The racing season seems to have started, and Xbox 360 owners are spoiled for choice. The excellent Forza Motorsport 2 has just been released, as has the superb Colin McRae DiRT, but what about gamers who don’t really care about realistic handling and learning racing lines to perfection? What about us gamers who don’t want to play fair with our competitors and would rather run them off the road than overtake them safely on a straightaway?
Well, if you’re the kind of gamer that wants rough and tumble in your racing game, Flatout: Ultimate Carnage is the game for you
This is no Formula 1 here, folks... this is dirty, rough racing on mud and tarmac (and sometimes on rooftops, through shopping malls and off ramps for major airtime) against 11 other competitors who don’t exactly follow road safety guidelines.
Flatout: Ultimate Carnage is essentially an enhanced version of Flatout 2, remade exclusively for the Xbox 360, with new levels, music, graphics, and game types. Ultimate Carnage gives you two main game modes to play through. First off is Flatout mode. This would be the equivalent of your standard career mode in any other racing game, but it’s anything but “standard”. This mode is basically the same as the original Flatout 2 game previously available on Xbox, PC, and PS2 - albeit with really lovely visuals, silky smooth frame rate, and a completely new soundtrack.
In Flatout mode, you have three car classes: Derby, which basically lets you drive battered cars only fit for the scrapyard in all out, anything goes races on dirt tracks and Destruction Derby events; Race Cars, which you take on road and track based courses and events; and finally, Street Cars, which as the name suggests, allow you to race your way through city streets.
No matter what type of car you’re driving, racing is fast, furious, and hectic. The A.I. drivers all have differing personalities — some will ram you relentlessly, some will only fight when you hit them first, and some suckers will try to race clean — but the real personalities lie in the courses themselves, this is where Flatout: Ultimate Carnage excels.
Due to a mixture of top-notch level design and fantastic physics engine the levels are built upon, no two races are ever exactly the same. Each course is littered with over eight thousand destructible items, each with its own physics. You can accidentally hit a pylon and cause a major chain reaction, causing the roof of a nearby building to cave in and litter the road with obstructions, or hit a pile of tires on a corner and see them bounce onto the road and cause drivers behind you to lose control... or you could simply ram your competition through the side of a bridge, causing the competitor (and the bridge) to sink into the water below. The possibilities are limitless, not to mention damn entertaining. Sometimes you can’t help but be taken aback by the sheer scale of destruction even a simple object can make.