To be honest, I’ve always thought that the FlatOut series was a straight rip of the Burnout series. After playing FlatOut 2, I can easily say that this statement is false. The extreme silliness, elaborate environments, and overall chaos of Bugbear’s FlatOut 2 makes me think that this game has exactly what it takes to become a popular franchise and threat to the Burnout series.
Racing in FlatOut 2 is pretty addictive. You can break through nearly all of the objects that you see on the screen. The races can become some of the most chaotic you’ll ever have a chance to play. Crashing your car into others can be very satisfying. Hell, even ramming your car into a building to see your driver fly out the front of your vehicle is pretty rewarding.
As fun as the racing is, it is flawed by terribly difficult A.I. and annoying track obstacles. It is nearly impossible for you to take first place in a race, and keep your position for more than one lap. It seems that the rival cars will always be on your tail or too far ahead to catch up to. Although you can knock into other cars and small objects to gain nitro for an extra boost, it seems that whenever do you use your nitro boost, other cars will be using it as well, creating the effect that no one’s position has moved at all.
It also seems that just the slightest bump on your car makes you lose complete control. You’ll be fishtailing from left to right if one rival car taps the back of your vehicle, just slightly. Thankfully, you can easily press the “Y” button to be teleported to the track immediately if you do crash or somehow become lost outside of the track.
To prevent you from losing so much control, you’ll be motivated to upgrade your car as much as you can with the money you earn from racing. You can go to the shop and make upgrades to increase your handling stats, as well as increasing your car’s strength, acceleration, and top speed.
Graphics are extremely well done. If you keep crashing into objects and other cars, your own car will lose certain body parts and become dented in various places. The amount of detail put into car damage is amazing. Environments are also a huge plus in this game. You can see all of the havoc and chaos happening around you, thanks to the details put into FlatOut 2. Shards of glass and pieces of wood will be flying all over the screen when barging through a barrier of obstacles.
Perhaps the biggest reason why I was so interested in this game, at first, were the mini-games. The mini-games have you launching your car driver out the front windshield, and aiming his flying body at some sort of object. They’re just as fun to play, as they are to watch.
The mini-games range from sports such as Baseball, Soccer, and Bowling, to other games such as Stone-Skipping, High Jump, and Ring of Fire. Words cannot describe how insanely ridiculous these games look. The mini-games are what really make this title a solid party game.
The soundtrack isn’t for me…I’m not exactly sure how many times someone can listen to Rob Zombie and Alkaline Trio without getting sick. The track list lacks variety. To me, it all sounds the same. It’s all licensed hard rock and emo music, which I’m not too fond of. The soundtrack only has 26 tracks on it, and most of the artists of the track list have more than one song featured. The soundtrack for me wasn’t notable at all.
FlatOut 2 is just plain fun. Although there are a few A.I. and driving problems, the game manages to be fun and addicting enough that you can easily forget all about these issues. The amount of graphical detail put into FlatOut 2 are superb, the mini-games are insane, and the overall grip that this game will give you is enough to make you busy for a long while. I guarantee that most everyone will have fun playing this game.
FlatOut 2 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Mild Lyrics, Violence. This game can also be found on: PS2, PC.