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FlatOut: Head On review

Silly, knockabout handheld racing


  • Smooth framerates
  • Tons to smash
  • Arcade-style fun


  • Preposterous physics
  • Getting used to the handling
  • Unforgiving difficulty

Liked the Destruction Derby games on the original PlayStation? Then you%26rsquo;ll get a kick out of this. Featuring smashable cars, tracks littered with physics-enabled objects and upgradeable motors, Head On is, like FlatOut on PS2, an unashamedly silly racer that mixes preposterous minigames, regular races and arena-based derbies to entertaining effect.

It looks great. The framerate is super smooth and the courses are large and detailed; the amount of things you can smash up, knock over and destroy is incredible. It plays well, too. The handling%26rsquo;s fat and arcade-like, letting you bomb around the track and powerslide violently into opponents. It can feel slightly slippy at first - the handling of the first tier of cars is poor - but as you upgrade and unlock better vehicles it improves.

In Carnage mode you work your way through TimeSplitters-style challenges - a mixture of races, minigames and destruction derbies - and earn credits to upgrade your car. It%26rsquo;s incredibly varied - one minute you%26rsquo;re sending your driver hurtling through the windshield in a twisted take on the long jump, the next you%26rsquo;re in a vehicular deathmatch, crunching opponents into the sides of an arena.

But if you don%26rsquo;t fancy that, there%26rsquo;s a regular Tournament mode and the opportunity to try out the minigames individually. Our only gripe is the difficulty balancing. It can get incredibly tough early on, and the other drivers%26rsquo; AI seems unfairly infallible. They rarely make mistakes. But if you like the idea of sending a small man through a windshield and into a giant dartboard, this is worth a look.

Mar 12, 2008

More Info

DescriptionPlay this handheld crash orgy instead of causing a huge pileup on the highway. Please.
Franchise nameFlatOut
UK franchise nameFlatOut
US censor ratingTeen
Release date11 March 2008 (US), 14 March 2008 (UK)