This isn’t a piece of super big news, but it’s a cool little tale. Hidden in a dark corner of Remedy’s newest scary game, Alan Wake 2, there’s an arcade game machine dedicated to the very first game the Finnish developer ever created. The game in question is Death Rally, a top-down racing game for old computers like MS-DOS, kinda like Micro Machines, and it came out way back in 1996. Published by Apogee, it’s about racing on tiny courses, shooting at your opponents, or crashing into them. “It’s called Death Rally because it’s about racing and danger,” said a guy named Kieron Gillen in 2009.
Remedy was started just before they released Death Rally by people from the Finnish computer tinkering groups Future Crew and The Aggression. Those groups were more about playing around with computer stuff than making games, so making a “real” video game was a big challenge.
“Back in the Future Crew days, we did a few things like games,” said co-founder Markus Mäki in 2016. “But making a full-blown game is totally different.” Death Rally is also the game where Remedy’s current creative boss, Sam Lake, who’s a famous creator in the game world, joined the company. He was studying English books at the time in Helsinki and was asked by co-founder Petri Järvilehto to write the characters’ words.
Death Rally was a big deal back then, selling over 120,000 copies and letting Remedy make another game for Apogee, which started as a game called “Dark Justice” and became the very first Max Payne.
Sadly, you can’t play Death Rally in Alan Wake 2, unless there’s some secret way we haven’t found. It seems like a missed chance, especially since Remedy talks about all their games happening in the same world. But you can download Death Rally for free on Steam – forever. There’s a remake out there, but it’s not that great, as Nathan Grayson found out. And if you want to know what we think about Remedy’s new spooky game, wait for Katharine’s review of Alan Wake 2 in the next few days.
She seems to like it on her first try, but it’s longer and a bit tricky. Oh, how things were simpler when all you did was drive in circles and bump into people.