So, it finally happened; I have now officially played Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing over on my Twitch channel. Not only that, but I’ve played every single race and vehicle in the game, winning each one. So, it is safe to say that I have actually completed Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing. Although, I’m honestly not sure that is something to be proud of.
Now that I’ve had that “experience”, though, it seems like a good time to write a Big Rigs review and look at what it is like to play in 2020 or beyond.
Typically, for a First Impressions section, I would take about things like getting started with the game and what the first levels are like, or how the music can entice you to play it. With Big Rigs, though, we need to look at some other things first… Specifically, actually making it work!
To begin with, it is important to note that it does not run in Windowed Mode. There is no way to force it into Windowed Mode either, without the use of a 3rd Party application like DxWnd. So, when you start the game, you’ll be treated to a full-screen application running at 640x480p. On a 1920x1080p, that does not look pretty, but at least it doesn’t stretch it, instead just running with a huge black box around it.
The thing is, I was planning on streaming the game, so full-screen wasn’t something I wanted. So, I tried to use DxWnd to force it into Windowed Mode… It worked, because the application is great like that, but because of how badly created and coded Big Rigs is, it froze my PC.
And before anyone thinks that’s because my PC can’t handle it, I had a very powerful gaming PC that can play the latest releases on max graphics. It wasn’t an issue with the PC, but rather the game. So that needs to be something you are made aware of it you plan to play Big Rigs (although, spoiler alert for this review, I would advise against it).
Moving on, once I’d managed to get the game working (full-screen only), I was greeted with a main menu that looks like a £2 base menu scene from the Unity Store. It didn’t even have any background music! Things were not off to a good start, and it was only going to get worse.
The thing with Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing is that I went into the game fully aware of its reputation as one of the worst games ever made. Funnily enough, it completely lives up to it, even with the “patch” to fix certain things. First of all, it offers a selection of 5 tracks to race on, which in and of itself is a very limited number. But then, it gets even worse! The fifth track causes the game to crash entirely, and the fourth track selection actually just loads one of the other ones, itself just a reverse of the first track. So, in reality, there are only actually 2 tracks in the game, plus the reversed one.
From there, we get into the races, and everything falls apart.
First off, the opponent only loads in one the race has actually started; during the countdown, you are the only racer on the track. Then, the opponent drives excessively slow so the only struggle you get from this is trying to let them keep up with you so you can actually have a race. However, even if you do that, it won’t matter. The opposing racers aren’t even programmed to cross the finish line! You literally cannot lose a race in this game, because the other racer will never complete the track.
But that’s not all! Oh, no!
If you thought you could have some fun by driving into buildings, lamp posts or anything else, then prepare for more disappointment as none of them have any collision set up so you just drive straight through them. The only thing with collision is the ground, which you stick to like glue, allowing you to just drive up basically vertical ledges with no problem whatsoever. Oh, but the bridges don’t have collision, so instead of driving over them, you phase through them and drive through the valley they are spanning, before casually driving back up the other side with no issues.
Then we come to the most infamous part of this game, and the inspiration for the title of this review; the reversing mechanic. You see, when driving forward, your speed gets limited like it should do. That is not the case when you go in reverse. In Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing, the reverse mechanic will allow you to accelerate indefinitely, and I mean indefinitely. On the stream, we managed to reach just shy of 6 million miles per hour in reverse before I needed to move my finger off the down arrow…
And yes, the game uses the arrow keys rather than WASD for controls.
In doing this little experiment, we very quickly left the game world and kept going further and further away. Eventually, the skybox glitched out and disappeared, although not before the character model of the truck did, leaving us driving in reverse at many times the speed of light, with a pitch black screen… At least that is realistic since you potentially wouldn’t be able to see any colours, lights or anything at that speed.
On top of that, it seems as though the game uses a warping system when you reach the end of the level’s area (not the map, but the level that the map is placed on) because the co-ordinates on the left of the screen were going from positive to negative numbers and then back to positive again, over and over! There also didn’t seem to be a point where the game would decide you were going too fast and crash, meaning we could have reached even higher speeds!
Eventually, we decided to use the “Quit To Windows” option in the menu, since you only get two options (Return to Race or Quit To Windows). Surprisingly, that actually takes you back to the main menu of the game and not to Windows, which is a pretty good example of how this game runs anyway. From there, we went back into a race and tried to complete it in reverse. After successfully getting round the track whilst reversing, we found that it doesn’t let you finish the race if you miss even one checkpoint through the track.
Basically, the gameplay for Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing is abysmal, and that’s being nice.
Now, having torn the gameplay of Big Rigs to pieces, you’re probably expecting me to do the same when it comes to entertainment, and you would be half right. In terms of enjoyment from the actual game in the way it is meant to play, there really is none. It is dull, soulless and offers you absolutely nothing in exchange for your time.
However, if you enjoy messing around with broken games to see how far you can actually break them, then it does at least offer about half an hour’s worth of enjoyment value. But once you get to the same point that we did, where nothing is rendering except the UI, that’s really all you will get in that sense too.
In short, you’ll only get a few minutes of fun whilst you laugh at Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing’s awful design and build. After that, you’ll probably never touch it again.
And That’s All Folks
I really don’t know how to summarise this Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing review, or the game itself. In the end, it certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the worst games ever released, and that is all that needs to be said about it. In the space of 1 hour, we managed to play all of the tracks, use all of the trucks, break the game’s visual rendering & sound effects, and pretty much do everything there is to do in the game.
What I can say is that I would never recommend this to anyone, but even that should have been obvious by now. Someone would have to pay me to play this game again.
If you liked this review, or are interested in seeing me play the games we review on here, why not follow me on Twitch here? We are playing through the entire Final Fantasy series, and also play a random retro game each week, chosen from a list that everyone in the community Discord can add to, such as Big Rigs!