STORY / GAMEPLAY
The first two Outrun games didn't receive much acclaim. However, Out Run Europa showed that something worthwhile could be done with this vehicle racing series. The point is that, in Outrun Europa it is not only a matter of racing. Some secret files have been stolen by special agents who will stop at nothing in their attempt to bring misery to the world. As secret agent yourself, you have been chosen by your HQ due to your success to attempt to retrieve the files. They have supplied transport for you at certain check points in order to be able to qualify to the next level. The enemy agents will try to block your progress though, attempting to destroy you whether you are on land or sea, and the only way to defeat them is to fight back. On the roads, other vehicles may appear too, blocking accidentally your path or even knock toy into the road signs, resulting in you losing time.
The first level involves riding a Yamaha GP charged with a highly (but limited) power booster. Fortunately, boost canisters can be found in your path. From the motorcycle it's straight onto the jet ski. Enemies will drop bombs on your jet ski, but also there are more hazards on the water than on the land and these come in the shape of rocks, boat and lighthouse. Then, you will be able to take control of a Porsche 911. The car handles better than the motorcycle although it proves awkward to nip in between enemy vehicles. From the Porsche it's into a high powered speedboat armed with missiles that will destroy the police heli.
Although there are only seven levels, every single one is extremely hard and you will need great skills to progress.
Although the best in the trilogy, having a few neat touches, Out Run Europa looked very ordinary and unambitious when compared to the other racer rivals back in 1991, such as the Lotus series.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The ST version sports some nice visuals, quite similar to the Amiga conversion, but surely missing some stuff from the original. Landscapes are nicely drawn with different palettes on each level (up to 32 colors here, 16 for the racing screen and 16 for the info panel), while there are plenty of objects on the sides of the race road, such as buildings, trees, rocks and signposts. Scrolling is not that smooth though, but apparently this makes the action a bit easier compared to the Amiga version, when trying to avoid crashing especially on tight turns.
The sound is fine too, featuring a nice introductory theme, but you can only have either music or sound effects (not sampled here) during gameplay, offering boost engine sounds, sirens, firing spot effects, explosions etc.