For anyone who used to make believe with a box full of Tonka Trucks and action figures, Rare’s Blast Corps is a special kind of game, one that takes you back to the timeless parts of your childhood that don’t fade just because you’re now an adult. It allows you to relive the freedom that comes from the act of playing and the simple joys that come from pretending that you’re taking control of a roughneck crew out to save the world through demolition.
A volatile nuclear transport truck is out of control. As a member of the destruction-happy, building-hating Blast Corps, you must clear it a path, leveling everything in its way and freeing families from the burdens of their homes, companies of their millions of dollars invested in industrial complexes and forever crippling the economy of the areas you’re ‘protecting’.
At its purest, that means causing maximum havoc with over a dozen controllable vehicles from bulldozers and dump trucks to giant mechs and rocket-launching bikes. Every vehicle comes with its own gameplay and physics offering an impressive variety to the levels. Since the nuclear carrier is always on the move, levels are often large time-based puzzles that must be worked efficiently. There’s a great sense of tension to every moment but the game never gets frustrating mostly due to its smartly implemented truck cam and warning systems that provide great contextual information so you’re never caught off guard.
Completing a level lets you freely return to finish bankrupting any company, homeless-ing any remaining survivors or publicly out any government satellite dishes to open new missions as every level’s state is persistent. Not only are main story missions packed with content, but many are devoted to secondary objectives including time trials and races across an ever expanding globe.
Blast Corps emphasis on destruction was novel for 1997, providing the tools to destroy the world around in a time before the concept of the sandbox was a videogames establishment. But even more than the mighty bulldozer, Blast Corps facilitates the most powerful tool at your disposal, one maybe you’ve misplaced- your imagination.
DEVELOPER: Rare Ware
PLATFORM: Nintendo 64