Not to be confused with the Bruce McDonald
film of the same name, Roadkill
is a Vehicular Combat
game developed and published by Midway Games
in 2003 for the Xbox
, PlayStation 2
. It combined Twisted Metal
-style combat with a Grand Theft Auto
- like free-roaming mission structure. It featured a rockin' soundtrack of both real and written-for-the game songs, and four-player split-screen multiplayer. The game was only mildly hyped prior to release and thought it met with good reviews, it is to this day relatively obscure,
like many Vehicular Combat
games that aren't Twisted Metal
.In the 1980s
, a deadly plague
known as The Rot struck the world, killing untold millions and bringing society to its knees
. An unspecified time later, the world is divided up into isolated pockets of "civilization"
separated by vast wasteland. The game focuses on three small cities located relatively close to one another: Lava Falls, Blister Canyon and Paradise City.
You play the role of Mason Strong
, professional tough guy.
Some years prior, he helped a man named Axl and his gang, the Sentinels, take control of Paradise City and drag it screaming out of tribalism into something resembling a functioning society. They had a falling out, and Mason was Left for Dead
. Now he's back for revenge.
He can't just go straight for Axl, though. There's a whole bunch of unruly street gangs between him and Paradise City, and he's gotta get through them first.
Roadkill exhibits the following tropes:
- Affirmative Action Girl: Were there a sequel, this would probably be a required addition.
- After the End
- A.K.A.-47: Several of the cars are recognizable as real-world ones, sans real names. Among them are a Mini Cooper, a 70's era Firebird and an El Camino- amusingly named the Cajones.
- Alternate History: The story starts with a massive plague striking humanity in the 1980s.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Well, it's more of a carnival of drugs and prostitutes and the clowns are more darkly hilarious then intimidating, but hey, people get killed often. Visually, the Daredevils' carnival hangout fits the trope, including the gigantic Sweet Tooth-esque clown face.
- Bandito: The Gouchos gang in Lava Falls are this.
- Bad Ass: Mason and Axl.
- Big Bad: Axl.
- The Berserker: The Talons gang in Blister Canyon have mohawks, tatoos and large amounts of Ax-Crazy. Their leader's car has an Invisibility Cloak.
- Black Comedy: On the whole, the game veers between this and Black Comedy.
- Bottomless Magazines: You never have to reload anything. You still need to grab ammo pickups, though.
- Car Fu: An effective way to deal with enemy infantry. Plus, they say hilarious things when you do it.
"Is your name Mason?"
"Yeah, last time I checked."
- Disposable Sex Worker: Unfortunately, these are about the only female characters this game has. Besides the wife of one of the radio gun show hosts who likes to take a flamethrower and... Nevermind.
- Dirty Cop: The Sentinels serve as the police force. They're little more then gangsters in Weaponized Cop Cars.
- Enemy Mine: Mason teams up with the Daredevils, the Section 8s and the South League gangs against their rivals, in order to get to Axl. Everybody hates the Sentinels, so this helps Mason anyway.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: And how.
- Expository Theme Tune: In addition to being awesome, many of the Fuzz Brothers songs describe the backstory and the Crapsack World.
- Fake Band: The Fuzz Brothers. The in-game radio station WYLD 66.6 plays their songs in between interviewing the band about their colorful career.
- Fan Boy: As you progress through the game, Mason acquires a cult of followers who fight for him. they all have the same character model as your pintle-gun sidekick.
- Final Boss: Axl.
- Football Hooligans: The South League gang in Paradise City. They're a rowdy bunch who apply a football metaphor to everything from parties to fighting the Sentinels and the Dregs for control of the city. They're also the most sympathetic of the gangs Mason allies with.
- Gameplay Grading: There's some form of rank system in the game, though all it does is measure the total destruction you've caused over the course of the game. You begin at Punk and progress to such ranks as Hooligan, Ass Clown, and much later they get threatening, with Grim Reaper, Reaper of Death and finally Road Lord.
- Gang of Hats: Seven, all told. Eight if you count Mason's gang. Who all look like his Side Kick.
- Glass Cannon: Many of the smaller cars can be this, depending on what weapons you equip.
- Goggles Do Nothing: All of the Sentinels wear goggles over their helmets. If you run one over, they will occasionally scream "My goggles!"
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Axl's voice actor previously voiced Z Vegeta.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Axl. Mason, in response.
- Improbable Weapon User: During one of the interviews with The Fuzz Brothers, it's mentioned that their drummer beat a former bandmate to death with a pancake.
- The Messiah: Several Fuzz Brothers songs mention a man named Ethan Cain, a Memetic Badass who led mankind out of the wastes to rebuild society. He's never really mentioned outside of that.
- Mighty Glacier: The "Rigg" Semi-truck is sluggish but possesses heavy armor.
- Military Mashup Machine: Axl drives a huge... tank with six studded wheels, numerous weapons and a giant grinder in the front.
- More Dakka: Your car has configurable primary and secondary weapon slots, plus your Sidekick on a secondary gun turret. All three can be equipped with ballistics (The turret is always a machine gun)
- New Era Speech: Axl gives one of these in a Flash Back, after the Sentinels took over Paradise.
- Notice This: Power ups float, spin and have colored auras.
- Optional Traffic Laws: Pfff. Like the Sentinels care anyway. Just don't crash into their cars. They don't like that.
- Police Brutality: As the Sentinels are little more then a heavily-armed gang masquerading as cops, this is par for the course.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Said by Mason to the South League's leader prior to their assault on the Sentinels.
"Put me in, coach. I'm ready to play."
- The Remnant: The Section 8s gang of Blister Canyon appear to be the vestiges of the US military. However, they soon appear to be a bit... well, flowery.
- Sequel Hook: In the ending, Mason receives a radio transmission from a settlement somewhere out in the wastes that is under attack. He decides to go help, saying something like "Here we go again."
- Sidekick: A Daredevils guy (who happens to not be a clown or English-sounding) joins Mason at the beginning of the game, manning the turret gun of his cars, ostensibly to keep an eye on him for the Daredevils boss. By the end of the game, the two are Fire-Forged Friends.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Regularly.
- Wanted Meter: If Mason starts causing a lot of havoc, the letters R, I, O, T will appear on your HUD. Get a full "Riot" and the Sentinels will come gunning for him.
- Weaponized Car: Yup.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Sort of. You're free to drive around the cities in-between story missions, but there's not much to do besides races, search for parts to make new cars, and cause random havoc.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Axl, though this might be pushing it. He's a total Jerk Ass.
- Witty Banter: Aside from the main characters themselves, the radio show personalities are really funny to listen to, especially the two hosts of WYLD 66.6 interviewing The Fuzz Brothers, The gravely-voiced Thunder Bob, host of the classic rock station, and the two midwestern-sounding guys who host a talk show about cars and weapons.
- Wretched Hive: All three cities. Lava Falls and Blister Canyon are pretty overt about it, whereas Paradise City has a thin veil of order maintained by the Sentinels' Police Brutality. The people there do have a somewhat better standard of living then the other areas. Regardless, it's largely Played for Laughs.
- Vehicular Combat: And nothing but. What, do you really want to get out of your car in a world like this?
- Visionary Villain: Axl again.
- The Virus: The Rot. It's mostly a Back Story point, though. By the time the game takes place it's already run it's course.
- X Meets Y: Twisted Metal meets Grand Theft Auto.