FlatOut 4: Total Insanity truly lives by its name because quite frankly, that’s what you’ll experience when playing. FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is an all out wild ride that’s full of explosions, bodies flying out of cars, and other fancy bits that are sure to tickle your fancy. If you’ve ever played the other FlatOut titles then this will surely be a no brainer pick up, and honestly if you’re new to the series, like we are, it’s a for sure grab for its price. FlatOut 4:Total Insanity is a racing game and so fans of the genre can pick it up and ram their way through the competition via the single player campaign, or just take it easy (by easy we mean go all out) in the quick play mode where you can have fun with the stunt trials. Unlike games like Gran Turismo, Forza 3, and Project Cars which all feature very simulated racing experiences, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity throws all of that out of the window and provides a very action packed thrill ride unlike any other.
What to Expect
Since this was our first time playing a FlatOut title, we weren’t sure what to expect. Of course, the name itself would suggest that there’s going to be total insanity, we just didn’t know how much insanity was going to unfold. This, of course, blew us away entirely and honestly made playing through the career mode such a blast, even though at times the AI would be a major pain in the arse. Expect to go through emotional highs and lows as the competition gradually gets more fierce as you progress through the game, and your level of awareness needs to be on high alert. The level designs are incredibly well done and really put you on the edge because every obstacle in front of you is a threat, and often times the game will just throw random surprises at you to throw everything off. There’s never a time to slow down and think because everything is frantic, and the cool soundtrack that goes along with all the madness just adds more fuel to the fire. FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is a game that should be played with friends because it’ll make the overall experience that more gratifying.
As we mentioned earlier, the campaign mode in FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is awesome. There’s a plethora of things to do such as purchasing and upgrading your vehicles, to customizing the color variations and much more. We were surprised to find that FlatOut 4: Total Insanity, despite its wild and chaotic appearance, has a lot of depth to it and provides a very robust experience that’s long lasting. There are three sections to the campaign mode and you start off in the Derby league, which is pretty much where all the used cars compete against one another in an all out race for the trophy. As you progress through the campaign, you earn gold that you can use to further upgrade your junk heap to make it less of a junk heap, and start pummeling the AI into the wall for big points. Speaking of big points, using your nitro throughout the game will net you massive points, especially when you use it to smash your opponent into an oncoming obstacle. If you can throw the driver out of the car while doing so that’s a lot of gold you’ve just obtained, and a nice refill of your nitro meter to win the race.
Another great aspect about the campaign is that, it’s not just races that you’ll need to compete in but also survivor arenas which pit you against the AI in this destruction derby to see who gets wrecked first. Of course, your goal isn’t to be wrecked first but rather to ram your opponent into the next dimension before they get a chance to react, and to gather all the points possible to progress. This aspect of FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is where the replay value really stands out because you’re always coming back to either better your score, or perhaps you’ve lost so many times trying to beat the AI that you constantly try until you manage to grab 1st place. This frustration slowly turns into a motivation to improve your driving skills because this game is unforgiving a lot of the time, and it doesn’t care about your feelings. It purposely draws the road rage out of you to the point where curse words start to become a part of your vocabulary as you play, and the sheer satisfaction of bashing the AI into a tower of logs is beautiful. Mind you this is just in the Derby league, and things start to heat up even more once you head into the Classic and All-Star leagues. The cars are far more superior than those in the Derby both in performance and visuals, which add an entirely new element to the overall gameplay.
While the rush and crashes are still an integral part of the game, in Classic and All-Star it becomes more a race of skill than just mindless road rage combat. The stages become even more intricate and taking shortcuts becomes more of the objective than worrying about Joe Schmoe or Angry Allison trying to T-bone you to make your life a living hell. There are just those moments where you have to ignore what’s happening around you and restrict the attention simply to what’s ahead of you. Paying too much attention to the crazy drivers will often times get you killed, or running into a random obstacle that knocks you back a few positions. The campaign mode is lengthy enough to keep you going for hours on end. We played the Derby mode and to achieve 45% it took us nearly 4 hours, with so much more awaiting us. That was a huge plus to us because it only made playing that much more rewarding knowing that, at the end of that dark tunnel there’s going to be a massive treasure waiting for you.
If you need a well deserved break away from all the madness then quick play mode is where you can let off some steam. The very fun stunt mode allows you to drive your high powered car off of a ramp and chuck your driver out of the window to see how far they go. The longer they travel the more points you receive, and if you can get your driver to land on the fans then your travel distance gets extended. This was a total blast to play because there’s always a score to beat and you feel the urge to constantly better the last score you accumulated. Then there’s the online multiplayer where you can face off against other crazy people to see who takes the trophy. It’s all madness and it performs with very little lag on Steam, which is a huge plus. Controlling your car with the controller was surprisingly very intuitive and didn’t really come off too stiff, especially when taking the corners Initial D style to drift around your opponent. Perhaps playing with a steering wheel would make the experience even more of a thrill, but sadly we didn’t have one lying around to tinker with. With so many more extras within the game and a lengthy single player, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is one racing title you definitely need to pick up and play whether it be by yourself or with a group of friends. Oh, and did we mention that in some races you can use weapons too? Perhaps we didn’t, but now you know so look forward to that also!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
As you can see, we truly had a wonderful time with FlatOut 4: Total Insanity and even after writing this review we’ll most likely continue playing it because that’s just how much fun we had. It’s by no means a Mario Kart 8 or anything, but it still provides that intensity that really brings out the competitive spirit in a healthy way. You’re always on the move trying to come up with new ways to optimize shortcuts, bettering your steering and drifting, while avoiding as many deaths as possible to take the number one spot. Visually speaking, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity looks great, albeit a few little texturing issues that honestly aren’t really noticeable unless you really pay attention to it. Who really pays attention to that when your eyes should clearly be focused on the road anyway? We had a few little moments of choppy framerates when we went overboard with our nitro boost, but outside of that the game ran smoothly and overall gave us a real exciting experience. FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is like a more chaotic version of the Burnout series, but it throws in its own unique flavoring to give off its own attractive appeal.
Pretty in depth single player campaign.
Various gameplay modes to keep you coming back for more.
Customization options were a nice plus.
Chucking your driver out of a car in stunt mode is a nice way to let off steam.
Huge replay value.
Online Multiplayer is a huge plus, and little lag also.
Some texturing issues throughout some of the maps.
Choppy framerate when using the nitro.
Steering can take getting used to especially if you’re new to racers.
Honey's Final Verdict:
FlatOut 4: Total Insanity delivered in a huge way and we’re so happy to have had the chance to take part in it all. It’s frantic and wild appeal is what keeps you hungry for more, as you desperately try not to kill yourself and earn the righteous title of best racer. There’s no fluff in the game as everything must be learned on the fly, which only pushes you to work harder and obtain the rewards necessary to proceed in the exciting leagues. We hope you found this review to be useful and take the time to try FlatOut 4: Total Insanity for yourself. Let us know what you think in the comments section below, and of course be sure to follow us on social media to get all the latest updates as to when Honey’s Gaming goes live!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!