Available: Q4 2002

Armobiles © Ganymede
Article by Andreas "Interman" Misund

Car mayhem is starting to be a lot of fun! A fan of which can choose from tons of flavors; some go for realism, some go for crazy gameplay, while some go for a mix. Armobiles is a futuristic car racing games that is being developed by Ganymede Technologies. The story takes place in 2009. For the past five years the Earth has been a different place than we?re accustomed to. All the countries have been united under the U.E.C. (United Earth Confederation) and the global authorities have been elected. There are no regular military organizations anymore, and instead there are specialized mercenary organizations that are well-trained specialists of all disciplines.

You get to join the super-secret Armobile Squad Training Center, which is a division that deals with difficult missions where transportation is essential. It?ll take a while to get properly trained, but the BattleCamp has 6 military training grounds ready, which will prepare you for the final exam. If you complete it then you get to serve with some of the best drivers on the Earth, but if you fail then catching a ride home will be the least of your concerns?

From the main menu you can select a variety of modes to play, such as Single Race, Route Race (you must find all the control points on a map as soon as possible), Annihilation Park (eliminate all the competitors before they eliminate you), Team Fight (essentially the same as Annihilation Park, only that it requires you to work in a team), Interception (kind of like the kids? game where one person runs and tries not to be caught by anyone else, only with huge vehicles) and finally Steal Skill (where you go for the competitor?s flag and carry it to your base).

The various maps are skillfully made, being both diverse and entertaining. The maps are located at for instance central Australia, Alaska, Loch Ness Lake area, Stavanger (Norway), and a whole bunch more. All of these have several variations, such as letting you play by night instead of by day.

The cars you have available are also pretty impressive. In the preview copy I played there were six available, and they are all balanced with regards to five stats: Max Velocity, Acceleration, Drivability, Durability and Weight. Since the levels you play can be anything from getting from start to finish as soon as possible, to destroying a number of opponents you will need to watch the stats and decide what you need the most. The cars are like the levels; also graphically well designed, both modeling and texture wise, but personally I would?ve liked to see some more special vehicles.

Speaking of graphics, the environment in Armobiles looks really good from what I?ve seen. The colorful graphics run very fluidly, even with tons of environmental effects like snow, dust etc. And in the middle of all this you can look forward to very fast-paced gameplay, with car-physics that are quite entertaining. Also, if you happen to have a gamepad, joystick or a steering wheel (maybe with force feedback), then you should have no problem going crazy in this game. If you feel grow tired of the well programmed AI, and want to play against someone human then you can either do so through splitscreen, or on a LAN (which wasn?t yet implemented in my copy).

Armobiles may not have an as rich storyline as games like Grand Theft Auto 3 etc, but if you?re looking for a fast-paced futuristic car racing game, filled with beastly cars and tons of firepower then Armobiles should be a game to look for!