FlatOut - PC

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FlatOut (PC)
Also for: Wii, PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bugbear Soft. Co.: Bugbear
Publishers: Empire Interactive (GB)
Funbox (GB)
Released: Unreleased - Complete (GB)
5 Nov 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+


Empire Interactive spoils the driving genre-loving gaming public for the second time in two weeks in the autumn of 2004: first there was the surprisingly playable and 'cheaper and better than OutRun2' offering that was Ford Racing 3; now we get a real treat with FlatOut, courtesy of Finland's BugBear Entertainment. If this game had any kind of aroma, burning oil would have to be at the top of the list of possibilities. FlatOut reeks of dirt, dust and grime - but in a good way, of course.

We know, dear reader, that we promise you the ride of your life almost every time a new driving game pulls up, but FlatOut is different in that it's a little more visceral than most. There's a new physics system on show from the developer that means you're feeling what's going on in the game as well as seeing it. We've played preview code of FlatOut for a while, and almost everything you can crash into is destructible. Note the use of the word almost: you're not gonna be able to pile into a crane and survive. Your driver is more likely to be jettisoned from his driving seat, which is - again - something different about FlatOut. Hit a solid object and out he comes, flailing like a rag doll as he hits the ground. Anyway, almost everything you run into will cave in/collapse/shatter/explode into bits. Barrels, traffic cones, tyres, parasols and more will find their way into the road as things get hectic on track, and sometimes off track too. There are 40 deformable parts of each car to get up close and personal with, 15 different cars to choose from, and 45 tracks to race.

FlatOut's menu serves up a variety of options, but the real deal is found in the extensive championship mode, as you battle your way through a series of frantic races and mini-games. Truly, there hasn't been a racer of this creed worth its asking price appear for many years. We were dismayed to learn quite a while ago that Pitbull Syndicate's marvellous Demolition Racer series was to make it as far as DreamCast and no further. There's been a fair few 'Destructive Derbies' and lumps of Twisted Metal littering the shelves for some time, but we urge you to take a close look at FlatOut.

Different enough from the splendid Burnout 3, and not as po-faced as Need For Speed Underground or Toca, it could well be the true heir to Demolition Racer.


FlatOut - PC Artwork