REVIEW – I remember FlatOut 1 and FlatOut 2 during the early 2000s, and it filled my days with unbelievable laughter, joy, and pure craziness that the initial two games provided. However after Flatout 2, other developers tried their luck at the series, and other than Ultimate Carnage’s favorable reviews, the series has been going downhill and into the gutter. Bugbear Entertainment has left the series to go on and try to create Wreckfest, a true sequel to their demolition derby series (that is still in the making for the past three years).
Meanwhile, Kylotonn (that sounds like a pharmaceutical drug), decided to create a new sequel for the FlatOut franchise for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It is unfortunately with great disappointment that I had to review this game in any shape or form, as it is a significant step down even compared to the old Ultimate Carnage console version of the franchise.
This Game Ain’t No Fast and Furious
The price for FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is 50 USD as a new game, shown with an awesome cover on the websites. Sadly though the price for this game should have been 10 dollars, or even less? Total Insanity feels insane regarding it being existing at all in 2017.
The gameplay and the game modes are nothing revolutionary, plus they have been part of the franchise for eternity. This would not be a problem, but the presentation is heavily lacking. There are three main game modes, Quick Play, Flatout Mode, and Career mode. In order to get most out of the title, you’ll need to unlock vehicles, characters, and finally race tracks. The levels are pretty much okay, nothing insulting about it, but nothing new, as it has the usual diving sections, shortcuts, and fast parts.
The vehicles are just generic, and the usual dumpster quality in the first set of unlockables, however now you can also unlock drivers as a bonus.
In Quick Play, we can play the unlocked modes for Arena or enjoy a quick race, and finally, a Stunt section which allows the player to enjoy some whacky hijinks such as Bowling, Stone Skipping, Shooting the driver through flaming hoops. These were available in the previous games as well, and there is not much iteration on them. Career mode is you the player character going on and competing in different events to finally upgrade and buy a proper vehicle to have a competitive edge. There’s nothing spectacularly new here; the developers did decide to add special items that can be picked up in Deathmatch that gives you instant repair, armor and other fun powerups.
While the game modes are okay, the presentation, sound effects, and visuals are flabbergastingly the same, and even worse than the 2006 FlatOut game. Hell while Ultimate Carnage had a Xbox 360 version it has more detailed physics and sound design than FlatOut 4. In the original FlatOut, you had parts flying everywhere, windows smashing, driver’s flying around in slow mo, and best of all the damage to the vehicle was shown in a neat way. Also, the graphics were pretty for a 2004 game from a Finnish indie studio. So what happened in FlatOut 4? Absolute downgrade on all front. The shading and lighting look horrible on the PS4; the graphics have been made worse on the vehicle’s as their texture just looks like one big mesh without any of the grand destruction which occurred in the previous games.
The only damage we see is the windows being busted, but other than that there is nothing extra. There are instead states of a vehicle, green being good, yellow medium and red being bad, and all of these statuses have a static representation of the vehicle, so the hood does not fly off, nor the trunk and even the doors stay in place. It is disappointing that a 2017 game has less physics feature for a Ps4 game than a game on the old Xbox 360. The point of FlatOut was always the heavy destruction and slow motion ejection of a character in races (even this was cut down to a quick throwaway animation). Oh and instead of being totally shown in slow motion, and being wrecked, your vehicle just now explodes.
There’s not much to say here, play the older games instead to get the full FlatOut experience as that runs pretty much on every PC and Laptop out there. If you do buy the game, buy it heavily discounted, as it is not worth the full price of admission.
+ Fun stunt mode
+ Good race tracks
+ Great music tracks for the series
– Horrible physics, and no upgrade to grahpics
– Vehicles are not that fun to drive
– Game modes have not been updated
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Genre: Semi-Simulation Racing
Release date: March 17, 2017 (for consoles) / April, 2017 (for PC)