FlatOut 2 Review

If you’re at all familiar with the first FlatOut game, then you’ll know that its big selling point was the driver ragdoll feature. An accident in a race could send your driver through the windshield and bouncing down the track in slow motion pandemonium. The problem was that the game was so proud of this feature that it used it at every possible opportunity – it was impossible to even parallel park your car without sending your driver through the windshield. Add a few mini games designed to take advantage of this gameplay mechanic and you had a game that was at best a novelty rental and at worst a catalyst for buyer’s remorse. It seems that the developer has learned something from the first game because in FlatOut 2 there’s more to the game than just providing an excuse to launch flying drivers into the air.

FlatOut 2 is now built around a career mode in which you can purchase and upgrade cars, and participate in a variety of races in three different car classes. The mini games have been also been expanded and integrated into the career mode making them feel more a part of the game and less like tacked-on extras. And most importantly you can now have a reasonable chance of finishing a race without watching your driver spend more time in the air than behind the wheel.

The racing in FlatOut 2 can be fun at times because it’s more demolition derby than it is gran prix. You’ll try to bump, nudge, and all out smash your fellow drivers in your push to finish first. The cars feature a cool damage model that has parts flying off the cars and littering the track, so you’ll see the effect of each impact. Parts of the environments are destructible as well and also add to the debris on the track – that telephone pole you knocked down will block the way of the cars behind you, or get in your way on the next lap. The collisions, damage, and debris all work together to add a feeling of mayhem to the races that will appeal to your inner aggressive driver.