Reviewed by Tinanski - 08.26.06
Introduction:Bugbear Entertainment re-embraces the neglected era of demolition derbies with there pumped up sequel to last years surprise hit. Flatout 2 has come back for one more run on the current generation systems and we are ready for a destructive good time. Take that buckle off, its time to go head first through your AMC Eagle's windshield. Here is our review of Flatout 2.
The Game:Don't give up your Xbox just yet. In the last year of its run, it seems publishers Vivendi, Empire and developer Bugbear are still interested in giving us one more run with the Flatout. Yes, I think the Xbox still has some life left in it. Flatout 2 is deadly, addictive and fun, a few good reason for you to fire up your old black and green Xbox.
IT'S SMASHING TIME
If you're not familiar with Flatout, it's a racing game that focuses on the demolition derby side of racing with a few death defying mini-games added into the mix. Featuring a solid driving physics, overused ragdoll effects, and some killer tunes, Flatout is a mix of Test Drive: Eve of Destruction and Burnout. The environments around the tracks keep the races a little more interesting given their fragile state while constantly falling to shambles. In Flatout 2 the races are intense, cars will be swerving to take out your front end and people are getting launched out of their front windows. If it sounds like a good time to you then you will dig Flatout 2.
MORE, MORE, MORE
Rather then redesign the wheel, Flatout 2 goes with an upgraded version of the original. If it's not broke, right? In Flatout 2 you have more vehicles, more racing environments and tracks, a host of extra mini games, multiplayer enhancements, and a longer and better designed career mode. It's everything you would expect out of a well designed sequel, without adding or taking away too much from what made the original popular. Flatout 2 will please their fan base and probably snag a few others.
For specifics Flatout 2 has given you other "named" people to race against with complete headshots and bios. They all look like they just came out of five hours of make-up and generic cool classes, but it works. It's always better to attach a name to your opponents, rather then the dude in the car that looks just like mine. The cars too have been switched up and it's not just muscle car look-a-likes now. You can gas up compacts, sports cars, pickup trucks along with your lovable muscle cars. The cars aren't licensed, but you can pretty much match up the Flatout 2 copy within a glance.
ROAD RAGE IS OK
Have road rage? In Flatout if you want to start a game of chicken you better be ready to go full head on. It's kill or be killed and get ready for revenge, sneak attacks and sideswipes. The game mechanics are the furthest thing from being complex and everyone should be able to fool around and have a good time in Flatout 2. One note, keep it aggressive, giving peace a chance might work for a while, but all the points are in smashing you opponents until they wheels roll off the axels. This agression and revenge goes for everyone in the game, even the AI characters. So it won't always be you and southern-belle Sally Taylor, it might be the Sally and former bouncer Jason Walker battling it out. Yes, those name are pretty cheese-tastic names, I had inputted them somewhere in the review, lol.
Flatout 2 isn't all Porsche leather and Ferrari red; there are some problems within the gameplay. First, like the original we have the rubber band system fully intact. That pretty much means even without driving the best, or having the fastest car, you have a good chance of coming in the top 3. In Flatout it's more understandable to use this system because it's all about fun, so it's excusable, but in no way would this fly in another game series like TOCA or Grand Turismo.
If you're interested in online gaming, Flatout 2 comes loaded with a host of features. You can participate in Ranked matches or Tournaments in each racing mode, or Ragdall Olympics mode that is in the game. From Derbies to Stunt events, it's good to go and pretty much lag free. The only downside to the online multiplayer that I could see, is that I'm so used to the Xbox 360, the Xbox Live system is a little harder to hook up with friends, or meet new gamers. No biggie though, it's all about the racing, and on that note Flatout delivers with a capital R.
Lowdown:Flatout 2 is better then the original in everyway, which basically means it's awesome. If you still haven't made that leap onto the next generation, or want a good game to kick it with your old friend the original Xbox, Flatout 2 is one game that will keep you busy for a while. Check this one out.
Game: 7.5, Graphics/Sound: 8.5, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 7 Final: 7.5 / 10