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Friday | August 17, 2018
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Flatout Ultimate Carnage (PC)

Flatout Ultimate Carnage (PC)

The PC version of Flatout Ultimate Carnage is a port of the Xbox 360 title from last year. The game was warmly received when it was released on the console platform, but can the PC version bring anything fresh or exciting to the table?

Let me make the point clear before we get any further into the review. Flatout Ultimate Carnage is not a simulation by any stretch of the imagination. Not even close. You can crash the car at over 100 miles per hour, go through the windscreen, land 100 foot away impaled against a fence and not suffer even a bruise. Picture this game as a cross between Grid and Burnout revenge and you get the picture. It doesn’t feature any traffic and destruction earns points or nitro speed boost.

The cars handle rather well in Ultimate Carnage and they are responsive, however playing the game with a keyboard is a little tricky. That said some gamers don’t mind and for them this will be nothing out of the ordinary, but I always have an issue playing racing games on the PC, I miss the PS3 or 360 controllers immediately. For those of you who share the same mindset as myself the game supports the Xbox 360 controller out of the box with even the menus mapped to the 360 buttons.

After you get the control method configured to your tastes you can jump into the game and start the mayhem. The physics are impressive and rather forgiving to the racers, if you hit a pole you will be fine however if you hit something more substantial there is a good chance, depending on your speed and trajectory that you could end up going head first through the windshield.

The tracks are gloriously detailed and the variety is impressive however most of the time they could do with having more detours as although you get occasionally alternating routes they don’t add much variety to the track layout (they are also very short).

This game is all about the carnage and ramming into opponents is the best way to win the race, especially as doing so earns you speed boosts. If you try to win races by being the best and cleanest driver the game is much more difficult because the other guys are very aggressive. Beat The Bomb mode is exciting as you have to reach checkpoints before the car explodes.

Flatout also offers missions that are pure spectacle, you are rewarded with points for maximum destruction and stunts. In the Carnage mode you are placed in a checkpoint style race and the objective is to damage as much as you can on the way. This is a chaotic experience but it is a hell of a lot of fun. Most racing games I lose interest with pretty quick but I still find myself picking this one up to have another session.

This leads me nicely into Deathmatch Derby, in this game mode you are up against another 10-12 drivers inside an arena … the objective? be the last man standing and rank up the maximum scores possible. There are also stunt style game modes which aim to cater for the fans who want an alternative to straightforward racing segments.

Stunt modes are a little different to the normal setup however, instead of jumping a ramp and travelling over buses you drive the car a short distance then preload a jump with your launch button. The earlier you hold this button the higher you fly. Yes YOU fly (not the car!), you are strapped to an ejector seat. If you keep this button pressed too long there is a possibility that you will fly straight up instead of forward. The idea is to complete the specific task and then land as well as possible and you can alter the landing trajectory and perform life saving body flops at the last instant.  There are 12 different stunt tracks in total and they all have a certain twist to the concept – it’s entertaining and more than a little silly. Sometimes you might have to launch through a series of fiery rings and other times the game might demand that you play a sports game with your body, such as football or darts. Imagine PAIN from the PS3 store with a car element and you get the picture.

Multiplayer is catered for with both offline and online modes. Offline is a waste of time as you basically have to play the game by taking turns however you can play stunts modes simultaneously. Online is a bit of a mixed bag and you are required to have a Games for Windows Live Account. This immediately will alienate a large portion of the gaming public, however those of you who meet the criteria will be able to play the stunts, races and even the Deathmatch Derby.

Graphically the game is impressive, but you need a pretty good modern day gaming system to get the most from it, something like a 260 GTX would be the sweet spot and if you go lower than this at high resolutions you will be looking to knock back detail settings to compensate for juddery frame rates. I also had some issues with a X1950 crashing but apparently this is just isolated.

The audio side of the game is pretty good also, the music is a mix of hard rock and pop riffs which works reasonably well in the context of the game. The track list however isn’t that indepth so after a few hours you will be tired listening to the same songs over and over again.

Flatout Ultimate doesn’t try to be a simulator on any level, certainly there are some rather cool looking physics but in the grand scheme of things it’s really a tarted up arcade racer with stunt elements thrown into the mix. For the most part the game plays great and it’s an enjoyable experience especially if you aren’t into the detailed simulator side of setting up the suspension and tweaking the geometry of the handling. Just be sure you have a decent PC or you will have to lower detail settings to get good frame rates.



A lot of simple racing fun, the stunt modes are very entertaining and make for a nice diversion.


They look great if you have the hardware to drive it.


Quite bland.

I actually am still playing the stunt modes, even after a few weeks of heavy gaming.
(not an average)

Recommended if you like racing games with physics and stunts in the mix!

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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