Death Road – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Active Zone
Publisher: Lace Mamba global ltd.
Platform: PC

Death Road – Review

Site Score
Good: Very nice graphics
Bad: Very very average
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (3 votes cast)


Death road is a futuristic racer with combat elements that reminds you of games like WipEout or maybe F-Zero. Now these are both very loved games but sadly are also both console exclusive (WipEout for Playstation and F-Zero for Nintendo’s consoles) and thus PC gamers have had to miss out on a big awesome futuristic racing title. Will Death Road be the game that changes this? Or will it fall short of the standards these games have set for the genre? Let’s find out.


Let’s start of with the story! Actually I can’t, there isn’t one. After a short tutorial that introduces you to the mechanics the game just throws you straight into a race with not set up or anything. There is a campaign but that’s nothing more then a way to gradually unlock new vehicles or weapons. Now the better question probably is if the missing story is a bad thing and to be honest, no it isn’t. I’m not saying that a story would have been a bad thing but it’s a racing game after all and it’s not like I need an entire background story of why i’m racing at ridiculous and shooting at my opponents while doing so. That stuff’s always plenty fun either way.



I guess graphics are the first big talking point for Death Road then and the short version is: the game looks pretty great. The graphics of the tracks, the environments, the vehicles they all look really nice, polished and finished, technically speaking it’s a great looking game, all be it one that comes at the price of needing a pretty strong gaming rig to be able to enjoy those wonderful graphics. If not you’re really gonna struggle running the game at a decent frame rate which is pretty crucial for a high speed racing game like this. Now that the technical side is out of the way let’s talk design. The vehicles are really nicely designed and the designers succeeded in both making each vehicle look different and unique while on the other hand keeping somewhat of a line and similarity throughout all of the vehicles, really a job well done. On the track side however I’m not the biggest fan. It’s not that the tracks don’t look nice or anything it’s just that they really lack variety. The game offers eight tracks and while there is some change in setting between a city, an industrial factory area and a desert,  in the end they just look too similar, too grey.


Now that we’ve talked about what the game looks like, let’s talk about our ears and if they get treated just as well as our eyes. Sound effects wise the game is just fine. There’s no bad sound effect, engine sounds, weapons, explosions, they all sound ok. Sadly that’s the thing they sound just ok, average if you will. When we look at the music we run into the same thing. The music sounds like a bunch of random techno tracks throw together making them very fitting sometimes, but very out of place at other times. I will admit however that I’m not a big fan of the type of music in this game making it harder for me to appreciate it. Still, I’m a big fan of the WipEout games and while not a fan of those soundtracks either, I never had a feeling a song felt out of place or unfitting.  Music in a game has to fit, it has to be a companion piece to what is happening on your screen and even if you don’t like it, and I felt Death Road’s music just wasn’t able to achieve that.



The closing piece. We know Death Road looks good and sounds average now, but none of that means anything if it’s not fun to play so let’s talk about that now. The game has three main modes: campaign, quick race and multiplayer but to be honest, you probably shouldn’t go near the last two until you’ve put a decent amount of time into the campaign since you’ll only be able to use the vehicles, tracks and race types you’ve unlocked in the campaign. The campaign is made up out of 4 league’s (rookie, pilot, veteran and elite) you unlock vehicles by earning points, which in turn you earn by winning races. You also get a “boss” race at the end of every league winning those unlocks an extra unique vehicle in turn.

Then to the actual racing itself: you switch between regular races, time trials and combat races. Each type has it’s own pickups aswell. The time trials are very limited having only boost pickups and either extra time or less time pickups ,you’ll want to avoid those last ones ofcourse, and have no combat whatsoever since you’re racing on your own. the regular races then, have no real combat pickups, only health and boost, but you can use your standard weapon. It doesn’t really pack that much of a punch but you can still be taken out or take out someone yourself giving a bit of an extra dynamic to a regular race. Then the combat races here you get the full set of pickups, adding mines, weapon ammo that unlocks your primary weapon, and armor to the mix. the different weapons you unlock throughout the campaign and each one acts differently, from a rocket launcher to lock on plasma guns.

Now as to how it actually plays, the game feel really slow at first and that’s a real shame, you expect a really nice sense of speed from a futuristic game like this but the first few vehicles just feel really really slow, and the fact that the game tries to hide it by throwing a ton of motion blur at you doesn’t help, in fact it makes it painfully more obvious. Luckily the pace does pick up after the first couple vehicles. handling wise it’s basically the same thing with the first vehicles feeling like you were always a hair away from losing control. This makes for a pretty steep learning curve with your first couple races being very hard and frustrating so prepare for that. All in all the gameplay is a bit of a repeat of the sound and i’m afraid a bit of the general thing for Death Road, it’s very very average. The gameplay doesn’t really do anything very bad but it doesn’t really do anything new or better then other games either, it just does it ok.



So, now that we’ve had everything let’s talk general conclusion. Death road is competently made, well thought out game that feels complete and finished, but also a game that sadly, if we look at the whole picture, is just awfully average. Now you might say better an average game then a bad one and you would be right, but I feel like the people of this game are capable of more and that you should always strive to be better, not just be happy with average.

Side note:

I put this here because there is one thing I’d like to talk about that I didn’t want to mention in my main review since it is something more personal. Like I mentioned in the review the game uses some strong motion blur when racing. Now there’s nothing really wrong with that, lot’s of games do that but for some reason whenever I played Death road for a longer period of time the motion blur just started giving me really bad headaches.Now like I said this might very well be something very personal to me and won’t affect most people (which is why I kept it out of the review itself and won’t deduct points for it on the end scoring) but I felt I needed to mention it in some way since there might be other people who are prone to this kind of thing and warn them that maybe this is not a game for them.




VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Death Road - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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