Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Smuggler's Run 2 - Potential autocombat background?

I've been playing Smuggler's Run 2 over the last couple of nights having borrowed the PS2 version from a mate. It's OK-ish. A bit like Crazy Taxi but not as much fun. But it did strike me that it's background was an ideal backstory for our auto-combat games.

The plot is basically this - Set in Russia (and Afghanistan although September 11th meant that all mentions of that country were changed to South Russia) the player races one of a selection of off-road buggies around the countryside picking up contraband for a gang of smugglers and racing it elsewhere, presumably on the other side of the border. The opposition comes in the form of border guards and other gangs and the buggies have a few dropped weapon systems such as mines and smokescreens.

I thought this was quite neat - it provides a justification for armed and armoured cars racing around hills and valleys, it provides a justification for battles between those cars (you have the contraband - the rival gang want's it), it provides a justification for a state of anarchy (Russian borders in the near future) and a chance to use your non-desert terrain. Some of the missions in the game involve war zones with landmines and concrete bunkers and train tracks so there is potential to set up an interesting tabletop.

You'd probably have to assemble a collection of off-road buggies, Jeeps, Land Rovers, Paris-Dakar 4WDs and the like rather than muscle cars and sportscars but I'm quite attracted to this idea. It's definately a more coherent and plausible background than "lunatics in spiky cars in future bloodsport".