Never has a name of a game been more relevant than FlatOut 4: Total Insanity because frankly that’s the best way to describe the latest instalment in the FlatOut series – absolute and utter insanity; which seemingly came out of nowhere. This racing extravaganza is violent, rough and just what 2017 needed: something a little light-hearted that doesn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time brings players a real thrill of stunt racing. Staying true to the FlatOut series, FlatOut 4 revolves around destruction and it doesn’t disappoint. With insane races, more than enough different ways to play and generally fun packed gameplay, it’s hard to fault the manic racer that is FlatOut 4: Total Insanity.
Modes include: Career mode, FlatOut mode and Quick Play. Career is exactly what you’d expect it to be in a racing game – a series of different races in different level locations, working you from a rusty old pickup and improving as you go with the money you win. FlatOut mode gives you frankly a few too many mini games and stunts to choose from and Quick Play gives you the option of Carnage or Assault. Carnage being exactly what it says, making the player destroy things and earning points and Assault gives the racer weapons to use against fellow cars, giving it an almost Mario Kart or GTA Race feel.
The problem with so many modes though, is that with a game like this it can just seem thrown together. In a way it is like there were way too many ideas being thrown around by developers that, at the end of the day, they just decided to say “SCREW IT!” and throw every idea into the game. Want a career mode? Sure. Want a beer pong level? Okay! Want Capture the Flag? You got it! It is just a bit too much, and sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I think FlatOut 4: Total Insanity could have been improved if more attention had been given to less game modes – but to clarify, that’s not the say it is not great with what it does provide in the end. It may be messy, but it is a hell of a lot of fun. There is also an online multiplayer option, but as I played the game pre-launch there wasn’t much of a chance to try this properly, so that’s down to you if you get the game to make a judgement for yourself.
One thing I have to point out, which for me makes or breaks a game like this, is the incredibly quick respawn time. In a game that’s all about destroying each other, ramming into the environment and generally causing havoc with every way you go, a quick respawn time is essential. In FlatOut 4: Total Insanity, you will be spending an awful lot of time (sometimes even tedious amounts of time) respawning and spoiling your laps that if you spent more time respawning than you did driving it would probably be a lot less fun to play. The environments also throw more than enough curve balls your way when one minute you can crash through everything in your path and then the next to end up crashing into a part of the environment which you’re not able to destroy, causing you to spin out or destroy yourself and take the rest of the level slightly more cautiously.
The graphics are, in a word: phenomenal. I absolutely love the way the game is designed. Every map is different and fun and the environment is so interactive and beautifully designed. The levels and cars are so detailed, with perfect lighting and colours that you feel immersed in the world. It’s beautiful and you can tell that a lot of effort went into its design and to be honest, I wish that much effort had been put into the soundtrack. The music isn’t bad, but you will more than likely be spending a lot of time in the same levels that you’ll have to hear the same tunes over and over again. Repetitiveness is something I’m not afraid to point out in any of the games I review, and while I do really love FlatOut 4, it just can’t escape the repetition bug. It’s understandable, having the same music for the same level, most games do – but a little more variety would make it a lot less tedious when you’re crashing your way through career mode.
So, is FlatOut 4: Total Insanity worth your money? I’d say so, yes. It’s a thrill, it’s messy and fun and full of so much to do that you’re not going to get bored. While it’s not perfect, and could do with a little more attention on modes that aren’t Career, it’s still a great racing game that delivers on what people know and love from the FlatOut series.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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