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Jacked Review

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Biker thriller that's lost its wheels

★★★★★

Essentially a cheeky, unlicensed update of the classic Mega Drive motorcycle mash-up, Road Rash, this latest offering from budget supremo Empire Interactive (no relation…) allows players to clobber rivals with lead pipes and other blunt objects as they burn around twisting city streets. But despite its cruel, oddly-thrilling premise, Jacked is an absolute mess.

Although most gamers are willing to forgive a few rough edges in titles that cost under 20 quid, Jacked screams low-quality from the moment you fire it up, with a shockingly sluggish sense of speed, a paltry selection of gaming modes and irritating in-game crashes that either see your bike stopping dead in its tracks or exploding into a fireball.

The intelligence of enemy bikers – who’ll remember you if you steal their wheels and hold a grudge until the end of the game – hints that the developers once had big plans for this bullish blend of high octane dashes and sickening violence. But whether they ran out of money, development time or both, the finished game lacks polish, imagination and fails to warrant even its bargain price tag.

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