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Elisha Bespalov
Elisha Bespalov

FlatOut Ultimate Carnage __EXCLUSIVE__

Hi Octane motorised anarchy - Maximum fun, maximum chaos, and all in eyeball searing high definition, FlatOut - Ultimate Carnage is PC's most extreme destruction racer!With three distinct carnage-filled game styles, an integrated championship racing career mode and intense in-your-face destructive action, FlatOut Ultimate Carnage is the gaming world's most smash-tastic driving game to date!

FlatOut Ultimate Carnage

The newly released FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage is actually just a reworking of 2006's demolition racer FlatOut 2. It's got the prerequisite shiny new graphics and additional on-track carnage. However, it also comes with some new modes and vehicles to help flesh out the package a bit more. While you can't help but feel like developer BugBear might have just been better off making a proper FlatOut sequel instead of reheating its last game, the upgrades made here are significant enough to make the game stand on its own.

The good news is that Ultimate Carnage takes the groundwork laid by FlatOut 2 and improves it by a good measure. If you ever played FlatOut 2, you'll notice the difference the second you lay rubber to the track. The visual upgrade is more than just the standard upscaling of the existing visual assets. Apart from basic upgrades, such as improved lighting, as well as better smoke and water effects, BugBear has vastly improved the look of on-track action. Cars are much more detailed (and there's more of them on the track now, with up to 12 drivers instead of the previous eight), and the wrecks are far more elaborate. On the track, there are tons of objects to knock around and break apart, considerably more than in FlatOut 2. It's customary to see tracks completely littered with tires, logs, broken glass, shopping carts, lamp posts, shorn car parts, and all manner of other destroyed bric-a-brac by the time you reach the last laps. The sheer dynamism of the game's destructible elements is quite impressive, and that fact that the game runs at such a smooth clip while all this carnage is going on is also a big bonus.

It's not all old hat in terms of features because there are some new race types and modes in Ultimate Carnage. One new mode addition is the carnage mode, a second career mode of sorts that revolves around a series of challenges taken from all the various race and stunt modes. These include the new race types found in the game, such as beat the bomb, which is a race where you score points by going as far as you can before a ticking clock with a bomb at the end of it runs out; carnage race, which is like a standard race, except you score points by wrecking the scenery and other cars; and deathmatch derby, which is like a standard demolition derby, but with time-based matches and the goal of getting as many kills as you can before time runs out.

What it's ultimately going to boil down to with FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage is whether you already bought FlatOut 2 or not. The new content in Ultimate Carnage is unquestionably a big step above FlatOut 2, but what is questionable is whether it's enough to justify paying another $50 for a game that, for as much as it's changed, still feels extremely familiar. If you never touched FlatOut 2 and are looking for a crash-happy racer, Ultimate Carnage will absolutely fit the bill. If you already took the plunge previously, think about whether upgraded visuals and a few new gameplay modes are enough to justify a second purchase.

With three distinct carnage-filled game styles, an integrated championship racing career mode and intense in-your-face destructive action, FlatOut Ultimate Carnage is the gaming world's most smash-tastic driving game to date!

Although there are a variety of game modes open to you, the heart of the game, unsurprisingly, lies in its races. Each one of these is a delightful festival of carnage, with the game taking the now commonplace approach of building multiple tracks out of a relatively small set of actual locations. This has allowed the developer to lavish detail on each location, and it shows - FlatOut's tracks are among the most visually impressive and astonishingly detailed we've seen in any racing game, ever.

If there is one thing better than a good arcade racing game, it is a good arcade racing game with loads of crashes. When I was a youngin' with my PSX, I remember that despite all the awesome sports, action and fighting games, game sessions were never quite as fun as they were with the Destruction Derby series on hand. For some reason, despite the fact it is easily one of the most gaming friendly genres out there, crash happy arcade racers have really only recently made a come back in the gamingworld since those days, and a large part of that can be attributed to Empire Interactive's Flatout series. Finally, this hugely entertaining series has made its way onto the [img]flatoutuc_xb360_1[/img]next gen scene with Flatout: Ultimate Carnage, which is an Xbox 360 exclusive, and while the game is not without its disappointments, it is still a must have for any fans of mindless yet ultra fun and enjoyable racing.

Luckily, "Flatout Mode" isn't the only major source of gameplay in UC, as there are a few other modes on offer as well. Naturally, this is an Xbox Live game [img]flatoutuc_xb360_2[/img]and can go online, not to mention there is a "Party Mode" for up to 8 gamers for offline multiplayer. If you just want some quick offline single player action with the ability to define the event conditions, then the "Single Events" is for you, and finally, UC welcomes a new mode called "Carnage Mode".This mode is quite similar to the "Flatout Mode" in the sense placing on the podium in an event unlocks more events for you to do, but the differences are what make this mode probably the best in the game - first of all, there is much more variation from one event to the next, and secondly, you don't have to worry at all about currency for buying and upgrading your vehicles as each event has a preset car for you to use. This makes for very little hassle and maximum fun - basically, the idealmode to supplement UC's gameplay.

And what fun gameplay this is. If you've ever considered crash-n-bash arcade racers to be as enjoyable as I have, then you will absolutely love what Ultimate Carnage has to offer. This is really arcade racing as it was meant to be. Whether you're doing a traditional race, a destruction bowl, or any of the other events, you're going to be in for some extremely satisfying carnage as you smash your way through thousands of destructible objects laying about such as tyres, scaffolding and signs, andobviously into other cars racing around as well. Even if you are trying to place first in a race, often it will be too hard to resist creating mayhem even if it means you have to restart from the beginning again, because the crashes and impacts are very often insanely awesome. The only event types which are pretty boring when it comes to the carnage are the solo time trial and "bombed" events, which requires you to reach check points in certain time frames otherwise you blow up (Speed: Flatout?).Otherwise, this game really lives up to its name in every way.

[img]flatoutuc_xb360_3[/img]However, UC is not perfect - there are a few disappointments. Being on the Xbox 360 console, naturally developers Bugbear Entertainment were able to enhance the gameplay in some technical ways, such as much more specific and detailed crash damage as well as a lot more in the way of destructible objects surrounding the tracks. This is great, but the game still feels incredibly like the original Flatout let alone the second version. Now, in all fairness you can't really fix what isn't broken, butat the same time, UC is little more than Flatout 2 with better graphics, which are very nice by the way; it's just not enough to give this series that complete "next gen" boost in the arm.

For example, one aspect that I think Bugbear really missed out on with UC is the allowed amount of cars competing at any given time. 8 is the maximum in online races, which is acceptable when you consider you have network performance to fight with and too many cars would simply backfire. However, offline races are limited to a rather low 12 cars. It sounds like such a minute, insignificant part to the game, but it's really the crux of how the gameplay in Flatout works - the more carsyou have, the more potential for crashes and carnage you have, and generally, the better the gameplay. In quite a few events, even ones centered entirely around destruction, 12 cars is simply not enough and creates time pockets of limited or no noteworthy activity as you either pull ahead or fall behind most of the action. I would have loved to have seen at least 20 cars in offline races on the Xbox 360 console, which I'm sure is up to the task, and even if it isn't, dropping [img]flatoutuc_xb360_4[/img]some physics detail to allowfor more cars is still better in my opinion - it is said the game allows for 40 unique deformable parts for each car and over 8000 destructible objects for each track. This sounds impressive, but if you half both those figures, the game would still play great and likely allow for more cars.

When you look at the complete picture, Flatout: Ultimate Carnage really is the ultimate arcade racer. It may not have licensed cars and the tracks can be repetitive, not to mention the gameplay hasn't changed much at all since the series birth a few years back, but fun, addictive and easy to get into 'pick up and play' driving action is what this game is all about, and in those departments it delivers without a hitch. Some areas could have perhaps seen slightly more attention to really solidifythis game as a true next gen experience, but it is still the most fun I've had on the Xbox 360 and I think many will come to that same conclusion when they try it out. If you want unbridled, often insanely fun and addictive racing gameplay on your 360, you can't go wrong with Flatout: Ultimate Carnage. 041b061a72


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