FlatOut 2

By on August 2, 2006

Chaos, wanton destruction and fun make up the recipe for Bugbear’s stunning sequel to FlatOut.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

The original FlatOut focused on the destruction of cars, environments, etc was incredibly fun to play. Now Bugbear has taken a game which was good and made it better. “Chaos, wanton destruction and fun” explain FlatOut 2 in five words. 

When you see the intro movie, you realize immediately that this is no ordinary racer. FlatOut 2 is a game in which you need to finish the race by any means possible. That includes smashing up your opponents, destroying the surrounding environment to fill up the NOS meter, looking for shortcuts, etc.
Instead of racing unknowns in the original game, you race seven competitors all aiming for the top. The game is divided into four types — a race, an event, a stunt and a derby. The career mode has you doing all these in three classes of cars namely derby, race and street. Derby cars are cheap, less powerful cars that can take a beating. Race cars are more powerful than the derby cars but are a bit expensive. Finally the street cars are tuned sports cars but are the least durable and most expensive. The cars are not licensed but looking at the body they do strike a resemblance to Mustangs, Chevys and even a Mini Cooper. The difficulty is not that tough in normal mode but in a race, if you start banging into your opponents expect a vengeful return or two. You can tune your car to go faster and control better but don’t expect the level of tuning that you get in the Need for Speed Underground series or Midnight Club 3. 

The race levels are quite linear and simple to remember. You might drive through a thick forest, farms, city roads, and even on race tracks. The derby races are basically you crashing into your opponents in a closed stadium with your derby cars and events are just races in closed circuit tracks. But the best and I should say the most fun you will have in FlatOut 2 are the stunts which have returned from the original. Instead of six mini-games there are a full dozen of them. In these stunts you get to hurl your driver through the windshield of your car into a target. This is quite fun especially if you want to think that your throwing your troublesome boss or your worst enemy and see him bounce about after they have struck the pavement. It can get annoyingly tough but the pleasures of seeing the lifeless body go through all that damage can be rewarding.
The graphics are breathtaking and are a huge improvement over the original. The constant frame rate for the Xbox and the PS2 makes it one of the best looking races this year. On a high end PC you can get the best out of the game. The crashes look so good that you feel tempted to crash on purpose. The real-time deformation of the car is remarkable too. If you lose a tire in a race, you lose control of the car throughout the race and it even affects your speed. All this should be taken into consideration when choosing your car and your modifications. 

The sound in the game is great. The sounds of the turbocharger reaching its limit, cars exchanging paint as they strike each other and the exhaust sound all add a sense of reality to the game. The soundtracks include rock and metal. The multiplayer online experience is guaranteed to keep you up at night. It includes ranked matches and tournaments, and everything plays smoothly. Playing the stunt mini-games can be really addictive when you have a friend over.
FlatOut 2 looks gorgeous and is just plain fun to play. It may not be Burnout 3 but stands out in its own league. Definitely recommended!

The Scorecard
Really easy to play and can get addictive
Breathtaking visuals and levels are beautiful
Soundtrack may not suite everyone's taste
online gameplay will keep you coming back for more
Addictive gameplay and fun experience makes it a definite buy


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