Bringing Road Rash into the third dimension shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. Keep the same fast paced formula but transform the sprites into polygons right? Road Rash 3D tried and failed miserably.
Sadly, there are a few interesting pieces here, underneath everything else that could have resembled a great new Road Rash game. But the controls are so unbelievably botched, that the game is really hard to play and in turn, hard to enjoy.
Having the game allow for different kinds of bikes, really does set it apart right from the start of the other Road Rash games.But those bike control so differently than what you are used to, in the Road Rash series, that you have to train your mind to actually use the brake and letting off the gas constantly. The reason being that when turning and accelerating at the same time will put you in a constant state of skidding out. If you don’t feather your turning and accelerating any time a curve comes up (which is almost always), you will skid sideways and fly off.
The track layout is something that needs to be discussed as well. When the track is large, usually with two lanes in each direction, the game flows at a decent speed, but most of the time, there are large chunks of road that are a single lane in each direction. This makes turning and avoiding oncoming traffic near impossible. Resulting in a crash that sends you flying in the air for what seems like an unreasonable amount of time. Getting back on your bike feels like it’s put through a molasses simulator. Many times I lost a good six or seven places in the race from a simple crash.
AI also is tied to a rubber band, which can sometimes be good, but also make the CPU opponents do things that feel incredibly cheap. You can crash over and over and over again, and you’ll be able to keep up with the majority of the pack, but the same goes for the NPCs as well, no matter how perfect of a run you have, no matter how fast your bike is, there will always be a few people right on your tail until you pass the finish line. Which can be frustrating, because I did loose a few races due to a final miss-calculation and went from first place to 8th place in the last several feet of the race.