access build will be automatically upgraded to the public beta. Stainless Games are also still bundling all previous games in the series (i.e. the original Carmageddon including the Max Pack and Splat Pack, Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now, and Carmageddon TDR 2000 free of charge if you buy Carmageddon Reincarnation on Steam.
Buckle up: it's going to be a very violent Valentines day. Let's just hope it arrives in a more playable state this time.
Who's looking forward to ploughing into pedestrians and smashing opponents into smithereens in some multiplayer mayhem?