One of the most overlooked titles from Bullfrog, Hi-Octane is a fun futuristic racing game that is rumored to begin life as something several Bullfrog programmers coded just for fun ? which probably explains why its concept is not as original as Bullfrog?s other titles. They then decided to improve the game and market it under the auspices of Electronic Arts. |
Just because Hi-Octane is not as original as other Bullfrog classics doesn?t mean it?s not fun to play. For starters, Hi-Octane is not only a racing game where you must position yourself in the best rank, but it also features combats with missiles and guns. You have a choice of six vehicles differentiated by their characteristics (speed, armor, etc...) and their appearance. There are six tracks to race on, with curious names like New Chernobyl which hint at a bleak cyberpunk world (but the plot is never really explained in the game). The tracks offer different difficulties, various textures and types of landscape like wastelands and city streets.
Graphics-wise, the game is more than adequate. Based on the Magic Carpet engine, there is a lot of pretty scenery in Hi-Octane, and the animation of cars (which ?fly? over the tracks) is smooth. The graphics are very sharp in SVGA mode, although they are already excellent in VGA. Single-player mode is quite limited due to the small number of tracks and mediocre computer drivers who are quite easy to beat. Thankfully, Bullfrog later released the network patch (included in download here) which supports up to eight players on a network.
Overall, Hi-Octane is an enjoyable racing game that is well worth a look, although it by no means approaches the ?classic? status of Populous or Syndicate. The game is recommended in multiplayer mode, although the single player mode lacks the longevity to keep anyone entertained for long.
Reviewed by: Underdogs