If there was ever an old TV show that was just itching to be made into a modern day video game it was Dukes of Hazzard. These tales of the two cousins' racing adventures through the highways and backwoods of Hazzard County are something that video games are made of. In fact there is a rare unreleased Atari cart featuring the Duke boys. However these country heroes have never been the stars of their own video game until now. Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home is a mission based racing game that combines all of the hokey story lines of the show with all of the hokey driving and stunts of the show. All in all it is a fan's dream and a not much else.
Let me be perfectly clear about this. Racing for Home is a game made for Dukes of Hazzard fans only. Only a fan could appreciate the story lines, which range from Boss Hog trying to get the Dukes, to some new bad guy in town trying to get the Dukes. Of course the General Lee and Uncle Jesse's Farm play into the plots heavily as well since one or the other always seem to be in jeopardy. All of the story is told through some great CG footage and through the narration of the Balladeer, Waylon Jennings.
There is no doubt that this game will be compared heavily to Driver, which is a much better designed racing/adventure game. Dukes of Hazzard is nothing like that. First of all, the entire games is on tracks, which basically means that the point of most of the missions is to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time. Forget about leisurely driving around the roads of Hazzard County; you are stuck on the paths they give you. The only difference comes when there is a car to smash or items that must be found and picked up. Also, sometimes the Duke boys have to rely on help from Cooter or Daisy Duke and their respective vehicles.
Another criticism of the game that I am sure many critics will touch upon is the "exaggerated stunt car" physics that the game features. To make the cars drive like they do on the show, the designers have really fudged on the realism. This allows for spectacular jumps, tons of flipping, and an all out loose control. However, I must say that driving the General Lee is a lot different than driving Daisy's Jeep or Cooter's truck. So at least there was some attention paid to how the cars feel.
One thing that the game possesses that you won’t find anywhere in Driver is the 2 player option. That's right, if you have a friend that likes backroads racing as much as you do, bring him over for some good ole fasioned racing fun. There is also a 2 player mission mode so you can work together instead of racing around a track against each other. So I you can find someone as lost in the past as you are you are in luck.
If you remember watching the Dukes of Hazzard every Saturday night and still catch them on TNN like I do then you will appreciate this game. The plot lines follow right along with the best shows, the characters are all here, and nothing beats jumping the creek in the General Lee. However, after a while the game begins to get repetitive and the novelty wears off a bit. Still, for a fan this game will be really fun and bring back all of those memories of law breaking Duke boys and their renegade exploits in a little county called Hazzard.
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