FlatOut 2 hands-on

Stunts aside, most of the niggling problems with the first FlatOut have been fixed. While the original pitched your driver out of the car constantly during races, slowing them down and making them unnecessarily difficult, you'll now only be ejected during really fierce crashes into walls. The tracks have been expanded, with tons of semi-hidden alternate routes added, and the steering has been tightened up considerably - no more fishtailing across the road in this one.

Additionally, you can choose from twice as many vehicles this time around, all divided into separate classes, and the new garage feature lets you own multiple vehicles at the same time.

We do have one big problem with FlatOut 2, however: the two-player "event" races, which take place on oval or figure-eight tracks, don't allow for any computer-controlled racers. On the four-player Xbox version, this isn't a big deal. But the two-player PS2 edition (which is what we played) isn't so blessed. Without a bunch of other drivers to jockey against, these tracks are kind of boring.

But races on regular tracks are pure, high-octane viciousness, and the stunt minigames are poised to provide hours of cruel entertainment. Add the promise of huge, online races, and FlatOut 2 is shaping up to be much more impressive than the original.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.