Where do I begin!? This game is really weird. This is not a good thing. Reviewing this game has been a chore. Vangers really, really bogs you down in stupid, irrelevant details that make you lose your interest.
The premise behind the game is very simple. You drive around in cars modified for warfare and shoot rockets, missiles, lasers and machine guns, etc., etc. Sound familiar? It's like Twisted Metal, or Car Wars. But there's a tangent. Actually there is a very big tangent. The best way to explain this is to expose you to the story behind the game.
"At the end of the 20th century, the unification of scientific and esoteric knowledge, which had long been separate and antagonistic, occurred. This was initiated by certain human Spirits who achieved transcendental contact with powers resembling an Infinite Mind. The Infinite Mind had long been foretold and anticipated by some; denied to exist by others.
The technology that had the most dramatic impact on human evolution was the permanent tunneling of space: the creation of so-called Passages, which enabled travel to alien worlds. Humanity's age-old dream of traveling to the stars became reality. The Passages opened ways into zones whose formation was completely unrelated to the scientific concept of metagalaxy."
Now this is a direct and unadulterated quote. If you're wondering what this has to do with racing around in cars and shooting other cars, then you're right there with me. You're probably lost and confused and wondering what artsy-fartsy statement the developers were trying to achieve. Perhaps you're even wondering if they may have written the story while under the influence of an hallucinogenic.
Now, you might even think that perhaps you could simply bypass all this garbage and get right into gameplay and start blowing up enemy cars. Not a chance! It is essential you study this mythos if you want to be able to proceed onto the next mission and complete all your objectives. Remember that I only gave you a small dose of this very, very complicated story. So let me continue.
Okay, so humans discover these 'space-tunnels' to other planets. They go around conquering other planets until they come to this one planet called Crypso, where they meet an insectoid race that actually starts kicking butt. In a war with the Crypso, humans defeat the Crypso by combining themselves with Crypso DNA to create a new race called the Lostie.
So YOU, the player are not even human. Big deal! you may say, let's go blow stuff up. Not a chance! Because you are not human, you need to learn to speak Lostie, which is a combination of stupid Crypso vocabulary and English. Ready to go outside and play yet?
So you start out in this underground city called the Escaves [short for escavations I guess] and talk to this rude and ugly larvae called an Eleepod, by the name of Leeky, the counselor of Podish of Fostral. After a series of unintelligible conversations, Leeky finally tells you what your first mission is. This is another direct quote:
"Fostral is big, we're on the bottom our escaves is here. Far up is Incubator, the holy place. It's where we send our tasty nymbos to prolong the race of Eleepods. Remember our bios, it's superior to all the creatures in the Chain. So go out and get some secret nymbos from here and take it to the other end of Fostral into the sultry Incubator, where Feenger's waiting, he'll tell you more if you survive."
So what is a Nymbos? "This is what greenhorns make their first beebs on. Comes from old Eleepods. It's wet, slimy and disgusting. Some love it, however."
I hope you're satisfied with that answer because I had to dig through quite a bit of text to find out. Why won't they just let me shoot some cars?
Well, now that you have your mission and know your destiny in the game, you may now pick your car and weapons and go up to the surface. Go forth, transport your nymbos and kill other Vangers and salvage their scrap.
If you're still reading this review then you've got a good picture of the agony that awaits you in Vangers. You have to go through all that and much more to get started.
So once you're playing, do you find yourself in a revolutionary game engine that wisps you away like Calgon (you know, the bath lotion)? Is it worth it? No!
Instead, you find yourself in very, very mediocre top-down view car game, in a very alien environment not knowing which way to take your cargo of nymbos.
The controls are very basic, move around using the arrow keys, and fire.
The graphics are interesting, since they use a technology called voxels instead of polygons to create the images. Voxels are little 3D cubes used like Legos to create graphics by stacking them together. This technology is wasted though, since it is used with a static, top down perspective, which makes it hard to appreciate the 3D effects.
What is the overall verdict on this game? Don't buy it! Stay away! Go out and do something simple, like study how to translate Summerian hieroglyphics. Go out and find a girlfriend or boyfriend. Adopt an animal. Better yet, go and play Death Race 2000 with your '74 Pontiac.