Flatout 2
Flatout 2

Posted by SadExchange
1/18/2007
Released on: 8/1/2006
Developed by: Bugbear
Published by: Vivendi Games

Taking everything great about its predecessor and making it that much better Flatout 2 is a fun game you should play.

Score

8.45

Coming out on August 1st of 2006, players are once invited to participate in some of the wackiest stunts known to man, plus a multitude of races in a variety of cars. From beginning till end, Flatout 2 is much like its predecessor in providing hours of entertainment with crazy car physics that'll have your car reduced to nothing more than a fire-filled pile of scrap metal, but does it suffer from the same faults as its prequel?

The Flatout games have been pretty unique in their own right providing quite a lot of laughs for not only racing fans, but fans of the old Destruction Derby games that once grazed the Playstation. I remember playing hours with friends just beating the crap out of my car, hoping to last the longest, but in Flatout 2, it's a little different. Lasting the longest won't always get you the most points in the end. In their destruction derby, it's all about the destruction itself and how much you can wreck upon everyone else. Having the ability to pick whatever car you'd like in the derby, you'll soon find yourself after only a couple minutes riding around on three tires and a rim still trying to decimate your opponents to scrap metal. There are quite a few tracks that you'll be able to choose from which are unique in their own right and this adds for some of the strategy that you may plan out ahead of time, but the destruction is simply only one part of the game. If it were the destruction derby alone, this would be an awesome title, especially for the online components with friends.

There are quite a few different modes of play in Flatout 2 including the usually racing which takes you from forested log roads, to dirt tracks, and then to pavement city zones much like the first game when it was released and in this respect, there's truly nothing new to the game. The tracks that are provided are quite entertaining and need some amount of skill to master in whatever car you choose to buy and upgrade and there are three types of racing which you'll have to purchase three different types of cars to utilize during those tracks and they include derby track cars, street racing cars, and then some top tier cars that will outperform any of their predecessors. As you race through the different tracks, you'll win money to upgrade your cars to perform better on the different tracks, but after the first hour or so, you'll have seen most of the tracks that Flatout 2 has to offer and this is where the game suffers like its prequel. Both Flatout and Flatout 2 have some great track design, but they reuse their tracks over and over throughout your goal to take first place in all three types of racing tiers.

Another mode of play would have to be the crazy stunts that are available. Much like its prequel, Flatout 2 has some strange stunts, but even more this time around. This time, you'll have the high jump, bowling, baseball, basketball, and many other stunts that may make you feel awkward when you're propelling your player from his windshield to skip across water in a pool much like you'd throw a rock. You could spend hours just honing your skills to take first in all of the stunts, but that would take quite a while mind you, because they do require quite a bit of reflexive skill and some of course, some knowledge in what the correct angle would be to propel your character out the window at. No matter which stunt you try, you'll find yourself hooked until you finally learn the rhythm of the key strokes to take first place in all of the competitions.

One thing should be noted, although you're able to play this game with your mouse and keyboard, I would highly suggest getting a controller. Something with dual analogs for steering if you like that, or else you can use the D-pad, but the buttons are easy to configure through the menu and the game plays like it should only be on a console, but the developers took their time in making the player believe that it should be on the home computer. Although the mouse and keyboard work, it's just easier to steer around those tight corners and do some skid sliding when using the D-pad of analog stick.

The graphics within the sequel have been upgraded and look great for the times. Having to compete with a variety of racing games on the market, Flatout 2 looks superb, especially when your cars being decimated to metal shards during the destruction derbies. Pieces of not only your car, but your opponents will fly away as you smash into each other's car trying to deal out the most damage and this destruction of your car is only for the destruction, but for everything in the game including stunts and the racing component. Although the first Flatout looked great, Flatout 2 just seems to look so much better in every aspect of the game including the cars, terrain, and your racer as he's flung from his car from time to time. The track designs are well presented and are unique enough from each other to not seem copied, but you'll soon see the same track time after time when competing for the gold to earn money to either upgrade your car or buy a new one to compete in.

The sound in the game has definitely been upgraded. Although the prequel has decent enough music, it consisted of some pretty generic rock music to keep your adrenaline pumping. This time around, the developers enlisted the music of some well known musicians including Nickelback, Megadeth, and Rob Zombie to list a few. The music is quite a nice touch and will keep your adrenaline pumping much like the first game, but it will be of bands that you have actually heard of this time around. The sound effects that are heard when your cars be broken apart are decent and so are most of the sound effects that'll pan out in front of you as your power-sliding through a log road, or bashing into the front glass doors of a strip-mall.

There is a great multiplayer component for the game to compete with your friends online whether you want to race or participate in some destruction derby. Although, with all the fun that can be had in multiplayer, Gamespy's servers aren't the best for either connection to the main server, or even connecting the multiple games that are online at any one time. But once you're in a game, such as destruction derby, and you have a good group of people going, it can be quite a blast with the limit set at eight people possible. You could easily spend hours just on online play competing against others, but watch out, because the leader of the game can hold an anonymous vote to boot you from the game without your knowledge if he thinks that you're not competing hard enough, or interacting enough during the destruction derbies, but this rarely happens and when it does, it's usually for a reason.

Upon release, the game was pretty stable with Bugbear releasing a small patch to fix a few things with multiplayer and other small items. But other than that, Flatout 2 is a solid game, much like its predecessor. If you're looking for a way to spend hours upon hours busting through other cars with the destruction derbies or go online with some buddies to have some fun, this is the game for you. If you're a fan of the first, then this is definitely the game for you, because it's just as good as its prequel, but only better in each aspect including races, cars, and stunts. This game can't be categorized as just racing, because it offers so much more.
Gameplay9.00
Graphics9.00
Sound9.00
Replay Value7.00
Stability9.00
Multiplayer8.00
Options/Upgrades8.00
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