Knowledge About Multiplayer Video Game
1. Reception of multiplayer video game
3DO versionThe 3DO version of Road Rash was met with positive reviews. Bacon of GamePro gave the 3DO version a perfect score, citing improvements such as the five new tracks, six lane roads, branching routes, digitized backgrounds, humorous full motion video sequences, and new rock soundtrack. He concluded that "This souped-up Road Rash will knock the socks off experienced rashers and new racers alike." His one criticism was the lack of a multiplayer option. Iceman and Video Cowboy of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the 3DO version scores of 83% and 85%, declaring it a vast improvement over the Genesis Road Rash games due to the advanced graphics, high playability, and "the coolest music in gaming". However, Iceman felt that the gameplay eventually becomes repetitive. Chris Gore of VideoGames commended the visuals lent by the 3DO's advanced graphic capabilities and the "cool" music, but pointed out the inability to configure controls as a major flaw. A reviewer for Next Generation praised the game's "silky smooth" animation and the "in-your-face attitude" of the grunge soundtrack, and stated that "Although the game's long-term play value is damaged by repetitive levels, this is still a near classic title that will make a worthy addition to any 3DO library."
Road Rash was the highest-selling 3DO title at Babbage's in its debut month, and would stay within the top ten highest-selling 3DO titles for the next three months. Road Rash won several awards from Electronic Gaming Monthly in their 1994 video game awards, including Best Driving Game, Best Music in a CD-Based Game, and Best 3DO Game of 1994. GameFan awarded the 3DO version of Road Rash the title of "Driving/Racing Game of the Year" in their 1994 Golden Megawards. Flux placed the 3DO version of Road Rash at #22 in its "Top 100 Video Games" list. In her review of the Saturn version, Sam Hickman of Sega Saturn Magazine said the 3DO version was "one of the best games of its time on any system . Still the best version, even one year or so on." Gary Mollohan of Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, during his review of Road Rash 3D, credited the 3DO version of Road Rash with revolutionizing the use of licensed music in video games. In Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Greatest 200 Video Games of Their Time" list, the 3DO version of Road Rash was ranked at #145.
Other versionsThe Sega CD version was met with a mixed reception. Bacon of GamePro commended the version as "uneven but exciting" and praised the amusing full-motion video cinematics, thrilling gameplay and grunge soundtrack, but was disappointed by the lower-quality graphics and lack of options compared to the 3DO version. Jeff Kitts of Flux opined that the series peaked with the 3DO version and was "now beginning to lose some of its thrust"; he criticized the Sega CD version's bland tracks and lack of weapon variety, but pointed out that the licensed music functioned during races, which he felt gave the Sega CD version its sole advantage over the 3DO version. Angus Swan and Steve Merrett of Mean Machines Sega commented that the graphics and gameplay were dated compared to Virtua Racing, but appreciated the emulation of the 3DO version's presentation visuals. Skid, Nick Rox and K. Lee of GameFan gave the Sega CD version scores of 70, 73 and 77; Skid and Nick both considered the version's animation and color palette to be a downgrade from the 3DO version, and Skid expressed distaste for the grunge soundtrack, while K. Lee felt that the game was a rehash of earlier series installments. Jeff Lundrigan of Game Players criticized the effect that the downgrade from the 3DO to the Sega CD had on the game's full-motion videos and backgrounds, and suggested that "the designers got too impressed with their own design. Instead of making Road Rash CD an improved version of Road Rash for Genesis, they decided to make it a scaled-down version of Road Rash for 3DO, and the poor little Sega CD isn't up to it." A reviewer for Next Generation also remarked that the Sega CD version is a major step down, and that while most of the downgrades are forgivable due to the Sega CD being a much less powerful system than the 3DO, the sparse scenery and low frame rate do not hold up even to games on the same system. He concluded it to be decent but less than what gamers would expect from the by-then established Road Rash series. Road Rash was awarded second place in the "Best Sega CD Game" category of GamePro's 1995 Editors' Choice Awards (behind Earthworm Jim: Special Edition).
The PlayStation, Saturn and Windows ports were less well-received than the original version. Reviewers for Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, Next Generation and Maximum all criticized the PlayStation port for only having minor enhancements to the graphics and sound, with no changes to gameplay that had become outdated and outclassed by more recent racing games in the four years since Road Rash was first released. Roger Burchill of Game Players, while naming the PlayStation version "the best looking and best sounding incarnation of the game to date", also pointed out the lack of innovation in the gameplay, and derided the full-motion videos as "lame". GamePro's Air Hendrix, however, felt that the gameplay remained exciting, and though he remarked that the controls are stiffer than on previous versions, he gave the PlayStation version a wholehearted recommendation.
Air Hendrix and Sam Hickman both commented that the Saturn version, while good fun on its own terms, offers nothing not already seen in the 3DO and PlayStation versions, and falls short of those versions in some technical aspects, making it rather outdated for the time of its release. Marcus Hearn and Angus Swan of Mean Machines Sega said that while the premise of Road Rash was "novel", the Saturn version was rendered unremarkable by "samey and uneventful" scenarios, small sprites, unsophisticated animation, "inappropriate" music, and "extremely annoying" full-motion videos.
Mark East of GameSpot considered the Windows version to be identical to the 3DO version apart from its online multiplayer mode, which he said "does add a lot to the game". He also felt that its grunge soundtrack was somewhat outdated, and lambasted the in-game score as "the world's cheesiest General MIDI music". Gordon Goble of Computer Gaming World approved of the grunge soundtrack, graphics, and the entertainment value of the combat, but was annoyed by a conflict between the game, his sound cards and the OS's DirectDraw that would consistently return him to the desktop without warning, and deemed the title to be "too much periphery, too little game".
2. Gameplay of multiplayer video game
Road Rash puts the player in control of a motorcycle racer who must finish in third-place or higher among fourteen other racers in a series of five road races to advance throughout the game's five levels. The game's races take place in a number of Californian locales, including San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada, Napa Valley and the Pacific Coast Highway. During a race, the player can brake, accelerate, and attack neighboring racers. The player character will punch at the nearest racer with a default input, while holding a directional button during the input will result in either a backhand or a kick. Some opponents wield weapons such as clubs and chains, which can be taken and used by the player if the enemy racer is attacked as they are holding the weapon out to strike. The player racer can be ejected from their bike if they crash into an obstacle (such as cows, deer, cars and trees) or if they run out of stamina (shown in the bottom-left corner of the screen) due to fights with other racers. In this event, the racer will automatically run back toward their bike, though the player can alter their course and avoid incoming traffic with the directional buttons, or stand still by holding the brake input button. Opponents will likewise be ejected from their bike if their own stamina is depleted; the stamina of the nearest racer is visible within the bottom-right corner of the screen. In the Sega CD version, the color of the opponent's stamina meter indicates the racer's level of aggressiveness toward the player.
The player character begins the game with $1,000. When the player wins a race, a cash prize is added to the player's balance. From the main menu, the player can access a bike shop and view several bikes of differing weights, speeds and steering capabilities, and the player can potentially purchase a new bike with the money they have accumulated. Some bikes are equipped with a series of nitrous oxide charges, which can provide a burst of speed if the player quickly taps the acceleration input button twice. When the player wins a race on all five of the game's tracks, they will advance to the next level. With each subsequent level, the courses become longer and the opponent racers become more aggressive. The player wins the game if they win a race on each track in all five levels.
The player's bike has its own "damage meter" between the player's and opponents' stamina meters, which decreases every time the player suffers a crash. If the meter fully depletes, the bike will be wrecked, the player's participation in the current race will end, and a repair bill must be paid. Motorcycle cops also make sporadic appearances throughout the game's tracks. If the player crashes within the vicinity of a cop, the cop will end their participation in the current race by apprehending them and charging them a fine. Repair bills and fines become more expensive with each subsequent level. If the player lacks the funds to cover either a repair bill or a fine, the game will end prematurely.
Road Rash is primarily single-player, but allows for two players to play intermittently against each other. The game features two distinct modes of single-player gameplay: the central campaign "Big Game Mode" and a stripped-down "Thrash Mode", in which the player can race on any given track at any difficulty. In the Big Game Mode, the player takes on the identity of one of a selection of characters with differing statistics. Smaller characters accelerate more quickly, while larger characters have stronger attacks. Each of the characters start with a differing amount of money, and some characters come equipped with a weapon. Between races, the player can "schmooze" with other bikers and receive gameplay tips. The Windows version features an online multiplayer mode for up to eight human players connected via a modem or local network.