A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Carmageddon: Max Damage is a violent, gory, and profane racing game that's not for children or squeamish adults. Not only are players tasked with coming in first, but they can win events or earn points by running over pedestrians or by literally destroying the competition. This also has a ribald sense of humor and includes not only such profane puns as "Camel Toe" and "Bearded Clam" but also frequently employs such curse words as "s--t," "f--k," and "c--t." There's also a strip club called Saggie Maggies and a sex shop, but you don't go in them, and nor do they have a drive-through. Controls are also sluggish, which will probably frustrate players.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
As an arcade racing game, CARMAGEDDON: MAX DAMAGE doesn't have a story. Instead, you're simply tasked with winning a series of races and other car-combat events. That said, the game does have a cast of colorful characters, and while they do have their own cars, each with their own attributes, as people they have no bearing on the action itself.
Is it any good?
While its gory, violent mechanics and ribald sensibilities make this arcade-style racing game bad for kids, it's actually the game's clunky controls and dull tracks that make it bad for everyone. Though you can win events by finishing in first place, you're also encouraged to destroy the competition (literally) and to run over any idiot bystanders who, for some reason, thought it would be cool to walk around in the middle of a race. But even if you're not offended by this obvious rip-off of the movie Death Race 2000, you'll still hate this for being so fundamentally flawed. While the tracks are so wide they undermine any challenge the game might've had, the game's sluggish and clunky controls ironically make it difficult to take the way-too-easy corners. Just making a simple turn is frustrating, and trying to do anything complex, such as making a jump or running over that guy who looked at you funny, is so difficult that you might as well not bother. You also have to contend with competitors who don't seem concerned with winning but are content just to make your life difficult, as well as ugly, dated visuals that make this look cheap. This, quite simply, is one terrible game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does it make you feel different that, in this game, you're killing other people as opposed to monsters? Should this game focus on killing people instead of racing?
Talk about road safety. What does the game teach us about driving safely? And walking safely?
Discuss curse words. Do you feel the curse words in this game are necessary, or does it really not matter given how the rest of the game is violent and bloody?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Stainless Games
- Release date: July 8, 2016
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.