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4x4 Mud Monsters Preview

Publisher - Take 2/GOD
Developer - Edge of Reality
Platform - N64
Release Date - March 1999
Type - Racing

As reported earlier this year, Take 2 Interactive, best known for Grand Theft Auto on PlayStation and the upcoming Spacestation Silicon Valley and Bass Hunter 64, has teamed up with two talented development teams to create Mud Monsters 4x4, the first monster truck battle game for the system. Before you sceam "not another racer," you might want to read on...

Gathering of Developer's newly founded Edge of Reality, headed by ex-Iguana programmer Rob Cohen (remember the Cohen cheat in Turok?) and Mike Panoff of PilotWings 64 fame are in charge of programming, while Terminal Reality's Mark Randel brings in his ground-breaking Photex2 engine (used in the gorgeous Monster Truck Madness 2 on PC) to make it the best-looking racer yet.

The idea is simple: Take Wave Race 64 and smear mud all over it. Seriously, Mud Monster's programmers are determined to make the perfect mud, where cars slide around and big globs of dirt spray from the tires to create a brown mess on other vehicles. But it's not all just for show. Mud can actually blind the trailing players and they have to use their windshield wipers to clear the view. You can also cripple other rvehicles by running them off the track.

Speaking of other drivers -- unlike most N64 racers, Mud Monsters will feature a four-player split-screen mode in both its circuit and time attack modes, and an entertaining Rumble mode where you push other players from a platform. In addition to the multiplayer modes, Mud Monsters is also slated to include an interesting view option where players can zoom out to show the action on one screen during the Rumble Mode. This way, gigantic crashes will light up your TV at full-screen, rather than be split into two.

Players start the game with only two vehicles, but more become available after winning several races. Mud Monsters will include many realistically modelled polygon trucks, including Jeeps, SUVs, a Hummer, Mud Buggies, Monster Trucks, and Pick-ups.

Other interesting features include changing weather conditions during the races and oodles of puddles and mud spots. Depending on how much it rains, road friction will change and make it harder to get to your destination without counter-steering. Tracks are varied and include such cool environments as swamp lands, grassy hills, golf courses, and even a closed-off area around train tracks.

The game will be published by Gathering of Developers and Take 2 and marks GOD's first steps into console gaming.

Considering the impressive pool of talent involved in this game, Mud Monsters should prove to be more than "just another racer" when it hits the N64 early next year. Look for more information soon.