Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction Review

We all know the FlatOut demolition racing series don’t we? I have fond memories of Finnish developer Bugbear’s 2007 release FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage, and the explosive chaos of it’s online multiplayer modes. It wasn’t the greatest game ever created, but it held my interest and delivered what I’d hoped for.

Now we have FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction, brought to us by Team 6 Game Studiosof the Netherlands. Since it’s initial release last December there have been various improvements based on player feedback, and I’ve played version 4.

The problem is that I just don’t understand this game. The graphics seem to be intentionally retro arcade style, whilst successfully controlling the vehicles requires the frustratingly steep learning curve of a simulation. My difficulty with this unusual combination is that I can’t bear to behold the ugliness of the visuals long enough to become any good at it. I’m particularly offended by the vehicle art; it would be well suited to a flash game. The backgrounds are mostly decent, but it’s not about the backgrounds is it? No. It’s about the vehicles that have escaped a Sega Megadrive.

I explored FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction for two hours, and it was a genuinely joyless and ultimately depressing experience. A big selling point for this title is the large variety of game modes available; I tried them all, and truly hate them all. This game is without a soul. It is soulless. FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction should be beheaded, burnt and doused in holy water.

Team 6 Game Studios have previously developed FlatOut titles for Nintendo’s Wii, and that’s where FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction belongs. Think I’m being unfair? Go play Bizarre Creation’s Blur, Criterion’s NFS: Hot Pursuit , SimBin’s Race Injection or Steel Monkeys’ Post Apocalyptic Mayhem. These four games alone put FlatOut 3 to shame. There is simply no need for a game this mediocre in the year 2012.

On a positive note, Team 6 Game Studios continue to listen to community feedback and tweak the game accordingly.  I’ve also read some positive, praising comments from players on the forums, so clearly some people are enjoying FlatOut 3. 

4/10

Official Website

FlatOut 3 on Steam

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PC Used:

AMD 4200+ X2 2233 MHz CPU

ATI HD4670 512mb GPU

Windows XP SP3

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This entry was posted by Ian Brown.

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