The concept of racing through a disaster zone would be interesting if it weren’t for the poor controls and nasty bugs
When it comes to racing games I’m of the mind that the more of a mess things are the better. Be it tricky combat, crazy layouts, or just a bit of good old fashioned chaos to keep things interesting I’ll almost always choose a rough ride over a predictably smooth one. So, in principle, the idea behind Speed or Death is one I like. Throw some carnage and destruction into the mix as you race along? Cool. Unfortunately, the issue is simply the execution of the racing itself, with sluggish controls, occasional vagueness concerning where you’re supposed to be going, and some plain nasty bugs that can be encountered a bit too frequently. Spoiled by the controlled chaos of the likes of Split Second more than a generation ago, I’ve seen that everything around you being destroyed as you fly through it all at high speed with tight controls can be done. Unfortunately, they’ve missed the memo as the sense of speed is weak, a feeling of nuance in elements like turning is non-existent, and the environments are often quite sparse. Worse, random spots where you’re supposed to jump feel inconsistent in how you fly off of them and on occasion your efforts will be rewarded with you blowing through the game geometry to simply float in non-space like you’re stuck in Jello until you quit. All of that overwhelms any excitement that can be generated by pretty predictable chaos that plays out the same every run, making this easy to pass up.
Justin Nation, Score: