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In our contemporary, post-fact society, it is a common practice to simply copy-and-paste a portion of a text file, an image, or even a video, and claim it as your own. And in order to ensure that nobody notices that you have blatantly plagiarized or stole the fruits of somebody else’s labour, you tweak , edit, and transform the subject of ”your” work, in order to adopt it. For example, some YouTubers create low-rent reaction videos where they simply ”react” to trailers and other video based content, whereas certain artists simply pull ”their” art from asset stores. This phenomena has been a part of numerous industries for years, but until 17th of March 2017, it was incredibly rare that such occurred within the video game market.

The above date is presented in an immensely specific and particular manner, because on that day, Bigben Interactive released FlatOut 4: Total Insanity, a title which is nothing more than a copy of FlatOut 2, that underwent a considerable visual face-lift. At first, one could say that there is nothing wrong with copying, or even remaking FlatOut 2, as it was a great game that some would even consider to be a cult classic. However, most developers who undertake the challenge of remaking the title from the ground up look beyond the boundaries of the original, and seek to improve upon the basic formula of the game at hand. However, Bigben interactive have somehow managed to make it worse than it was back in 2006, and that’s simply unbelievable.

FlatOut 4: Total Insanity might just be a flashier version of FlatOut 2 on the outside, but on the inside, where the title’s mechanics and gameplay lie, it is an old and rusty piece of machinery that is utterly unreliable and seems to be on its way out. And that’s because at its core, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is not only an archaic game, but also one that suffers from a plethora of odd and downright poor design choices, which jeopardise not only the experience, but any fun which one could have with the game.

 

 

Throughout the eternity of the title, one will come across a reasonable amount of rather diverse tracks, which surprisingly feature destructible environments. And if one was to draw his/her conclusion at this point, he/she could say that the variety of tracks, as well as the destructibility of them are both strong points – and that could well be the case with any other racing game, but not with FlatOut 4: Total Insanity.  Because in FlatOut 4: Total Insanity, tracks feature an unreasonable amount of physical objects which are already a solid part of the tracks, such as rocks and ditches, and loose objects which are portions of the destructible environments; and each and every one of those can affect the amount of control that you have over your vehicle. In the 10 hours which I’ve spent with the title, I haven’t played a single race where I wouldn’t be affected by a fence post or a rock, as 9/10 times when driving over such, the wheel which hit the object first would bounce off of it, and simply turn the vehicle into an unwieldy nightmare. And in conjunction with bafflingly hostile NPC driver AI, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity‘s races are nothing more than an annoyance.

Poorly planned and executed level design jeopardises player progress in a rather accidental manner, and at times can be extremely infuriating. However, where the moments of fury related to the level design are occasional and sporadic, the same can not be said about the sheer disappointment which comes with the overly hostile and incompetent AI. In fact, FlatOut 4‘s AI is so rabid, it never ceases to attack the player controlled vehicle. And it doesn’t matter if you are first, fifth, or tenth, because AI controlled vehicles are always out for blood. But if you try to return the favour, and side slam your opponents making them spin out of control, they will always stop right in front of your vehicle sideways preventing you from making any further progress.

Instances of blind fury which come with inconveniences related to both level design, and in-game AI, are extremely troublesome when taken in context of the fact that FlatOut 4: Total Insanity relies on circuit racing. And it doesn’t matter if one undertakes the challenge of the campaign, multiplayer, or of the handful of featured stunt modes, because each and every time, the same issues occur, without fail. And that’s not only disappointing, it is as mentioned previously, simply infuriating. Yes – you can try to overlook all the glaring issues which this particular title possesses, but even then it is nothing more than a below average racing game, which revolves solely around the nostalgia formed by its predecessor, which even today, eleven years after its initial release, is still much better than FlatOut 4: Total Insanity.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.