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Flatout is a demolition-derby style racer. The graphics are pretty tight even by todays standards, and the races can be very exciting on most of the tracks. The cars look great, and there are dozens of them to choose from; from crappy derby cars to old American muscle mobiles, all the way up to beautiful racing machines.
The damage modeling is top notch too, with cars flying to peices in absolutely amazing looking crashes. Debris from destroyed scenery and vehicles litter teh raceway and actually become obsticles on your subsequent laps. It's a shame that the game doesn't have more advanced replay options; it comes only with a standard replay after the race is finished, the only option of which is slow motion (you can't even choose the angle manually, theres only a few preselected angles to use).
When it came out, it's claim to fame was the fact that the guy driving your car could be thrown through the windshield in a particularly brutal crash. There are even minigames involving throwing your driver through hoops and over high bars, etc. It's amusing at first, but eventually proves to be the games major flaw; your driver will fly through the windshield ALL THE TIME. Sometimes you'll hit a curb or have your bumper hit by another driver and your dude will go flying as if he had an ejector seat.
It can be especially frustrating considering the difficulty of the game. Especially in the later stages, one inconvenient crash can easily mean that you're better off restarting than even bothering to try catching up. Occasionally funky physics will send your car flying out of control from hitting even small pieces of debris or taking small bumps from other cars.
To sum it up, I had alot of fun with Flatout, but eventually gave in to frustration caused by it's various problems. For five bucks, you'll definetly get your moneys worth. However, if this sounds like a game you'd enjoy you might want to consider one of its various sequels (for the PC and consoles), which fix many of the problems that the original had. Oh, and get a controller to use with it; keyboard controls suck on this one.