Wreck me on the track

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
Author and references

The Flatout series has always been characterized by the spectacularity of its accidents and its deeply arcade nature. The first two chapters were certainly good games, although not perfect. It is with a certain surprise that we learned of the release of the third chapter, also because it is not that it had been talked about long before the publication almost surprisingly close to the Christmas holidays. The first thing that catches your eye as soon as you start the game is that a career mode is completely missing. The player is given the choice of nine unrelated modes, each divided into multiple races.

Each victory corresponds to the unlocking of a new race and some extras, including new cars, in the same mode. That's all. The most natural choice to start playing is to participate in some races on the circuit, in order to test the control system, the sensation of speed and how the graphic engine manages the collisions between the bodies with an engine still attached, very important in every Flatout worthy of respect.

We just have to get on board one of the vehicles available right away, distinguished by four characteristics (speed, handling, acceleration and resistance) as well as aesthetics, and choose one of the pilots. For the record we must tell you that the latter have a purely cosmetic function and do not change the driving experience one iota. Moreover, they have three-dimensional models that to define ugly is to pay them a compliment, so we can say without fear of denial that the developers could easily avoid inserting them saving some resources. If you think we have been too bad in judging them, read on. There is something for everyone.

Finally behind the wheel

Driving games are judged by the sensations they give while behind the wheel, not by the surrounding elements. From this point of view Flatout 3 it is a disaster on all fronts. We were left with our newly started race. The engines roar, the wheels smoke and off you go! In a manner of speaking, since after a nanosecond an opponent came upon us and we ended up spinning in the air. Careless. Back on track we resume the race and ... another accident.

The models of the pilots are hideous

What a dazzling start. Since we are in good faith and it was the first race, we thought about a problem of our inexperience. Naive. Flatout 3 it is pure and unmotivated chaos. A mix of slippery controls, poor scenery readability and AI at the lowest imaginable levels creates an overall frustrating and unplayable experience. How would you describe a successful race in which we have had about thirty accidents? CPU cars simply seem to be driven by serial killers who go out of their way to come upon us or go after their cronies. At first it can also be fun to see continuous Call of Duty explosions and metal flying everywhere, but when you decide to get serious, then big problems arise and you begin to realize that you have gone too far. Is it possible that every car that tries to overtake us has to come upon us? Is it possible that accidents made at laughable speed still cause you to lose control of the car? Is it possible that it is not humanly possible to finish a single race without someone coming upon us? The most emblematic case is the speed race, one of the nine modes we talked about earlier, which always starts with some mushroom cloud on the track. Racing vehicles are extremely fragile and explode like firecrackers as soon as they hit an obstacle. The result is that you see very little speed, as you live with the constant fear of ending up against a wall and seeing the vehicle turn into an artificial fire.

Echoes of Flatout

However, once the chaos is put in order, it is also possible to conduct a full race. Unfortunately, other major problems immediately emerge. For example, the lack of a career mode dictates that you always finish first to unlock subsequent races. All other positions are practically useless, including the second or third. The trouble is that even on the very first tracks, given the problems illustrated above, winning is not a walk in the park.

In this way you risk having to repeat a single track countless times before you can see the light, with the frustration that reaches the extreme limit when you lose on the last lap due to an inevitable crash caused by the CPU (the most frequent example is that of an unexpected rival car that collides with us at great speed making us end up off the road).
In short, what remains of the old chapters in Flatout 3? Virtually nothing, one would say. The first two chapters did offer some spectacular crashes, but they were playable and well balanced, they did have an arcade driving system, but it was precise and not as slimy and shaky as the one in the third chapter. They had fewer modalities, but there was always a long career and, above all, no random competitions had been added just to make up numbers as happened in this case. For example, the ability to drive a big foot is not bad, but the selectable vehicles are so delicate that the difficulty is not so much hitting the barrels before the opponents (one of the objectives of the mode), as being able to get to the end without being completely destroyed.

Multiplayer and graphics

At this point we would gladly tell you about the multiplayer mode, but more than telling you that it is chronically lacking in options we cannot, as we have not been able to play a single online game in more than two weeks of trying. The reason?

CCV: Chronic shortage of gamers. We also tried to host, but after an hour alone counting the vertebrae of a mouse's back, we gave up.
Instead, let's talk about the technical aspects that ... don't shine (strange huh?!?). Although this is a game released exclusively on PC, there are no wonders to be seen. The car models are rather bland and the tracks are not very rich in elements. The most pleasant scenarios to look at are the city ones, but you never cry out for a miracle and, above all, there is very little memorable. To go beyond the sufficiency is only the system of damage to the cars, which however pales in comparison to that of the old Flatouts, not to mention sacred monsters such as the various racing titles of Codemasters or the Burnout of Criterion. In short, even from a technical point of view Flatout 3 not worth the ticket price.




Readers (29)


Your vote

Forget it. You will have already understood this by looking at the vote, but it is necessary to reiterate it: Flatout 3 it's a bad game that dishonors the name it bears. There is very little to save, but it is not enough to lift the fate of this half-disaster. Chaotic, at times unplayable, it is a badly calibrated title that is not worth its price. We hope that the series will be resumed seriously, or that it will die forever.


  • At first, chaos can also be fun ...
  • ... but it soon becomes clear that it only leads to frustration
  • No career modes
  • Too many races lost due to inevitable accidents

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Video card: GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC
  • Operating system: Windows Vista 32 bit

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
  • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Scheda video: Nvidia GeForce 8600+ / AMD Radeon HD X2600+
  • Disk space: 16 GB
  • DirectX: 9.0c
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