Review by qed123

Reviewed: 07/15/09

Not as bad as it's made out to be, my 2nd fav pc driving game.

This game is solely lacking in reviews, and considering it's a cheap find at walmart I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in.

The only other review for this game compares it to previous Flatouts and to 360 versions, and I need to point out that this is my first Flatout experience. I bought a new computer last year and it still is holding up well, so my experience is a little different. I can't run the game in 1920x1200 on my 28 inch monitor, but I can run it in HD just fine. I've found turning the antialiasing just the first notch, the ansitropic all the way up, and all the other effects presents a great framerate with absolutely no slowdown. Just for comparison most xbox 360 games' computer port looks better on this computer, my roomate has a 360 so I've compared several.

That being out of the way since getting this computer my focus has been racing games, and in particular, my only other obsession has been Race Driver: Grid. That game is obviously optimized more for multiple cores and in that game I CAN run it full res with everthing turned on and it looks awesome. However, Flatout Ultimate Carnage has a LOT more things to run into and destroy, if the vehicle damage isn't as pretty or realistic.

Every time I get in the mood to play this game I end up playing it for 2-3 days straight, even starting the game over from scratch. So I feel it's a good buy, particularly if you are like me and have never played a Flatout before. My other racing games I have experience with in last couple years are a few ps2 Burnout games, and had a long phase with Gran Turismo 3 and then 4. I picked up Burnout: Paradise for my roomate's 360 too. So with a little background out of the way, on with the review!

Graphics: With my year old intel core 2 quad 2.83 with 4 gigs of ram and a decent cpu cooler with a (now) old geforce 8800 GT, this game looks and runs great in high def. There really isn't any slowdown. Turning up the antialiasing drops framerate, as does turning up the res. But I get the feeling most people don't have 28 inch monitor running 1920x1200. The other cars all got stuff going on too, they crash into other cars and spin out and you catch them with some debree stuck on their windshield but they still trucking along, just like you would be :) The vehicle damage isn't as pretty or realistic as in some other games but vehicle damage doesn't change the way you drive (it's more important not letting your crash getting you off road). So graphically there really isn't much point to having awesome vehicle damage. With antialiasing turned off, it seems dark and it's hard to note things and cars in distance, but with minimal antialising it doesn't really change framerate and things look a LOT better. Overall, I think this game has pretty awesome graphics. The damage you can do on objects in the environment is really pronounced, I mean you can't run into a building or a tree and see it get damaged but other stuff matters, in gameplay. Like on some tracks you get extra nitro for hitting particular things but on others you don't. But you can still hit them :) Like hitting a telephone pole will slow you down a lot but it still goes flying. But hitting a tree? Don't think about it. Graphically this game has the best and most flying debree than any other game I've tried, except maybe for grid. But grid doesn't have nearly as much variety or quantity of stuff to hit. Overall this game looks great. I give it 9/10.

Sound: I rarely turn the music on in racing games. I tried turning on music a couple days ago and it just didn't do it for me. But that being said the sound effects are really good. Different cars have different
sounds, lots of crashing and metal and debree pinging around. I'd have to say sound is a strong point. Is ironic the guy giving this game such a bad score said the music wasn't bad, and gave sound a higher score based on that, heh. But they do a good job on sound. No dolby or anything, but still good. 8/10

Control: The control on this game is great. It's not "realistic" like in Gran Turismo, but it's not way swinging crazy like in burnout revenge either. Grid's control is great but you have really no room for error, but this game is just pure fun. Also with say Grid, it won't let you use a nice generic control like mine to navigate menus, just expects you to have 360 controller. You have to get out of bed and walk to keyboard :P And Nitro really effects the way you play. Not only learning what things to hit or the best way to hit other cars to get more nitro, but you can just hit it at times or really lay into it at other times to your advantage. This is an arcade racer, and the controls are great and don't expect you to try to pretend to be a pro while playing a video game like some games. I've only played the rear wheel drived cars this time around too, so maybe I"m biased. But you can still use other cars to bounce you around in ways you expect, given no damage effect, just vector and velocity. I have no complaints. 9/10

Customization: This game lets you play absolutely with a generic controller. I have a Saitec 900 or something and it lets me play everything, and do the menus using this generic (but awesome) controller. Some games just sortof expect you to use a 360 controller and that is annoying. The antialiasing settings and such really have an effect on framerate, to a degree. I realize my puter overpowered for this game at mid-res (HD res) but it's good to have control over the main things that effect framerate. While not as high as other games let you customize, it's still good. 8/10

Online play: Still haven't tried. I'm getting good but still need to improve. I'll score online unknown and not factor it in till I try. I don't have many friends so don't know if it has split screen. Not figuring this into my score, I think it's fair since what I find important and the other guy reviewing thinks are important is a lot different :) I will try, soon.

Variety: very good. You have deserts, you have inner city on freeways, you got farmland on hilly area by lake, you got canals. They offered quite a few tracks, but not as many as some games. Quite a few cars, but if you drive well you generally going to just get the best when it onlocks a lot (seems like there is a sweet spot unlocking where you can unlock a lot at a time by getting 2nd or 1st in particular race with several tracks). And a lot of destruction derby maps!!!! Not bad, I'll give this 8/10

Story: a racing game. I want speed and driving, story would be boring heh. Not figuring in.

Optional Stuff:
This game has optional bonus stuff out the wazoo!!!!!! The first day I put this new puter together and we played this game first my friend was totally absorbed by the crash modes. Like bowling and crashing your car and flinging driver high as possible on sticky like fly paper. Has party mode and so on. All in all has a lot of great optional stuff. And it's not optional but it has the greatest destruction derby element since the game destruction derby!!! 8/10

If you are looking for a driving game that doesn't strive to be realistic driving wise yet you like a great driving game with lots of crashes and hurting other drivers, this a great bet. It's cheap and isn't bad at all. All in all I give it 8/10, amost giving it 9. Should check it if you like racing games :)

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage (US, 09/02/08)

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