Thursday, April 12, 2012

Megabits' Pick: Ten Sweetest Rides

This time next week your humble scribe hopes to be let loose on the roads. Legally, I mean. Some 17 years after all my friends, I’ll be taking my driving test in little Citroen Saxo. I’m nervous, excited, and strangely underwhelmed by the Saxo. Where everyone else I know has been driving real cars for the last two decades, I’ve been driving videogame vehicles, all of which are much more entertaining and much easier to manage.

There are plenty of lists of the craziest vehicle in games, but we at Megabits thought it was time for a list of the most enjoyable: these aren’t the super-speedy beasts from the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo, these are the runners and riders that appeared in non-driving games and handled in ways that enhanced the whole experience. They’re also the vehicles I’d most like to drive away from Isleworth Test Centre.

10. Zombie
Grand Theft Auto IV

There’s no getting past the fact that the bikes in GTA are more fun than the cars, and make you feel like more of a bad-ass. Sadly, they’re also more likely to hurl you thirty feet along the pavement and headfirst into a hotdog cart. Which is where the Zombie comes in. Not only do its fat tires and ape-hanger handlebars make it the best looking bike in the game, but its handling and acceleration sit neatly on the line between aggressive and deathtrap. Perfect.

9. Warthog

Come on, we’d be lying if we tried to pretend the Warthog didn’t belong on this list. Halo made it pretty much de rigeur for shooting games to have a driving component, and the Warthog is the main reason why. Its mix of ridiculously bouncy suspension, high speed and bonkers physics combined with incredibly sharp steering makes every drive in the Warthog a wildly unpredictable yet controllable ride.

8. Airboat
Half Life 2

Indestructible, unflippable, fast and capable of travelling over land and water, what’s not love about the Airboat? Its early incarnation may have caused travel sickness in beta-testers, but the boat in the finished game is a delight as it swoops along in a series of controlled skids, knocking helicopters out of the sky and generally being awesome.

7. Armoured Personnel Carrier
Red Faction Guerrilla

It may not look like it at first glance, but what we like to think of as the RFG-EDF-APC is the most enjoyable vehicle in Volition’s sandbox of destruction. The civilian vehicles are barely more than milkfloats, Jenkin’s Jetter is great but you only get to ride shotgun, and the armed walkers and tanks are too distant and impersonal in their damage dealing. The APC, however, is tough enough the be driven through fences, walls, pylons, houses, offices and everything else, allowing you to wreak your demolishing havoc up close and personal.

6. Sabre
Halo Reach

The Sabre is a wonderful mixture of realism and fantasy. It needs a booster to get it out of the atmosphere, and once in zero G it has permanent momentum and no concept of up, down, left or right-after all, such things are meaningless in space. On the other hand, it does have a selection of cannons and energy weapons to let you fight off the incoming Banshees. Handy, that.