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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Mayhem Review

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
05/05/11
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Demolition Derby 
PLAYERS 1- 8 
PUBLISHER Rombax 
DEVELOPER Zoo Games 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E10+ Contains Violence

What do these ratings mean?

As much as you may love your grandparents, this is unforgivable.


When I was younger, I got games on my birthday, Christmas, and a handful of holidays. One time I got a video game as a present for the start of summer break, but there's this stereotype about games as gifts: They're always bad games. I found that it wasn't true all of the time. Sometimes I get a game I really want, like Yoshi's Story or The Hobbit. Sometimes I get a game I just know is going to be shit but doesn't turn out to be so bad. Sometimes I get a game and set my expectations so low, the game can't help but excel past them. Can you guess what I think about Mayhem?

click to enlargeMayhem is a budget-priced demolition-derby title with 3D graphics. The developers and publishers responsible for Mayhem would probably prefer it if I put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. They're not going to get one. They've required too much of me already.

Mayhem looks and plays as if Madworld had sex with Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8 at the same time. Now, no one knows who the father is, Maury is involved, and no one wants to raise the poor child. I wouldn't either. The game has a terrible, abrasive, and violent attitude. Mayhem is the kid Ritalin was invented for. How can I be so mean? Three key things.

First, I hate to harp on the graphics, but if Mayhem's gameplay was better, I wouldn't feel the need to. I'd be having too much fun to complain about the smearing black and white visuals. Though Mayhem's graphics are not as shitty as "What's black and white and red all over?", they look like they were rendered on the Wii. There was a point where the developers had to make a choice between creating a visually stunning game with a lot of attitude and style and getting a game out on time to earn a paycheck. They chose the latter.

Second, I'm inclined to say that car-combat games are naturally hard to control, but I'm tired of making excuses for bad games. Mayhem just pushed me over the edge. I'd normally give it a pass, excusing the clunky weight of each vehicle or the difficulty I had hitting other cars at the right angles as faults of my own. Instead, I've decided there's nothing wrong with me. I've been playing games my entire life. Mayhem is just doing it wrong.

click to enlargeThird, Mayhem's 3D support isn't the kind where you need a 3D television and glasses. This is 3D where you have cheap paper glasses on your head and they start to hurt your ears because you're bleeding where the paper is touching you, it's so sharp, ouch, why the fuck am I still wearing these, goddammit. This is also 3D where your eyes, brain, skull, and penis start hurting after a minute. Okay, my penis wasn't hurting while I was playing Mayhem in 3D but I still feel violated.

I wouldn't normally mind the 3D, but it's such a huge selling point. It was clear that the developers and publisher needed something to sell the game. 3D is totally in right now. All the kids are talking about it. We've got to add a 3D render mode! No, you don't. Just make a good game next time, okay?

If you have Mayhem sitting in front of you and your relative who knows nothing about video games didn't buy it for you, for shame. If a relative did buy it for you, keep that plastic wrap on. Do the safe thing and ask for the receipt. There are much better games to play. Mayhem isn't a guilty pleasure. It's just painful to look at, painful to play, and your penis will hurt.
D Revolution report card
  • No glaring bugs or crashes
  • Grating graphics
  • Controls poorly
  • 3D so bad it hurts your brain
  • Cars and combat are clunky
  • Hit detection is off
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

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