copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
Games like FlatOut don't come along often. Most racing games include several clear
circuits with indestructible beautiful super-
The game gives the player a choice of several American muscle cars (you know, the huge, juicy and roaring monsters, with a casual number on their doors), and throws him to complete a large number of challenges in either "Career mode" or the "Quick race". These consist mainly of races in three categories: bronze, silver and gold, with each new race harder than the previous one. Each victory (third place or higher) wins the player cash, which he can then spend on upgrading his vehicle or buying a whole new one. Upgrading is done in quite an arcade fashion. For example, there are three types of suspension, and one is better and more expensive than the other. There are no specific technical explanations or thorough tweaking with the parts. As the player progresses through the challenges, new cars also become available. There’s nothing particularly noticeable about them, other than that they are even bigger and faster than the initiate vehicles.
The racing part occurs in all kinds of environments. There are paved circuits and
farmland dirt roads and ways with black ice for skating with your 8-
The AI in many racing games is a point of frustration for many because it rarely makes any mistakes in cornering, as it follows an invisible line, drawn for it on the road. The player’s advantage then often lays in speed that he is able to gain during the straight stretches of the road. In FlatOut this AI aspect is back, worse then ever. First of all, the other drivers are completely oblivious to the player, and second, they all perform their driving on ferociously high speeds. The competition of any racing game can get irritating after a while. However, BurnOut might just be on top of this ladder. When you’re flying off the road, straight into a tree, trying desperately to catch up with the perfect rockets of your opponents; when you’re car is wrecked and is on fire, while their cars only have a few bumps, the irritation starts to really boil over.
The wreckage system part is one of the most noticeable features of the game. Many parts of the environment, and more importantly, the vehicles are destructible. This is where the core of the fun lays, and for some, perhaps, the irritation. The roads include many obstacles that the player can drive through. The cars can be reduced to a pile of burning metal on wheels. It’s fun from the immediate entertainment point of view, but can get annoying if you start making an effort to get alive to the finish as a winner. Perhaps where this feature is best utilized is in the destruction derby, one of the bonus challenges of the game. The goal here is to stay alive while wrecking other cars.
Another highly advertised by the developers feature, part of the destruction system,
is the Rag Doll driver that flies out of the car during serious collisions. For those
who don’t know, Rag Doll is a realistically behaving model, much like a puppet. The
game creates several amusing mini-
The destruction derby and the mini-
Like any self-
The graphics are the game's highlight. Almost every part of the car can shatter, dent or fly off with sparks every time the car hits something, and the engine can smoke and catch fire. All these things are well modeled and detailed. The fun can be immortalized through the recording of it. The camera work is well done. Replays of your destruction fests are particularly pleasurable to watch.
The racing environments are all nicely depicted. The game succeeds in transferring
a mood for every setting with things like gravel and snow being thrown from under
the wheels. All models are very soft and curved. The reflections are on both the
windows as well as the realistic looking metal texture of the car. In short, the
game is colorful and detailed, like any arcade-
Most remarkable about the sound in the game are the soundtracks. The music, which consists of energetic rock, fits the game’s personality perfectly and is just as good for listening outside of the game as inside. The only flaw here is the menu ‘soundtrack that gets really annoying after you've heard it several thousand times. Sound plays a big part in portraying the character of the muscle cars, and it does the job well (not as good as one might expect, but well).
FlatOut is enjoyment on wheels. Unfortunately there's not much to add to that phrase,
and it all gets a little boring after a while. Yes, the guy flies out through the
windshield. Yeah, very funny, ha-
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