Some of the best competitive play found on the PlayStation.
Developer: Luxoflux Corp.
Twisted Metal, move over - there's a new king of the road. Building on the funkadelic universe of Interstate '76, Activision's Vigilante 8 takes PlayStation auto-combat to the proverbial "next level". But it's not without flaws.
Thanks to a top-notch 3D engine, the game delivers highly-detailed visuals and vast, fully-destructible, combat environments - not to mention some truly eye-popping special effects and reflection-mapping. In other words, it looks great and offers unprecedented depth for a game of its type.
On a technical level, the game's physics engine is second to none. Each vehicle has its own working suspension that bobs and bounces across hills, and each shows several stages of visible damage.
Hidden secrets are also a major part of each stage - you'll spend hours just uncovering every nook and cranny. And once you do, you'll gain a sizable advantage on the competition.
Car variety and weapon selection are remarkable; there truly is a setup for every style of gamer. The fact that you can see which weapons your foes are carrying adds a great deal of strategy to multiplayer.
As for competitive play, Vigilante 8's is some of the best to be found on PlayStation. Due to the sheer size of the maps, matches are guaranteed to be lengthy, and strategic hiding places are plenty. There's also a two-player coop mode where players can go head-to-head against any number of CPU foes as a team.
On the downside, the game could have been better in two respects. First off, the control is a little too floaty. It's not horrible, to say the least, but it does take a good deal of getting used to. Secondly, the ability to do a 180 degree braking spin would have been a welcome addition; turning to face foes is often a overly-lengthy procedure.
When all is said and done, Vigilante 8 proves to be the best auto-based combat game yet on PlayStation. So if you loved the Twisted Metal series, or simply hunger for a well-done blast-a-thon, you'll definitely want to give it a spin.