by John Crowhurst

COMMUTE

Who thought that a game about driving your car to work could be so exciting! Commute is the latest and greatest game to come from the creators at the 3DO Company. I know what you're thinking…COMMUTE! What the… Why? Believe me, I thought the same thing. Be warned, this is not your typical driving game. Think of Flight Simulator® with a car. Your scenario starts with you lying in bed at 5:30am and the alarm going off. You have some difficult decisions to make: Take a shower? Eat breakfast? Read the paper? Or do you brush your teeth, grab your coffee, and run out of the house to get a head start? You get outside and you see your car, a slime green Pinto, waiting for you. Don't forget to check your gas gage. If you are low on gas, you have to go to the gas station and get more. Remember you are on a time limit! Now off you go. You drive out of your driveway and onto the city streets. Watch out for the kids going to school and the extremely slow elderly people walking across the crosswalk. You really can't afford the hike in insurance by hitting them.

Now it is time to merge onto the freeway with thousands of your closest friends. Work is about 40 miles away and it is stop and go the whole way. There are many hazards to watch out for. You must take into consideration the weather. If it is hot out your car might overheat. If it starts raining your breaks don't work as quick (and you always need to keep an eye out for the idiot driving in front of you, to your sides and behind you. Other realistic weather conditions are snow, fog, and black ice. Don't forget the realistic road hazards. There are plenty of erratic drivers on a mission to get to where they are going. And just like real life these idiots have no conception of sharing the highway. Watch out for the police, they will give you a ticket for driving in the commute lane, speeding, littering, etc… Just like the real world, motorcyclists will shoot between the cars if it is too slow, so you must watch for them while changing lanes.

Besides the weather and other drivers you also have to make sure you don't spill you coffee (optional…see below), fogging up the windows, trying to change your radio, running out of gas, and overheating the engine. You do pay for insurance so if you blow out a tire and don't have a jack or if you need your car towed to the mechanic you can call for assistance. It is vital that you get to work on time. This is how you make your money so you can get a better car. When you are on time you get paid in full. If you make it to work on time five times in a row you get a raise. Ten times in a row you get a big raise. If you are not late for a whole month you get a promotion. When you are late for work you get your pay docked. If you are more than one hour late you get a pink slip. After you receive three pink slips you are fired. You start the game out with a clunker (your choice of Gremlin, Yugo, Aspire, or Pinto) and after making money at work you can buy a more reliable car (Civic or Corolla). The more money you make the cooler the car. Other cars to choose from are Cadillac's, Towncars, Hum V's, Porches, Corvettes, SUV's, BMW's, and Mercedes. Some cars randomly are great and others are lemons. It is possible to have a Civic blow its engine before a Gremlin needs any mechanical attention.

Using Microsoft's Force Feedback Steering Wheel (List Price: $189.95) only enhances the true simulation of actually sitting in traffic. The addition of the Microsoft Force Feedback Coffee Holder (List Price: $39.95), which easily clamps on to the Force Feedback Steering Wheel, allows you to actually place steaming hot coffee (you have to provide that) and have the opportunity to spill your coffee while hitting the breaks during your commute!

The ability to play this game online is awesome. You can have up to 1000 people playing across the Internet with you!!! The more people playing the more realistic the driving conditions. More people clogging up the freeways! Your typical 20-minute commute can drag out to take three or four hours! I found the game entertaining and its realism outstanding. It is a must to use the Force Feedback Steering Wheel. Every time you hit the breaks you feel it. Every time you are hit…you feel it. This is not a game for the shoot 'em up, bloods and guts crowd. To master this game it takes a commitment. The game is in real time, so if you are stuck behind a turned over chemical truck and Hazmat has sealed off the road, you will sit there for six hours waiting. Awesome! 4 Bloody Swords

Minimum Requirements: Pentium III 500mgz, 128mb Ram, 32mb Video Card, 700mb hard disk space, and an internet connection.

COMMUTE
COMPANY
- 3DO
PRICE
-69.99
RATING
-4 Bloody Swords

What it all means...The Pctyrant Bloody Sword Rating System

  = Don't even put it on your computer or waste your time

  = Play it on a friends computer...don't load it on yours

  = Wait for a friend to buy it then burn a copy for yourself

  = Definetely buy it but wait for a good sale

  = Get it NOW, pay full price

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