|System: PC, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Bugbear||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Empire Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 28, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Carnage is heartily encouraged. It's a demolition game for crying out loud. In the HeadOn mode, you are forced to turn around after each lap and drive in the opposite direction - directly into oncoming traffic.
Although, the traffic could be coming at you if you're in last place. To further the carnage theme, a series of mini-games lets you launch the driver from your vehicle into the air, hopefully aimed at an intended target. After reaching top speed, you will abruptly brake, allowing inertia to do its job and catapult the driver from the vehicle. You'll attempt to have him hit a variety of items and even try to get him to fly through a burning ring of fire. The rag-doll physics are excellent. It's a brutal and hilarious scene.
With no LAN play or split-screen mode, replay value is going to be limited. Up to eight players can be accommodated online and there are enough modes to keep the average player entertained. To keep the pace steady, you no longer have to wait for other players to take their turn in the stunt and mini-games modes. Everyone plays at the same time with only faint, ghost outlines of the other vehicles visible onscreen.
It's difficult not to be impressed with the graphics. Although not photo-realistic, they have a style that is perfectly suited for such arcade games. The particle effects are magical, and the water is some of the best I've ever seen in a game. The camera angles are well behaved and the draw distance is perfect. Even with the resolution lowered, the game still looks great with nary a hiccup in the mechanics. The tunes are hard-driving rock and really serve to get your revs up. Sound effects are loud, well recorded, and triggered without a niggle.
This is one solidly designed game, but it should be, since it's been built on a pre-existing game. The upgrades to this game aren't enough to make me recommend it if you own FlatOut 2, but, for everyone else, it's a green light. Remember how I said I was going to help you acquire more than a million dollars? Well, all you have to do is find at least 50,000 reviews of mine that tell you not to purchase specific games. This will save you a fortune in the long run. You are welcome.
CCC Senior Writer