Carmageddon's Early Art Is Pretty Interesting

By Alex Walker on at

This story originally appeared in March 2019.

It's almost 22 years since the original Carmageddon was released. And while that's not cause for any particular celebration, one user has helpfully dug up a tonne of old concept art from Stainless Games' brutal vehicular combat racer.

A bunch of concept art, primarily produced by Neil Barnden and Terry Lane, has been floating around on social media this morning. It's courtesy of Belgian Carmageddon modder Bernard Boonen, who is also the person behind the Road Reaction fansite.

It's fascinating seeing not only concept art from back in the mid '90s - this would have been put together closer to 1995, if not 1996 when the game was in early development - but also the kind of vibe the concept art was going for. A lot of the colouring and city streets is closer to Blade Runner in parts.

Early ideas also featured tracks with a start and end point, more like Outrun or Monster Truck Madness than the looping circuits that Carmageddon ended up shipping with. Having looping tracks meant cars were more likely to interact with each other, so the change makes sense, and I imagine having more powerups was mostly to help with balancing.

You can go back and compare all of the styles pretty easily, too: The Carmageddon mobile port is still really good. The game is more fun to control these days on your phone than with keyboard controls, I've found.

Thanks to THQ Nordic forgetting to change the prices, you can't actually buy the original Carmageddon games on Steam. The Max pack is available through GOG for £8.19, but you can also get Carmageddon TDR 2000 for £2.99.

Featured image: Twitter (@toshiba_3)