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Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction Review

By Jeff Buckland, 1/5/2012

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I have to admit that the most fun I had in the Flatout games was with those silly physics events where you'd launch your ragdoll-ified body out of the front of the windshield. The racing was amusing arcade fare, but it wasn't ever totally amazing to me. And when a third Flatout was announced by a team that wasn't even the original developers (Bugbear Interactive), I was pretty sure something had gone off the rails. This latest entry in the series comes from a studio called Team 6, and with terrible physics, awful controls, and some of the most unpredictable and aggravating action in the history of high-speed racing games, this is one to avoid.

You start the game's main Challenge mode in an old junkheap of a car that's got nitrous bolted onto it so you go something like 200mph. This means you'd be guaranteed to slam the thing into an obstacle like a concrete wall even if the game's controls were slick and tight (which they're not), there were no other cars to race against (there most certainly are), or their AIs weren't blind and psychotic (yep, you guessed it). I found myself unable to reliably win races in Flatout 3, simply because the game conspires to find a way to crash your car and knock you out of the race in the most idiotic ways imaginable. The sluggish controls only allowed me to win by sheer memorization of the game's poorly laid-out tracks, and that only worked if I was lucky enough to get away from the pack of cars that would gladly do anything they could to slam into me - including finding ways to crash all over themselves and each other - and get out into first and hope I could stay there.

Honestly, I didn't get much further than a few races into this atrociously bad game, and my time spent with the various modes is all a blur in my mind. Usually I'm happy to go back to a game during the process of writing a review and get my facts straight about specific numbers, names, and modes, but I'm not doing it with Flatout 3 because, well, it's a waste of time for everyone involved. It wouldn't improve my description of the game, and it wouldn't help the reader because I am in no way suggesting that this game is even remotely redeemable to even the least discerning gamer out there. Anyone who still wants to play this game after reading even just one review of it probably deserves what they get.

This review is going to end up short because I'm only getting more angry with each word I type just thinking about the hideous graphics, grating audio, and truly terrible racing that this game can't help but throw at anyone unlucky enough to have bought it. I'd love for Flatout 3 to be this crappy but still mildly amusing experience that gets more charming with each senseless crash or failed attempt to complete (or, in some cases, even start) a multiplayer match, but for me, this did not happen at all.

The game costs thirty bucks, and I think it's likely you could have more fun spending that money on a bunch of rolls of tinfoil to chew on than to go through the pain of playing this game. You'd feel ripped off if the developers paid you $30 to play Flatout 3 for one evening. The only reason it's not getting a 1/10 is because it didn't reformat my PC when I uninstalled it, so in that case I guess I got it wrong. Flatout 3 does wind up having one mildly redeeming feature: it won't screw up your computer when you inevitably delete it in disgust.

Overall: 2 out of 10



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