has all the makings of a great budget games, except
that it's not great and that it's not budget priced.
is not your typical racer. It's more of an extreme-racing
sport not unlike a cross between a stock-car race
and a demolition derby. It really looks like a lot
more fun that it is thanks to the unresponsive control
system which tends to favor having you drag the car
around the track than steer it. You have to use the
brake and the handbrake to powerslide around the numerous
curves. You can't just steer your vehicles around
turns, you have to slide it them which slows the pace
of the game down. Your car feels as thought it's always
on the verge of going out of control. It's something
that you do get used to but to be honest if I didn't
have to review this game it wouldn't be worth the
is fun but it requires too much effort to unleash
it. It's like going to Disneyland with a nagging toothache.
When you finally get used to the controls you will
find that the AI makes is incredibly difficult to
win races. They are very aggressive and will attack
you unmercifully - in packs if need be. Needless to
say I didn't finish the game in time and I don't really
know what I could do to finish it without playing
it for weeks on end. That kind of challenge just doesn't
appeal to me.
will give you a speed boost but you can't buy it nor
do you earn it the regular way. You earn nitrous by
smashing into things. The more destructive you are
to the environment the more nitrous you will gain.
Smashing into fences, signs, poles, buildings and
tire piles may seem like a lot of fun but it usually
involves getting yourself into an accident that slows
or stops your vehicle basically neutralizing the extra
boost that you picked up because you'll need to use
it just to get back to where you were.
tracks will take you through towns, the countryside,
farms and snow-slick regions. There is no shortage
of things to hit including other vehicles. They take
on a tremendous amount of damage but they keep on
going. Fenders and hoods fly off while the frames
twist and turn with engines catching on fire. Some
of these vehicles are reduced to charred metal skeletons.
More often than not it's yours.
online mode is full of problems. You'll experience
slowdown and some latency which takes any edge off
of any skills you may have been able to cultivate.
With the other players floundering around as much
as me it was just one big mess. Like fat chicks mud
wrestling on the side of a mountain.
got a huge kick out of the Olympic mode which requires
you to drive your speeding car up some kind of a ramp
and then stop quickly so that you can launch the driver
out of his seat toward the goal. These hilarious mini-games
consist of Man-Darts, Man-Bowling and Man-Long Jump.
Not only are they funny
but they actually work very well. The sense of physics
is more developed than that of the main game.
is a lot of detail to the environments but only the
immediate stuff is interactive. You'll have to memorize
the track layout if you want to collect all of the
nitrous and manage to take all of the turns properly.
The car sounds are decent but the rock music is generic
with more fizzle than punch.
is at best, a rental. But it's at its best when it's
left in the store.
Flat Out, from developer Bugbear, is an attempt at
making a game about cruising laps enjoyable. The premise
of the game is to race to the number one seed in the
allotted time, while keeping your car in the best
condition possible. Imagine "Need For Speed"
in a demolition derby, and that's what we have to
player is initially allowed to choose from only a
handful of the 16 total cars in the game. The remainder
of the vehicles must be unlocked before they can be
raced. Unfortunately, the selection is limited to
just cars such as old Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs.
It would've been nice to see some bigger, more destructive
vehicles to race, like a semi truck or a school bus,
but that's just my personal flavor. The graphics,
so far, look like a big let down. Although FlatOut
does offer some pretty nifty lighting effects such
as the glow of the sun, the car models are all too
similar in shape and size. The texturing looks too
bland and lifeless. Nothing there really grabs your
attention and makes you think, "Wow, that looks
amazing!" The game is still in development, so
hopefully Bugbear touches up on these details instead
of leaving the "rushed and unfinished" graphics.
didn't drop the ball on the destruction aspect though.
The damage each car can take in the game is unlike
anything I've seen thus far. Each vehicle has up to
40 morph points, which determine which part of the
vehicle can be damaged. The cars aren't the only objects
in the game that can fall victim to carnage. The environment
looks completely interactive. Anything you crash into
and break will stay on the track for the remainder
of the race, which will create obstacles (and more
carnage) for other drivers as well as yourself.
Demolition Derby mode is available, which is potentially
immensely entertaining, unfortunately mostly resembles
Twisted Metal without the weaponry. FlatOut does boast
awesome rag doll physics, which from game play footage
looks really funny with guys being tossed through
the windshield up into the air and land on their heads.
Bugbear allows you to explore how the physics works
by unlocking Bonus Games. Included in one of these
games is a giant dartboard, where you drive the car
around a stunt track and, at the end, slam into a
wall sending your driver flying through the windshield
and through the dartboard itself. Pretty twisted,
no pun intended. That's just one of the few bonus
games that will be available, and at this point the
bonus games seem to be more entertaining than the
think for one second that you're going to have to
play this game all by yourself. No, no. FlatOut comes
with a multiplayer and an online mode. The multiplayer
is pretty weak, since it features only a split screen
two player mode. However, with the online mode, you
can play in a game with up to eight players. Racing
alone in the Championship mode may be a daunting task,
but with eight players, you to take out your frustrations
on people across the net. It's not yet known if there
will be a ranking system for the respective online
services or if new features can be unlocked by achieving
some sort of goal in online play. A new car or special
parts to make your car faster or more durable would
looks to be what most racing games should be by allowing
you to interact with your environment and take damage
accordingly. Unfortunately, it may be a little too
late as the flashier more cartoon like games are taking
the lead. FlatOut is going to become more of a destruction
than a racing game, where most of your fun will be
flying into other cars, houses and trees. If you're
a racing fan, and you enjoy driving in circles for
five hundred laps, then this game may not be for you.
If "destruction" is your middle name, renting
this game may be your best option to experience the
physical carnage FlatOut offers. Purchase this game
and you're left with just another racing game to collect
dust on our shelves, like the many other racing games
different cars to race, customise and upgrade.
car damage modelling which also affects the performance
of the car.
realistic scenery and debris damage with fully destructible
driving environments with 3000 + items on each track
tuned car physics to give a truly realistic feel
to each car.
tracks to master over 5 different environments including
the challenge of snow-covered terrain.
split screen mode for a AAA racing experience with
play for up to eight players on Xbox Live!
whole host of extra fun enhancing mini-games including
'Figure of 8' and 'Demolition Bowl'.