What better way to enjoy off-road adventures than by sitting in front of your Sega Saturn, PlayStation or PC in 1996 and enjoying Gremlin Interactive’s ‘Hardcore 4×4’. Also known as ‘TNN Motorsports Hardcore 4X4’ in the U.S and the slightly less obvious ‘Denka Yonku Tough The Truck’ in Japan.
The fact Saturn games were retailing at £39.99 back in 1996 isn’t as shocking as the decision to print the second 4 in reverse for the logo.
The game let you race pickup trucks and jeeps from a selection of 6 vehicles, racing 5 other competitors on cross-country races. In championships you attack all six courses in a row to try and win a hidden truck, whilst there was also a time-trial mode for up to 8 players to achieve the fastest lap.
Hardcore 4×4 actually reappeared as a PlayStation Store PSone Classic for the PlayStation 3. That’s despite the fact Hardcore 4×4 2 allegedly involved rebuilding the code base and world builder tools.
Graphics weren’t amazing, even for the time, but it’s a playable enough racer. The biggest flaw is that the tracks are fairly narrow and you can’t go off course for any reason, so it’s very much about heading to the finish as quickly as possible.