A screenshot of the video game FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage, featuring the player scoring a "POWER HIT" against Jill Richards on the first lap of a race while in position eight out of twelve.

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage Review

Genre | Racing Sim
Developer | Bugbear Entertainment
Platform | PC, XBOX 360

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage is a racing game in which the player drives cars in an attempt to win motorsport events against AI opponents or other players. Races take place on tracks full of destructible scenery and props such as wooden fences, old tires, and garden chairs. Collisions between cars and props cause debris, car parts, and drivers to fly through the air in several directions. Most crashes allow the involved cars to keep going. If the player’s character exits the car through the windshield, they can press ‘R’ to place the driver back in the driver’s seat and continue the race, unless the car got wrecked, in which case the player loses the race.

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage has five modes. The eponymous FlatOut mode contains fifty eight events consisting of races against eleven opponents and demolition derbies. The player begins with access to a limited number of cars and events. Winning or coming in at least third place earns the player credits and unlocks other cars and events, both of which are divided into Derby, Race and Street classes. There are thirty six cars, which can be bought and upgraded to improve their speed, acceleration, handling, strength, weight, and nitrous oxide capacity. Carnage mode contains thirty six non-race events, such as stunts where the player must propel their car’s driver through the windshield in order to hit targets. The remaining modes in FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage allow participating in single events and competing against other players over the Internet. There is a Party mode where local players can take turns to compete in stunts.

Each environment in the game is used for multiple events. The props placement differs for each event. Props are placed in areas that cause collisions to occur between racers and the props. Certain props, when collided with, reveal shortcuts. Collisions and driving such that their car leaves the ground both provide the player with nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide can be used to go faster. Going faster allows the player to finish a race in less time or ram other cars.

The graphics in FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage are realistic in style. They mostly depict deformed cars, roads, trees, and barns with fragile doors. Settings include rural areas, deserts, cities, and a water canal. A frequently seen animation is a hood popping off a car and flying towards the screen. Holding down the ‘E’ key lets the player see graphics that are behind their car. The sounds of the game include engines revving, tires screeching, drivers screaming, crashes, and explosions. The music in the game is alternative rock and features yelling men and guitars.

The results of certain collisions are highlighted by the game with the words “SLAM,” “POWER HIT,” “SUPER FLIP,” and “WRECKED.” The names of these events are displayed next to the name and portrait of the other involved driver. The player is rewarded with credits for causing these events.

This is a score for an objective game review. The score is a 9 out of 10.