the popularity of the Burnout series we
had high hopes for Blowout, which promised oodles of fast-paced
motorway-based car trouble. We were to be severely disappointed
by an end product that is ludicrously ill-balanced and, ultimately,
an almost entirely unpleasant gaming experience.
Initial impressions are surprisingly good; you’re
put behind the wheel of a well-modelled sports car and put in
the fast lane of the M4, which is when the titular blowout occurs.
A rear wheel deflates then starts to tear apart, and it’s
up to you to manoeuvre the car to the safety of a slip road without
wiping out yourself or any of the other high-speed traffic.
M4, gateway to Cymru. Or Gymru,
as it now says on some signs.
Great idea, with potential for a serious amount
of carnage, but the developers have shot themselves in the foot
by providing you with a default car that’s simply too stable
to provide any challenge. In a high-sided people carrier or similar,
negotiating your way to safety might prove to be a suitably knuckle-whitening
experience. However you’re given a Mazda MX-5, and its low
centre of gravity means that it retains enough stability for you
get off the motorway without any real problems. The over-enthusiastic
rumble effects add a slight edge of excitement, but really it’s
This does not happen. The best
you can hope for is a well-meaning
Mondeo driver flashing his lights
Just to add insult to injury, the next stage
of the game requires you to complete your journey with a spare
wheel the size of a large biscuit, which caps your speed at 50mph.
Whoever came up with the idea of forcing the gamer to drive along
the slow lane of a motorway at that sort of speed must be some
kind of sadist. The humiliation of plodding along while lorries,
Reliant Robins and knackered old Morris Minors whip past you is
near-unbearable, and it seems to last for hours. Even crossing
a wonderfully-rendered Severn Bridge at sunset feels like punishment
thanks to your enforced lack of rapidity, while the relief at
finally reaching your destination and never having to play this
atrocity again is enormous.
With a better range of cars and the loss of
the hideously misguided second section, Blowout could conceivably
be a fun piece of motorway madness. But in its current state it’s
an ugly, embarrassing mess.
A shredded wheel, yesterday. Bet
you can't eat three.
RODENT CASH RATING -
"“Destroy them all! I mean: SHIT!’"
Things to 'Make' and 'Do'.
Responsible link. What to do if this
happens to you.
A deeply disturbing
site about crash test dummies.
‘Delightful’ Dave Cronenberg
talks about Crash.
The World Famous WotR
'Buy It' Box
We've looked-up the links for you and done an
associates deal with some decent suppliers. Each time you buy
via these links Way of the Rodent receives a small, but very welcome,
commission. It's a nice way for you to help keep WotR
running and at the same time get your hands on games we love.
Wide range of platforms available - £15,655 +
Choose an expansion pack - £various
(Prices correct at 13th February 2004)