Unnecessary Violence

Unnecessary Violence is a car-combat game set on the largest stretch of straight road in the world, yet has the least diversity in vehicles.  I saw no ambulances, no motorcycles, no convertibles, and no buses.  Plenty of taxi cabs though.  Not sure why someone would be in a taxi on such a long stretch of road that has no turnoffs.  With the cost of taxis being what they are, you would think renting a car and taking it on this road would be cheaper.

I had a witty caption for this, but then I fell asleep while playing and forgot it.

The basic idea is you’re a car tricked out with various weapons.  You drive on a road, shooting at cars.  Then it tells you to shoot a specific car.  You shoot it, then shoot other cars until it tells you shoot a different specific car, rinse, repeat.  Sorry if that sounded unenthusiastic, but never before has an XBLIG with no major technical flaws gotten me so bored so quickly.  This is mostly on the fact that you’ve seen pretty much everything the game is about within the first five seconds of playtime.  The monotony wears thin quickly, and Unnecessary Violence does very little to change things up.

The weapon variety is lame.  You get a machine gun with no “oomph” to it that overheats if you use it for more than a few seconds.  You get rockets that take multiple shots to blow up a car.  If I have a rocket launcher and it takes two shots to blow up ANYTHING, I’m going to be oh so pissed at the asshole I bought it from.  Land mines are present.  I found them to be unsatisfactory, mostly because I want to actually see the shit I’m blowing up, not having to glance at the rear-view mirror.  Enemies have mines too, and they’re fucking impossible to avoid, because you’re traveling at high speeds.  There are anti-tank guns, which require you to carefully select your target, hard to do when you’re cruising at warp-speed and often rear-ending all other cars present.  There are anti-air missiles for helicopters that don’t show up until the third stage, at which point you’ll have quit and started a better game.  Finally, there’s nuclear weapons, which create a nifty explosion but otherwise I could not figure out what the fuck they’re useful for.  To activate them, you have to input a five-button code.  Again, this is while you’re in the middle of busy traffic, often pressed for time.  How could they fuck up the entire assortment of weapons in a car game?  Couldn’t they get just one right?

So bored. Please kill me. Make it stop.

By the end of the third stage, I decided I should either quit the game or kill myself.  I chose the former, obviously.  There’s just no variety in Unnecessary Violence.  Lots of weird stuff that I hated too.  Your car is able to set off a nuclear fucking explosion, but you can’t bump other cars off the road.  If you’re driving at 140 miles an hour and you bump into the back of a car, it doesn’t even nudge forward, yet it cuts your speed down to a snail’s pace.  You do have the ability to give yourself a nitrous boost, but it seems to do little more than give the appearance of moving faster.  The rate at which traffic appears while using it doesn’t seem significantly higher than it is when you’re just putting the regular pedal to the non-nitrous metal.

Despite having fairly decent graphics and control, Unnecessary Violence feels unfinished.  It’s one objective repeated in a loop in a way practically guaranteed to comatize anyone playing.  I almost wonder if the developers had more ambitious plans, but gave up once they had something vaguely resembling a decent video game running.  It needed something else to keep things fresh.  Instead, it just drags along like it’s got worms.

Unnecessary Violence was developed by Tackemon

80 Microsoft Points said you know the game is going to be bad when the FAQ is the most entertaining part of it in the making of this review.

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6 Responses to Unnecessary Violence

  1. At least if you take a taxi you could fall asleep in the back.

  2. Tim Roast says:

    When I read the title “Unnecessary Violence” that this was going to be a diary piece about the day-to-day things you get up to when not playing games. But it’s the title of a game. Ho-hum.

  3. Starglider says:

    It reminds me of the driving sections in the Amiga / Atari ST version of Batman and Sid Meier’s Covert Action; they worked as brief sections in a larger game but would have been too simple and repetitive to stand on their own. I like to think that if this developer put together five or so mini-games of this quality, they could wrap it all up into a neat James Bond affectionate-parody spy game that would be a good buy at 240 MSP (this would be the escape in the spy car section). Unfortunately projects of that scope are hard to justify on XBLIG, where the best way to gain fame and fortune is to spam as many $1 games as possible and hope one of them goes viral.

  4. tackemon says:

    Hehe, well I’m the developer (“the developers” = me) and this was a fun game to create to learn about real-time 3D graphics and AI and learn 3D modeling. For the record, not all XBLIG games are money grabs. Sometimes they are just hobbyist developers having some fun in their free time. Anyway, for a different opinion:

    http://www.chud.com/90848/mcp-indie-round-up-for-the-week-of-april-22nd/

    “Unnecessary Violence (XBLIG) is a fast-paced, action-driven racing/shooter hybrid where the player is put behind the wheel of a James Bond-esque supercar equipped with machine guns, missiles, mines and other assorted goodies. The objective is simple, eliminate certain marked vehicles on the road while also destroying slow-moving sedans driving in the fast lane. The action was fantastic, and the light narrative was enough to keep me playing. Totally worth it at 80 Microsoft Points (a whopping dollar), I couldn’t possibly recommend Unnecessary Violence more.”

    • Kairi Vice says:

      I don’t think I called your game a money grab. Just boring.

      • tackemon says:

        The money grab thing was just a comment related to Starglider’s post and I wasn’t necessarily talking about my game. To me, XBLIG is a place where hobbyists can dip their toes into game development and have fun. I think the fact that you have to charge at least $1 really can raise people’s expectations sometimes to an unrealistic level and they don’t understand that many games come from the love of learning, creating, and iterating more than making a buck. Obviously that’s not always the case (massage games, really?). The service was initially called Creator’s Club, which I think was a better name. “Indie Games” is a bit of a misnomer I think.

        I’m kind of surprised about the boring thing though. Did you play it on Normal or above? Even the unlimited rockets thing in adrenaline mode at 180 mph with the 170 bpm music loop was boring?

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