Fatal Inertia Hands-On Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3
Fatal Inertia box art
System: PS3, X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Koei Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Koei 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 - 4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Finally Fatal Inertia

by Amanda L. Kondolojy

August 9, 2007 - Anyone who follows the ultra tiny sub genre of physics-based jet/hovercraft racing, has been wondering about Fatal Inertia ever since 2006. Back then, Fatal Inertia was one of the few announced PS3 exclusive titles given to us though the Tokyo Game Show. But times have changed drastically since then. First, Fatal Inertia went multiplatform (meaning to the Xbox 360 too), and then it was announced that the PS3 version was delayed indefinitely. So it's been a long time coming, but we finally got our hands on the demo version of Fatal Inertia on Xbox Live Marketplace. And I, for one, think the jury's still out on this one.

Fatal Inertia screenshot

One demo-specific thing I definitely didn't like was how they presented the game's controls to you in rotating three - second flashes. Anyone who has played this type of hovercraft racing games knows that the controls can be intricate, and it takes way longer than it should to pick up the controls in this demo. But thankfully, this is only a shortcoming of the demo, and hopefully will have no impact on the actual game.

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One demo-specific thing I definitely didn't like was how they presented the game's controls to you in rotating three - second flashes. Anyone who has played this type of hovercraft racing games knows that the controls can be intricate, and it takes way longer than it should to pick up the controls in this demo. But thankfully, this is only a shortcoming of the demo, and hopefully will have no impact on the actual game.

Fatal Inertia screenshot

But despite the first few initial pitfalls, there were several parts of the Fatal Inertia demo that were very promising. First, there were the controls. Once you were able to learn them, they were very intuitive and fit perfectly. The racing fans reading this will know how important it is to have controls that make sense, and I'm happy to report that Fatal Inertia will have it.

Another really good thing about Fatal Inertia is the physics-based engine. Although it's not exactly spot-on, it's one of the best hovercraft engines I've seen thus far. And you'll be crashing into things, making hairpin turns, and timing blasts in accordance with gravitational forces and other physical factors. The result is a very difficult but enjoyable experience which is sure to recall fans of classic hovercraft racers such as F-zero and Hydrothunder.

And while we were only shown a limited arsenal, the weapons scheme looks to be pretty promising as well. You have a primary weapon that seeks out rivals and knocks them off course, and then there's a secondary weapon that is, of course, not as powerful but always readily available. The two-pronged weapons system definitely works well in the game, and it is a very nice feature that injects an element of strategy into the game.

Fatal Inertia screenshot

Overall, the demo of Fatal Inertia really showed what the game is really going to be like. And so far it looks to be a really fun experience for fans of racing and futuristic hovercraft games. I can't say that I'm amazingly impressed, but I am excited to see what comes next for this title. Though it has a somewhat sordid past, and I am somewhat concerned about a few elements of the demo, I'm quite sure that Fatal Inertia will be a great game for sci-fi racing fans everywhere!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Take your customized vehicles and play in epic multiplayer combat. With the many ways to use the weapons and environments, every multiplayer battle is sure to be a hotly-contested affair.
  • Desolate woodlands, dusty canyons, giant glacial ranges, and other natural regions are your playground. But the environments are not just there to be sped through - they offer many opportunities to hinder your opponents as well.
  • This game isn't just about getting to the finish line first with a wide variety of game modes to choose from. There are several competitive and cooperative modes, and season play that lets you win prizes and gain special items. Whether you're a speed demon or a road warrior, you'll find a mode that's right for you.
  • The vehicles in Fatal Inertia are highly customizable, and with the large variety of designs and parts at your disposal, you can truly inject your own personality into your ride. You can also save your custom vehicles to a memory card, and take them on the road.
  • In this game, weapons are not something you use to directly damage an opponent, but are items used to create a variety of physics-based effects. A single weapon has a variety of uses, and you'll discover new ways to use them every time you play.

  • Screenshots / Images
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