First released in 1998, the original arcade cabinet gave players the chance to spend around ten minutes in the company of Tony Gibson, a police officer in charge of something called the ‘chase special investigation department’, which sounds very much like a police department trying to justify a budget surplus.
Along with your partner Raymond Broady (a way more sexy name, let’s face it) you’re given the job of burning up vast lengths of US highway, pursuing and eventually ramming some proper naughty sods off the road.
Ralph, the Idaho slasher, thinks he’s untouchable in his White Lotus Esprit? Hope you like being rammed from behind, sir. The LA kidnapper thinks his kidnappees are safe in the miniscule boot of his Ferrari 288 GTO? Think again, buddy. They’re getting proper squished with my squad car.
Five different perps in five different sports cars, leathering it across desert, through tunnels and over wasteland, culminating in a breathless automotive battle with the final baddie, an Eastern Bloc spy – though why said spy thought a red Porsche 928 was an inconspicuous choice, we don’t know – the exciting part for those of us playing on home consoles, Spectrums and Amstrads was the use of digitised speech. The distorted, almost incomprehensible terse squawk of ‘let’s go, Mr. driver’ still gets the blood pumping to this very day. ‘Let’s go, Tony Gibson’ might not have had the same effect.