Amstrad Action1st September 1993
Published in Amstrad Action #96
Out Run Europa
There's been loads of fuss about whether violence in video games corrupts the "youth of today". As far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out on that one, but one thing's for sure - it sociologists ever prove that driving sims do have an effect, Death Race 2000 could be reassessed as a startlingly accurate, apocalyptic vision of the future. Take, for example, OutRun Europa - the underlying socio-political metaphor seems to be drive like a maniac and kill everybody else on the road.
The protagonist is a senior operative from Unit 6 (whatever that is) who has to chase some thieves who've swiped the briefcase he's supposed to be taking to Berlin. The chase takes place through several countries using all manner of high-speed transport - motorbikes, jet-skis, Porches, power boats and Ferraris.
When you're on wheels, a press of the Fire button gives you extra acceleration. You'll need it, because there are time limits on each section. You only have enough fuel for a few of these extra boots, but, as luck would have it, there are loads of fuel cannisters scattered around just waiting to be picked up.
For some reason, the police object to this kind of behaviour and will arrest you given half a chance, so don't give 'em one (or even half of one, come to that). Zoom past them with a press of your Fire button or bump them off the road.
The action is fast and, indeed, furious, though the scrolling chugs occasionally. The background graphics are excellent and the variety of scenery and the different vehicles keep the game fresh (disguising the fact the gameplay actually changes very little). The controls are muddy and slow to react at times, but once you get used to them they don't pose too many problems. The major minus point is that when the police ban you you get sent all the way back to the start of the level.
OutRun Europa is no classic, but it's well worth purchasing for a test drive.
Really rather exceptional good.
They're useful but not stunning.
Grab Factor 80%
The initial impact is powerful.
Staying Power 75%
But it does get a bit samey.