If we die, I want you to know: I love you all, man.
I’ve got to explain something to you about the full motion video in this game. Its bad. Reeaallyy Bad. So bad that Crystal Dynamics took a hint from cult television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 and put two guys in front of the screen making fun of it. What I want to know is: Did they plan it all ahead of time? Did they do it on purpose? Since the invention of the CD-ROM we’ve been plagued by so much bad FMV that I honestly can’t tell. The result comes out well for Off-World Interceptor.
Enough about that. Off-World Interceptor Extreme is a pretty good combat racing game with a long name. Emphasize the word combat in that last sentence. There is no set track, so you can pretty much just step on the gas, but the screen is constantly full of missiles, laser blasts, enemy cars, gun towers, and explosions. This is a game of firepower.
Speaking of firepower, how about 6 different kinds of off-road vehicles, all with different weapons, power ups, and missiles, as well as the ability to call in air-strikes. Each vehicle is more powerful (and more expensive) than the last. You can also upgrade the shields, engine, tires, gyro-stabilizer and jumping ability of each car. Did I mention that you need money?
The plot, in brief, is this: You are a ‘trashman’ this is the future’s equivalent of a bounty hunter. You must race across five planets, through several stages, and capture a criminal (blow up a boss vehicle). You can then collect a bounty. For some reason the landscape is littered with giant floating coins that you can also pick up for cash. Money is very important. If you can’t upgrade your vehicle, you are dead meat. That’s as lucid a plot as you’re going to get out of this game.
Your vehicle is a miracle of off-road engineering. It requires every button on the Saturn to control. It has gyroscopic stabilizers to help keep you from rolling, and shields to protect you. You can climb any hill and hop up and down like a lo-rider, or literally leap your car into the air. Different vehicles have lasers, sonic cannons, lightning guns, and flame throwers. Powered up, they can lob napalm, freeze enemies, or just double their firepower.
The graphics are fairly good. The 3D terrain maps look great and are smooth and accurate. Nothing else in the game is rendered, however, so the animation is a little rough, and there are only a few angles that you can see any of the objects from. The sound is what you would expect: roaring engines, blasting weapons and heavy explosions. No room for anything else.
All together this is a pretty good package. The nonstop action keeps you enthralled. The variation in cars and weapons keeps it interesting. Customizing you car with the money you ‘earn’ is fun all by itself. They even manage to have fun with what is some pretty appalling video. There are even several ways to play: story mode, arcade mode, and vs. combat mode. All three have different rules and goals.