FlatOut Review

Developer: Bugbear Publisher: Empire
Release Date: July 12, 2005 Also On: PC, PS2 and Xbox

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of FlatOut for review before it’s released in the US. Of course, I’m British, so for a change to get a game before Americans is always a pleasant feeling. Although the game is not 100% original, it combines lots of elements from past and present games and brings them into one well presented game.

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I installed FlatOut and got myself revved up and ready to play. I created my profile so that all of my additions and tuning to the car could be saved to me (obviously there is room for many profiles – up to 7). I chose my car and went to the first race. 3..2..1..and I was off! What I got was way more than what I expected.

The graphics on the game are excellent. They are very crisp and everything is clear. They don’t slow the game down, and everything animates excellently. The cars as well as the surroundings are detailed and have clearly had lots of time spent on them. It’s a very pleasing game to look at and I didn’t come across any errors in the graphics.

The games’ sound is made up of many songs. Most are rock/metal, so obviously not everyone will like it. However, even though I don’t tend to generally listen to those genres, it definitely suited the game and I was quite happy to listen to it whilst racing. It all helps get the adrenaline going and the action pumping.

The gameplay is superb. The game has 36 different tracks – and almost any piece of scenery on the track can be destroyed. Cars will ‘degrade’ as they are hit and as a result steering will become harder and acceleration won’t be as fast. But you get more cash for destroying things. So it’s all about balance.

All tracks are un-lockable. You start with 4, if you come between 1st and 3rd, then another is unlocked, and so on. At the end of each race, you can tune your car just how you like it. Whether it’s a new exhaust or drive train. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about cars as everything is explained.

As well as the 36 main tracks, there are also 6 mini games. These include long jump and high jump, where the car is accelerated and stopped so that the ‘rag-doll’ driver flies out of the windscreen. Or there are always 6 destruction bowls and dirt tracks if you just fancy letting out some anger.

The game has lots of new ideas for driving games that are all great additions. The ‘rag-doll’ driver is great. Hit an obstacle too fast and your driver will fly out the windscreen. Even better, it doesn’t end the race; just hit the reset button to keep going! Another thing I adored about the game was the ability to smash up almost anything on the tracks, and isn’t that what we all want to do really?

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the game and it definitely gave me some laughs and fun times. It would be great to play again, because I can always just knock up the difficulty. The game is long in the first place, but still would have a great replay value. This is a must buy!

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 9.3
Written by Dean Review Guide

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