Flatout PS2 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.2
Graphics 7.8
Sound 7.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: Red Ant
Classification:
G+
Reviewer:
Andrew B

8.0


Flatout

Flat is developed by Bugbear Entertainment and is easily one of the most spectacular racing games of 2005 that can be considered the successor to Destruction Derby series. Containing over 45 different tracks with 16 fully upgradeable cars, players get the chance to drive their vehicles in a true destructible gaming environment.

The gameplay of Flatout gives the gamer a minimal amount of money before they start which allows them upgrade their cars before a race. Right from the outset however you have choices to make such as do you go for the ultimate lemon car but have the ability to put a few parts on it, or go for the most expensive car you can afford and add parts later. Once you reach that decision you have the choice of the career mode, quick race or time trial game modes. It may not seem like much but it should keep you going for a little while. Quick race allows you to race against a number of competitors on any track you have unlocked in the career mode, while time trial pits you against the clock again on any track which you have previously unlocked.

The main mode of the game is the career mode which consists of three main cups and some excellent mini games to unlock. Each cup has more tracks to complete and you must place in the top three on each track to advance, which is harder then it may sound. The tracks progressively get harder and if you don't continuously upgrade your car or even replace it then you will be left eating dust from the AI competitors.

Probably the most impressive feature of Flat out is the physics engine. While the bumper camera will give the greatest feel of speed, you will miss out on how realistic the car turns and reacts to bumps that you see in action in the two rear views. The car, depending on how fast its going, will bend into corners and you can actually see the chassis move left and right. This is the kind of stuff you expect in Gran Turismo, not a bash and crash racing simulation. Another unique aspect of the game is how a driver reacts to the large impact. The cars feature no seat belts so hit something hard enough and the poor male or female driver is going to go right through the windscreen. The game even tells you how far they have travelled. It is a novelty but it doesn't seem to get old quickly. The mini games also revolve around this fact with the tasks being knocking down bowling pins or hitting a dart board with the driver.

Races take place on four styles of track; urban, woodland, dirt and even snow. The snow tracks are the toughest to gain control on, especially with the most powerful vehicles. Some of the tracks are are a little ordinary and it seems that these are the ones which are the longest however other tracks, mainly urban have lots of interactive objects which you can knock over. Objects such as house foundations, fences, tyres nearly everything can be knocked around if you're going fast enough. To help with this, the cars are equipped with nitrous and it appears that excellent driving gets you more nitrous to use throughout the race.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game is the graphics on display especially considering it's on the PS2. The draw distance is highly impressive and going with this, there is really no pop up to speak of. The cars are highly detailed (at least when they have all their parts, which isn't very long in most races) and even with lots of cars and crashes on the screen, the frame rate remains entirely smooth.

In conclusion, Flatout is a great racing game and can definitely be called the next generation of Destruction Derby games that contains one of the most entertaining gaming environments to land on the XBox in a long time. With fully destructible cars and some the most realistic physics, Flatout will be a game that will have you racing for hours on end. Check it out! 






 
 



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