Friday, September 30, 2011

-REVIEW: PAM: Post-Apocalyptic Mayhem-
Pam, you've got some serious issues

PAM: Post-Apocaplyptic Mayhem
Developer: Steel Monkeys
Price: $9.99 (PC, Steam)

My god, I JUST finished putting this thing back together! What a piece of S*!#


I was talking to my comrade-in-arms James McKinney (known to you as “CaffeineRage”) as I booted up the game and he immediately told me that the game was unsettling. It was a curiosity and a puzzle, an enigma wrapped in a conundrum thoroughly baked in a sphinx-shaped oven. PAM is the name of that dame that you can never quite put your finger on, or rather, the kind of dame you dare not put your finger on because you’ve yet to determine exactly how many venereal diseases she has, and whether or not it’s worth the risk because man, she is pretty hot, you know.
All there is to PAM is combat. And this is wrong. This is wrong because it’s supposedly about racing too. I mean, you’re in a car, on a track, and you drive around the track. But the quality of your driving is 99% unimportant because in order to win, you have to blow dudes up. Everyone will always end up with the same number of laps, so what it boils down to is kills. 
So that means you have to kill. And the most effective way to kill (for everyone, really) is to stop racing and just go about in circles attempting to kill each other, and once you’ve gotten he most kills, to race to the finish or run down the clock. Here’s the thing: there is no singleplayer option for this kind of gameplay and multiplayer maps are simply small, looped up versions of racing tracks found in singleplayer.
If you think that the vitriolic nature of these criticisms is unfair, it’s because I haven’t yet told you about the combat itself. It is completely bonkers. Let me disambiguate that: it’s totally unpredictable and unrealistic. Cars have weight, but no consequence. Powerups are all picked up from the road aside from a boost, which is always available (but still has a pickup associated with it), but does little to help you in your quest for destruction. 
Ramming into cars as they race does little to no damage regardless of the speed or weight of your car, while every one of those other powerups is a nigh-instakill. And despite having a decent variety of vehicle types, they all handle similarly and their attacks are essentially identical. Totally bonkers.
So…don’t get this game. You’ve probably seen it for yourself by now with this free weekend promotion going on, but let me spell it out for you: this isn’t a good game. If you want a game with some REAL post-apocalyptic mayhem, try Thelemite.