Alarm for Cobra 11: Nitro - The Taxpayer Says Thank You

Jake Spencer
28 March 2012

Let's all take in a second to appreciate this name...

Alarm for Cobra 11: Nitro.

The box art is confusing. Not the German cover, of course. Nothing makes more sense than that box. The cover on the left, though... Where are the explosions? Why did they make the police car blue, but leave the yellow lights and European license plates? Someone's trying to trick me into thinking I'm not about to play a game based on a German TV show.

Whatever. The above is what you see when you start the game. Regardless of what they put on the box, you will see some explosions when you play.

(Not pictured: The sound of wailing guitars.)

And here's what you see when you start the game. Kinda disappointing, right? Flat textures, idyllic scenery, nothing exploding - there's no way this is going to be a good game. The first mission is to drive down this street without damaging your car too much. How very dull this would be... if you weren't driving on the Autobahn.

I played the OnLive demo of Alarm for Cobra 11: Nitro, which only lasts for thirty minutes. Successfully driving down this stretch of road should only take about two minutes, but after half an hour, I still hadn't completed the mission. That might sound like a criticism, but, in fact, I had such fun slamming my car around that I didn't care about progressing at all.

Alarm for Cobra 11: Nitro (still not getting tired of typing that name) is not a well-made game. It's sort of garbage, and that's exactly why I love it. Within the first minute, I had somehow flipped my car straight over the safety railing, and was able to keep driving. I proceeded at full speed into a tree, which made the hood to fall off the front of my car and caused me to fail the mission, and I could still keep driving. I ran out of time, and I could still keep going. Most games ask if you'd like to reset when you total your vehicle or run out of time. Alarm for Cobra 11: Nitro is not most games.

I started again, this time on Hard difficulty (more traffic!), and immediately caused an eight-car pileup. "Was that really necessary?" asked the disembodied voice of, I don't know, police headquarters or something. Then I turned around and went for a few head-on collisions. My car flipped up on its nose and pirouetted a few times before landing on a green-and-white cruiser. "Was that really necessary?" asked my very patient friend. Then the camera zoomed around to give me a replay of the explosions, pulling in nice and close so I could clearly see how empty the driver's seats were on every car except my own.

Nitro Cobra Nitro 30 68 Cobra Alarm is dumb, dumb, dumb, and I can't get enough of it. I've played my share of bad driving games, and I don't know whether it's the excessiveness of the explosions or the bravado of the guitar-driven soundtrack, but this one's special.