FlatOut 2 Reader Review
Got inspired of TriggerhappyTels excellent review. That was from a console gamers review and I thought since I donīt agree on many things from my perspective it could be helpful to get my view of things.
I am a PC sim racer. My last year I have been very hooked by GTR. Before that I was more of a hardcore gamer. I did run racing games both arcade like Codemasters Toca 2 and Colin McRae 1-2 but also other games.
Currently I am more interested in race simulations but I surely can enjoy arcade games especially if itīs about rallying.
My home cockpit exists of TrackIR (www.naturalpoint.com, a Logitech Driving Force PRO and Frex GP pedals.
TrackIR isnīt supported in FlatOut 2 and to be honest these pedals arenīt built for this as a 100 % arcade game itīs. I did find the DFP running 200 degrees worked excellent though.
But lets begin.
This game has consolitis. There is no mouse support which makes it very hard to navigate efficiently. As for multiplayer you canīt even chat you have to wait for someone to hopefully start a game. You really need teamspeak and run on-line with friends to really have a good time. Otherwise itīs just like racing the AI. As for the controls itīs optimized for gamepads apparently. Using a proper wheel it just gets to easy. That is of course when using toy pedals. I had to do without my Frexies because consolitis again Flatout 2 donīt support multiple pedals (officially it donīt support pedals at all) but this is a 0 or 100 % throttle/brake racing game...
One other thing is the replay system which isnīt improved anything over the original. You only have one camera and you cant switch between cars. This does really hurt the game a bit. You canīt save replays either.
Visuals and Sounds.
Visuals are really quite okay. The destruction is wastly improved and I absolutely love the tracks in FlatOut 2. There is no cockpit view (consolitis) but it doesnīt hurt this game that much. To have trackIR support to get better views of all the crashes and destruction would really help this sim I feel.
But it runs very fluid at a constant 100 fps with not a single dip so there FlatOut 2 really shines.
As for the sounds they are a mixed bag. The music that is individual but for me I ran with them just because the engine sounds was so uninteresting. I am used to better there with my racing simulations like GTR/GTL and even rFactor have much better car sounds. But otherwise the ambient, environmental sounds are generally good.
I feel they are dumbed down compared to FlatOut. You have much more grip so much you will have to work hard to loose grip to get some drifting going. I donīt expect authentic physics but FlatOut was rewarding to drive this is really quite uninteresting. But the sensation of speed in upgraded cars is awesome and if you get some of the most powerful race cars and refuse to upgrade them you can have some fun just driving.
But I do preferr FlatOuts driving model over this. I suspect another issue of consolitis. Itīs optimized for kids driving rather then adults.
Bad labelling on this section but want to incorporate how it was to actually play it.
I must say the career mode was a real miss. The AI though the personality thing is great but the damn rubber band effect is just ruining everything. There is no point upgrading your cars because the more you suck the more the AI will suck. Once you realized there is no point spending money on upgrades or anything. If you want to win races you will win every one. If you want to set the fastest lap you will do it every single time if you learn to drive poorly to start with.
The winning strategy is to just wreck all you can the first laps. Donīt worry if you get behind because the AI will do anything but to drive backwards as not to win... And you get money by wrecking not by running the fastest anyway.
There really isnīt any challenge in this game. You can run through the entire career mode in no time really.
This is a real wasted opportunity. Would be so much better to have strong AI without this effect. It would mean you would maybe be a bit weaker in the start but you can always get money by wrecking and you can get results that gets you money that allows you to upgrade your car to get more competitive.
As itīs now you only do it to get some new handling characteristics of for the sake of doing it. Itīs not needed to win the races in any way.
The only thing that motivates you is the new tracks and events that get unlocked. And the demolition never fails to entertain.
This may sound negative but despite in many ways not being as good as it potentially could have been it still manages to be fun. I donīt regret my purchase I have had tons of fun with it. But because of itīs flaws the longetivety gets hurted a bit unless you can find a good multiplayer club to run this with.
There just isnīt much of a challenge in this game. But to be honest I donīt think many that buy this game will not have at least 15h of fun with it even if you donīt care for the mini games like me.
Also worth of note this uses Starforce 4. This is a real pain. It takes 20 seconds to check the disc but it does work for me anyway. So if your computer have problems with Starforce you may want to stay clear. Unless you want to sponsor Bugbear that gave us except the original Flatout also the excellent Rally Trophy :)