Rampage: Total Destruction (2006)

While we can sometimes take them for granted, graphics have come a long, tremendous way since the dawn of Video Games. As technology marches forward, more can be done, more can be realised. In some cases, you do need to return to your roots, and work forward from there, to take advantage of this new potential. In 2006, the popular Rampage franchise returned to its roots, with exponentially more characters, and a whole new dimension to play with in Rampage: Total Destruction.

In six years, the graphics have had a dramatic improvement from sprites, to full models.

While there is a plot, a rebooted tale about Scumlabs creating a new beverage, Scumsoda, causing the mutation of the protagonists we all know and love. It mainly serves as set dressing for the action. The gameplay, also returns to the roots, with a simple selection of game modes. You have a campaign, where you successively take on 8 cities, full of destructive possibilities. Or a King of the Hill mode where you compete against up to two other monsters trying to be the most destructive in each city, district to district, fun for a buddy, or against the A.I. If you prefer. You can test your skills in a time trial mode. You can even play the original and Rampage World Tour on the disc if you chose.

While the amount of cities to destroy is far fewer than in previous games. their sizes are significant!

The biggest draw here to Total Destruction is the improvements of the graphical variety, as fans of the series can now see the mutants that we all know and love are now in full 3. D., a noticeable upgrade to the sprite-based carnage of the previous three titles. The monsters look much improved, while still retaining their distinctive design. The gameplay benefits significantly from this upgrade, among the Z-axis too, as you can now move towards and away from the screen. The destructible elements and civilians are more spaced out among these dimensions, too, making the calamitous playgrounds feel a touch more realistic. The levels are also filled with quite a few sight gags, worthy of the franchise’s unique blend of humour and fully taking advantage of the improved graphics.

The addition of the Z-axis really helps broaden the aspects of the destruction!

While the number of cities may appear a step-down in quantity from previous games, but instead offer a massive increase in quality. You can also play day and night in each city, technically doubling the levels right off the bat. The levels feel larger as you riot through at least seven of a city’s most iconic districts. You shouldn’t be too bored, as the magnitude of mutants you can play with has substantially increased, With the Nintendo Wii having 40 to unlock and the other consoles being not far behind with 30. Where completing certain tasks will unlock one of the 40 potential mutants to play as, each with their strengths and weaknesses, giving ample reasons to replay.

The mutants get an upgrade to their quantity and quality!

Total Destruction understands the fundamentals of Rampage and offers simple yet innovative changes that fans have been clamouring for after so long. The result feels like an upgrade in every sense of the word, one that feels worthy of the next generation of consoles that the game is targeting. A healthy blend of familiar arcade action, and fun couch competitive play. While focusing on what made the previous games so great, Rampage discovers a whole new dimension of gameplay.

Somethings may change, but the communal cathartic carnage of Rampage remains!

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