Origin Systems, 1985
MS-DOS, Apple II, Amiga, C64, Atari 8-bit, 等
Origin Systems, 1985
MS-DOS, Apple II, Amiga, C64, Atari 8-bit, etc
反乌托邦未来式的 RPG 设定往往都会燃起很多人的兴趣，尤其是在两部 70 年代后期的经典 Cult 片《死亡车神（Death Race 2000）》和《疯狂麦克斯（Mad Max）》）被允许复映之后。在 1980 年 Steve Jackson 巧妙地将飙车电影改编成了 TRPG（桌面规则角色扮演游戏）《飞车大战（Car Wars）》并大获成功。游戏讲述的是如何如何改造并驾驶自己的毁灭战车横穿末世下美国的故事。而《飞车武士（Autoduel）》则是 Steve Jackson 与 Origin 合作推出的一款改编自《飞车大战》的 CRPG。
Dystopian futures often feel like interesting RPG settings, but late 70s cinema delivered two cult classics that just begged to be played: Death Race 2000 and Mad Max. Steve Jackson artfully translated that drive into 1980's Car Wars, a popular tabletop RPG all about building your own vehicle of destruction and driving it across post-apocalyptic US. Autoduel, born of a deal between Steve Jackson and Origin Systems, is its CRPG adaptation.
尽管《飞车武士》是一款授权改编作品，但是与原作游戏还是有一定区别的。原作《飞车大战》基于回合制，而 Origin 从 Midway 在 1983 年发售的热门街机游戏《间谍猎手（Spy Hunter）》中获得灵感并将其改编成一款采用卷轴滚动式移动，通过摇杆快速反应操作的驾驶类街机游戏。
可惜的是，《飞车武士》采用的卷轴式移动和战斗设计过于落后，这也许对于 1985 年那会儿来说还不错，但还是缺乏 3D 视角驾驶所带来的那种沉浸感。然而，游戏最大的缺陷就是极高的游戏难度。尽管这让游戏中的战斗充满着挑战性，但“永久死亡（permadeath）”功能实在是丧心病狂，除非你不嫌费劲备份存档，否则玩家角色一旦死亡，游戏会强制删除你所有游戏记录迫使你重头开始。
Although a licensed product, Autoduel features a massive difference: while Car Wars was turn-based, Origin's team took some lessons from Midway's 1983 arcade hit Spy Hunter and made the game an arcade-y, top-down real-time driving game that requires fast reflexes and is best played with a joystick.
True to its source material, Autoduel features an incredibly detailed car-building system. You'll choose from various car types (compact, van, pickup, luxury, etc.) and equip it with your choice of chassis, armour, suspension, tyres, weapons and power plant.
This is where the game shines. It's a joy to build your own vehicles, creating a fast car that can outrun enemies and lay mines or buying a large power plant to use laser weapons. There's also a robust locational damage system, as weapons, tyres, armour layers and even the driver have their own hit points. Get shot at a side that has no armour left and you're likely dead.
You can freely drive across the Northeastern US, hunting outlaws (and salvaging their cars), battling in arenas and taking delivery quests. It can get a bit repetitive after a while, but build enough prestige and you'll unlock a final mission for the FBI.
Unfortunately, Autoduel's top-down driving and combat aged badly. Yes, it was great for 1985, but lacks that visceral feedback we have in modern 3D driving games. However, its real flaw is the extreme difficulty. The combat is fairly challenging, but gets frustrating when paired with permadeath – if you die the game erases your save, forcing you to restart from scratch unless you have a very expensive clone of yourself.
If you enjoy such high challenge (or don't mind making manual backups of your save files), then be sure to take Autoduel for a ride. While there are many other vehicular combat games out there, very few can match the complexity of this classic.