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As a big fan of the Need for Speed series of games from Electronic Arts, I've always been dubious of buying driving games from other vendors, but Flatout 2 turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Racing consists of three categories :
for each category, there a selection of cars, each with different characteristics, some faster than others, some with a stronger or heavier chassis. All factors that matter within a demolition derby or race.
For each race you run, you are awarded cash for achieving a certain place in the race, and also bonuses based on how much damage you cause to other vehicles and to the roadside furniture and scenery. The earned cash can be used to purchase new cars, upgrades to your existing car, and new events to take part in.
Apart from the rallying simulations such as Colin McCrae, and the out-right destruction of Burnout, this is the first game where the damage engine has impressed me. Not only can the cars be damaged (which also affects the way the car handles), you can also damage a lot of the scenery, indeed, in order to gain Nitro fuel within the game, you need to cause as much damage as you can without slowing yourself down.
The main racing elements are off-set by some fun side-games, which invariably involve you performing stunts, often sending your driving flying through the air. The first side game you come across requires you to send your driver through the windscreen and onto a mesh fence. The higher up the fence you splatter, the more points you get.
The game also has a good soundtrack, with music supplied by Nickelback, Rob Zombie and Fallout Boy, and many others.
If you need a fun game to fill the space between Need for Speed games, or if you just want to try a driving game that is as fun to come last as it is to win, then this is the one for you.
I can heartily recommend this game to anyone into the genre, and even to those who aren't