Badlands - one part of the title says it all - and
I'm not talking about "lands".
by Cole Smith
3, 2006 - First
of all, I can't afford a Hummer. But if I could, the
last thing I would spend my money on is a Hummer.
It's just not something that I would want to drive
around the city. I wouldn't mind taking one off-roading
for an afternoon but since that's never going to happen
I thought the closest that would come close would
be playing Hummer Badlands for a few hours. In all
actuality it comes about as close as an AM radio station
does to a live concert.
is some off-roading in Hummer Badlands but racing
makes up the brunt of the gameplay. Racing Hummers
may seem like an odd idea, and it is, especially when
you're racing on regular tracks that any vehicle could
navigate easily. Hummer racing should be confined
to offroad, in environments with tough terrain that
could showcase the Hummer's ruggedness. These vehicles
aren't fast. They are basically tanks. The racing
tracks provide absolutely no challenge for these vehicles
- but thanks to the incredibly forgiving nature of
the gameplay mechanics, the offroad mode is equally
Hummer Badlands were an actual arcade game, it would
make on average, about a quarter an hour. It's just
too easy. You can play this entire game in a couple
of hours, even if you're a casual player. There are
some more difficult aspects to the game, such as the
challenges in the Offroad mode but you only have to
repeat the section a few times before you catch on.
are only three major Hummer models: The H1, H2 and
the H3. The H1 is the biggest and bulkiest of the
three and they become more streamlined and performance-enhanced
the higher the number. Variations of each model are
available but they only differ in their customizing
aspects such as tire size, suspension, brakes and
Hummers share the same handling characteristics which
are basically floaty physics that cause the Hummers
to bounce in the air like the vehicle from Moon Patrol.
They feel like inflatable bouncy castles on wheels.
Even when you slam into a tree or the side of a wall
you bounce right back on the track. The sound effects
are good, which makes it seem as though you're actually
hitting a brick wall but the damage display is relegated
to only a cracked windshield and a dented bumber.
Hey I know these things are tough, but they're not
include the standard quick race, time trials and championship
in which you participate in a series of five races,
the competitor awarded the most points overall is
the winner. There are some multi-player modes which
include head-to-head, pursuit racing and get this,
tug-of-war. You hit the reverse buttons and try to
out-pull your opponent. It's as silly and un-fun as
it sounds. Yes, we're crossing over into the redneck
is a decent selection of courses, for a budget title.
They include two versions of the following locations:
New York, Arizona, California, Colorado and Peru.
There are five variations to each track, and although
it may break things up a little, there still isn't
much of a challenge to any of them. The shortcuts
are easy enough to find; they may as well be marked
with an overhead sign. Don't expect much in the scenery
department. The trees, shrubs and fences look like
the fake scenery from a model train set. They are
reused for most of the tracks. There is some clipping
in which various leaves and branches will pass through
the single-player mode the AI always wants to hang
with you. If you're in the lead they are always close
behind, regardless of how great you may think you're
doing. And if you're not doing so well, that is, if
you manage to encounter a few setbacks, your AI buddies
will appear to wait for you. They never get too far
ahead and leave you to fend for yourself. This is
just another example of the oversimplified gameplay.
I'm not expecting a sim but some realism would be
nice. There's not much incentive to keep your vehicle
on the track if A) you don't destroy it, and B) you
can always catch up to your opponents.
can't deny that these Hummers look good. I mean, personally
I don't think that Hummers look good, they look like
a cross between a jeep and a school bus, but graphically
they are virtually photo-realistic and that's impressive
for a budget title. But regardless of how good they
look, I still want to smash them up from time to time.
some mountainous curves and slipper icy patches, the
Colorado tracks provide the most challenge of all
the five locations. It's a bit more of a challenge
just to keep your Hummer on the road. The most challenging
mode is the Offroad mode where you will battle rocks,
fallen trees, steep embankments and raging rivers.
This is where the developers need to focus their efforts
if there is ever going to be a Hummer Badlands sequel.
Get the physics down, increase the difficulty, add
some more realism to the AI and let us customize some
of these babies. That would make a much better game.
don't alert the Double Entendre Police but I've just
got to say that this Hummer blows.
Badlands lets you go off-road, slide through the
mud, and climb over rocks in your own Hummer vehicle.
than just 4 tons of raw HUMMER power rumbling across
torque twisting HUMMER models including the H1,
H2 and the H3T Concept.
customization: wheels, roof lights, brush guards
multiplayer for head-to-head action.
on or off-road: Smash through barriers to uncover
shortcuts and hidden routes!
Mode, Quick Race, Tug O' War, Extreme Off-Road and