Hi-Octane is another one of those games you will find in
your bargain bins and 99p eBay auctions, but despite
itís unjust reputation as a poor Wipeout clone (this
game was developed first!) the game has allot to offer.
The post-apocalyptic cyber punk style of the game really
appealed to me, and the environments in which itís set,
varying from wastelands to abandoned city streets, are
extremely well done.
Unlike its contemporary rival Wipeout, Hi-Octane
features a vast array of craft all differing
significantly in design, many looking very familiar (one
of which blatantly being the Back To The Future DeLorean)
Hi-Octane features only two weapons, but this really
doesnít take anything away from the gameplay, the
default minigun has infinite ammunition but overheats
forcing the player to wait for it to cool down before
firing again. The Missiles are a much more effective
weapon but limited and to be used sparingly.
One of the more obvious places where Hi-Octane falls
down is in the graphics department, the environments are
very well done but structures inside, or straddling the
track are poorly textured and regularly feature
The vehicles are well modeled, but the total lack of
texture mapping leaves most of them looking very simple,
reminiscent of a 32X or even a MegaCD game!
This is another title I am fortunate enough to own on
both console formats, and it becomes obvious playing
both that this came from an era where EA were putting
serious weight behind the Saturn and properly optimising
games for the system.
The animation is surprisingly smoother than the PSX
version, although more texture distortion is present in
the Saturn release.
Despite it's graphical shortcomings, this cannot detract
from what is a wholesome and entertaining gaming
experience, although lacking the fast pace of Wipeout,
there is far more emphasis on the battle aspect of the
game in where lies the entertainment.
Hi- Octane is an entertaining and vastly underrated
game, let down by poor attention to detail and an
unfortunate launch schedule.
For some reason very few Saturn and Playstation owners
warmed to this title back in the day, but it is in my
humble opinion well worth revisiting.