Carmageddon: Max Damage – Review
Follow Genre: Vehicular combat, Racing
Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Stainless Games, Sold Out
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Carmageddon: Max Damage – Review

Site Score
Good: Good old fashioned fun, Simple concept
Bad: Dodgy controls at times
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.6/10 (5 votes cast)

After years of silence, Carmageddon once again became relevant in 2015 with their latest iteration of the franchise. Old school fun, with updated graphics and mechanics proved to be the formula of Carmageddon: Reincarnation, even though the game initially had a rough start. After numerous updates, graphically and otherwise, things were slowly molded into a very fun and authentic experience which now made its way onto our current generation of consoles. Before we knew it, we were racking in ‘splatter’ bonuses, wrecking our opponents and running over old grandmas at street corners. Be sure to install some proper windshield wipers, you’re going to need them.

Carmageddon Max Damage


Even though there is no actual story to be found in the game, Carmageddon’s strong suit has always been its sense of humor and creating an unrealistic yet gory experience. Things have remained pretty much the same as in Reincarnation, as there is no extra story value added to the equation. Just pick a car, drive, run over people, pick up funny power-ups and explore the different maps and you’ll end up finding a lot of funny happenings.


You will not be blown away by the graphical prowess of Carmageddon: Max Damage, but things look quite spiffy compared to the earlier PC builds. The cars were probably prioritized, as they look smooth and rather realistic considering their wacky constructions. The maps themselves are filled with hundreds of different victims for you to run over, ranging from scarcely dressed ladies of pleasure, wheelchair patients to cows in hazmat suits and the local rugby team trying to bring home a trophy. While these poor bystanders don’t look like anything from our current gen the hybrid between a realistic and a comical appearance works perfectly for this game.

The only setback in the graphical department is the emptiness of the maps. Even though these maps have a lot of buildings in them, and other broken roads and some fences, there is not that much ‘realistic’ clutter to make the world feel alive. Some extra added civilian vehicles, more clutter on the sidewalks and more events and gatherings would grant an even better experience. Of course, we understand that they can’t make the game too heavy, as it would otherwise cause frame drops.


Gushing blood, screams, the scraping of metal against metal and exploding vehicles are this game’s personal opera performance, all of which is tied together with some heavier music. Sadly, the days of Iron Maiden blasting through your speakers when hitting pedestrians are over, but the current soundtrack is also quite nice and is fairly in sync with that sentiment. Nonetheless, for some reason the music feels more like background noise in his iteration of Carmageddon, rather than food for your murderous intentions.


Carmageddon: Max Damage sticks with its vehicular combat theme just like all the games that went before this installment. While you are offered to drive around in different arenas, with different modes, you can simply just aim to destroy all your opponents if racing or chasing pedestrians and checkpoints isn’t your thing. Nonetheless, if you wish to aim solely for the destructive route, you’ll have to work on your timing.

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While the game has a multiplayer and ‘freeplay’ mode, you’ll spend most of your time in the career mode, as it will allow you to unlock the different cars the game has to offer. The career mode is divided into different chapters, each having a handful of stages for you to clear, or at least earn credits. When you have earned a sufficient amount of credits the next chapter will open up, thus this means that you won’t have to clear all the stages before you can proceed or simply ditch the ones you don’t like and replay your favorite (unlocked) ones. Even if the objective of the arena you have picked has nothing to do with destroying the enemy cars, you can steal opponents’ points or even their ‘laps’ during a race, when you wreck them. Sometimes you’ll also get the chance to steal their cars, simply by wrecking them, thus allowing you to pick that car afterwards from your garage.

Your cars can be upgraded by finding tokens in the different levels. There are three categories you’ll be able to upgrade, namely defense, engine and power, which basically speak for themselves. It’s advised to roam around a bit now and then, to find some of these tokens to strengthen your favorite vehicle. Keep in mind that the upgrades only happen for the car you place them on in your garage, thus if you wish to upgrade all your cars, you’ll have to roam around a lot. In a way this makes earning credits a bit useless, as they hardly do anything in the game, except for paying the cost of placing your car back on the road, or repairing damage.

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To spice things up, the levels are filled with power-ups or other funny effects. You’ll find weapons that make it a lot easier to wreck your opponents, but also those that make civilians jump in front of your car, explode upon contact and so on. It’s clear that humor still reigns supreme, as even your weapons tend to be quite comical. There is nothing better than using a ‘banana’ ray (will mold the bodywork of their car into the shape of a banana) on an enemy to finish him off with an anvil.

When the PC version was initially released the controls were dodgy, at best, as you’d constantly lose control over your car, making it hard to actually race or ram your opponents. Max Damage offers tighter controls, albeit with the same old school Carmageddon feel to it, that makes it more arcade-like rather than actual racing game controls. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to maintain control of your car properly, if you’re not suffering from a power-up’s amusing effects.


Carmageddon: Max Damage might not bring that much new to the table for those who have played Reincarnation on PC, but it does offer a smoother experience. Those who haven’t played the latest installment on PC and are doubting which way to go, are probably best off buying the console version, as it is quite on point, albeit with some minor flaws. If you’re looking for an authentic, decent, Carmageddon experience, Max Damage shows us that the franchise is very much alive.

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Rating: 4.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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Carmageddon: Max Damage - Review, 4.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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