By – Mike Andre
I’ll cut the story short. FlatOut 3 is a flat out disaster.
You probably played or at least heard of the previous Bugbear-developed FlatOut games and how pretty much everyone found them enjoyable. The game I reviewed, however, is only a FlatOut in name. Everything about the experience is so dismal, broken and uninspired, its existence alone is a slap in the face to racing fans. FlatOut 3 came out of nowhere, but still, it managed to peak my interest as the FlatOut series is among my favourite in the racing genre. When I noticed Bugbear were not developing this time around, I wasn’t sure what to think. When I did some research on the previous work of the new developers, Team 6, I felt that something wasn’t quite right. Still, I was hopeful they could pull something half-way decent with a better budget in their hands. I couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
Team 6 probably asked themselves what made the series stand out and came to the conclusion it was the destruction and drivers being thrown out of the windshields. Sure, it was some of the things that made FlatOut special and they did try to emulate, but even at that they did a terrible job. The car destruction model nowhere as good as the originals. There are very little destructible elements in the tracks and you can hit a wall at 120 mph and your driver is still glued to his seat.
The controls are also an abomination. The handling of the car is closer to Crazy Taxi than the original games, but without the fun. Somehow they even managed to mess up the camera. Thanks to the amazingly bad camera work, taking a turn means a big chance of running into some obstacle you had no way of knowing it was there. The overuse of a disgusting blur effect makes everything even more complicated when you are running at high speeds. Sadly, that’s just another dumb decision among an ocean of other equally dumb design choices.
A far as game modes go, there’s no career mode. To unlock new cars and tracks you have to win certain races, and as you might imagine there’s no way to upgrade your car like in previous games. The tracks are either incredibly confusing or way too linear. Either you never know exactly when you can take a turn, or the track is so boring you’ll enter “auto pilot” mode after the first lap. Oh and the AI. Oh my word, the AI. It’s easily the worst AI in a racing I’ve ever seen. They crash each other and run into obstacles in the dumbest ways possible. It’s the kind of thing you have to see for yourself and I challenge you not to laugh. The physics are broken. The cars don’t behave like you’d expect them to, some obstacles don’t behave at all, giving you the feeling of running into a ghost.
The technical aspects are just as bad as the rest of the game. FlatOut 3 looks 5 years old and sound wise it’s a joke. The sound effects are poor and the engine sound in particular lack the punch of the earlier entries. The music, as you guessed it, isn’t any better. Remember FlatOut 2’s awesome soundtrack? If you expected a playlist in any way similar to that, prepare to be sorely disappointed. In FlatOut 2 you had Fallout Boy, Alkaline Trio and Yellowcard. In this one you have to settle with generic rock music that sound like it was recorded in a garage.
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
No. Just no. At $29.99, this is a complete rip-off. It looks and plays like a $9.99 budget title, and even then, you would be paying too much. It’s bad, it’s broken and worst of all it has the FlatOut name. It’s an awful attempt at trying to cash in on the original’s fame by releasing a product of sub-par quality.
UPDATE: There was a comment supposedly made by the CEO of Team 6, Ronnie Nelis, who called us out on this review saying we were using a pirated copy. This comment has been discovered to be a fake and deleted. We apologize for any problems his has caused and wish Team 6 luck in their future projects.
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