playstation homepage   Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review
PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews

A.P.I Review: ROAD RASH 3D
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: EA 1 Player
Game Type: Combat Racing Memory Card
Review Date: July 1998 Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

The original "Road Rash" must have appeared on just about every computer 
and video game system ever created and while few viewed it as a classic, 
it was one of the very first games to successfully mix the traditional 
racing game with a little mindless beat-em-up violence.

This new incarnation, was said to improve on the racing action without 
losing the opportunity of smacking the occasional metal bar off a fellow 
riders head, while doing speeds of over 120 mph.


This game is a three dimensional next-generation update of the classic 
combat racing game "Road Rash".


While a massive improvement over the original version of this game, the 
graphics could best be described as functional rather than beautiful. The 
buildings that you fly past have little or no detail, and the cars that 
you have to keep clear of all look like they have been sampled from rusting 
old wrecks in a breakers yard.

Everything moves at lightning speed, which is a amazing achievement when you 
take into account the games' most technically advanced and original feature is 
that its 3D engine actually draws the oncoming track miles into the distance 
at all times. So if there is a winding road that leads into the distance, you 
can actually see it on the horizon, gradually getting closer and closer as you 
ride towards it. This gives a very authentic feel to the game, tricking you 
into believing that you are in fact inside of a huge make believe world.

Your opponents are from four different gangs. Each gang has their own style of 
clothing and selection of bikes, together with a distinctive variation in how 
willing they are to fight with you. The quality of both the bikes and the 
riders is very high, when you get close to them , you can easily make out the 
designs on their "leathers" and the manufacturer of their bike.

Sounds and Effects

The soundtrack for this game consists of CD quality tunes from bands such 
as "Sugar Ray", "The Mermen" and Full on the Mouth"

Most of the tracks are very grunge-style rock, which is something you will 
either love or hate, therefore some of you will no doubt have the volume at 
maximum while playing, while others will switch it off completely. 

The spot effects are all of typically excellent E.A quality. The bikes sound 
like bikes and the crashes sound like they really hurt.

Those of you with a surround sound audio set-up, will be pleased to know that 
this game take takes full advantage of this facility.


For a sequel, E.A seemed to have completely re-arranged the overall qualities 
of the original.

Road Rash relied very heavily on the combat side of the game, due to the fact 
that the racing element was very basic and quite frankly rubbish.

This time around they have designed a very powerful 3D racing engine within the 
game, and made up over twenty sections of track which can be linked together to 
form many different routes. You will often find yourself having to negotiate 90 
degree bends as the course moves from one block to another.

The control of your bike has been wonderfully done and is best appreciated with 
an Analog pad. There is a fine line between staying on the bike and getting 
tossed off it, which forces you to ease off the gas as you enter tighter 
corners, touching the brakes for a second, before accelerating out of the bend 
at speed.

The only area that the designers of this game screwed up, was in the collision 
detection (which at times seems non-existent) and the fact that you seem to be 
able to leave the track go up a hill, through several lines of dense trees and 
then somehow manage to "bunny hop" over a steel crash barrier - all at over a 
hundred miles per hour and without so much as a scratch.

As you progress through the levels in the game, the amount of traffic on the 
road that has to be avoided gets greater and greater. Hit one of these at 
speed and you will fly over the car, through the air and land in a crumpled 
heap a little further down the road. This is a great addition to the game and 
sets it apart form most racing games currently available. 

There are also jaywalkers, joggers , cones and all manner of smaller obstacles 
that can be flattened without too much effect on the handling of your bike. 

So the racing and the dodging are great fun but what about the fighting, I 
mean it just wouldn't be 'Rash without the fighting would it?

Well brace yourself for some bad news guys and girls, I am not sure if it were 
deadlines that caused this, or just a terrible mistake on the part of the 
developers, but the beat-em-up element of this game is its poorest feature - 
by far. 

Sure you can snatch weapons from your opponents, just like the original and 
you have a greater variety of weapons than the original had - so what the 

Well you waste so much time when you try to attack the other bikers, that you 
invariably don't win the race. This means that after a few games you quickly 
forget about the fighting and concentrate on the racing. This wouldn't be a 
problem if the other bikers made it difficult for you to get past them or 
pushed you into oncoming traffic, but truth is, they seem to prefer to fight 
amongst themselves. 

The other problem with the combat is that most of the moves take so long to 
execute, that your opponent has long gone by the time it has been executed. 
It's so much easier just to bash them out of the way, dodge past (or wheelie 
over) the cars and race your way to first place..!

Value for Money

12 Motorcycles to choose from, loads of levels and a difficulty curve, that 
while challenging, isn't so hard that you will give up on the game completely.

Sadly there is no 2 player link or split-screen mode available in this game, 
which will obviously shorten its life-span a little.
GRAPHICS: 16/20 I guess if E.A hadn't called this a sequel to "Road Rash" and instead renamed it something like "Open Road Racer", then no-one would have noticed the almost total lack of combat needed to win the each of the races.

The original was a poor racing game with an original and fun combat element, quite how E.A managed to reverse this in the "3D" version completely baffles me.

Its still great fun to play, and as a racing game it's one of the best on the PlayStation, but as a combat game it pretty much sucks. A two player mode may have saved this from being just an average title, but sadly it too was left out of this version.
SOUND: 9/10
VALUE: 15/20


    GAMES        Get your PSX games HERE!