Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Good choice of rock music in the playlist.
  2. An outrageous orgy of twisted metal and flying debris. The races are fast and furious. Too bad the AI drivers cheat to keep the races exciting. [Aug 2006, p.28]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. Jan 25, 2012
    Epic racing game, the career mode is very, very good plus every race seems to be challenging so far. Not to mention the fact you dont have to win to have fun with this(game rewards you alot for slamming into and destroying opponents cars). The soundtrack however does get repetitive and I wouldnt recommend playing it if your easily ticked off when you lose. Full Review »
  2. Dec 25, 2011
    I just picked this game up a couple weeks ago and it's all I really play now. Me and my brother (who are both in their late 20's) love quick and fun multiplayer action games. Multiplayer is where it's at. I think game play in all modes (race, stunt, derby) is a blast. Physics are awesome, controls are simple (I use mouse/keyboard), and there is a pretty good variety of cars (which I think can be increased via downloads on the web).

    I don't play single player, so no comment on that.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 6, 2014
    OVERALL: A racing game with excellent object physics. The sequel "The Next Car Game" game, piqued my interest (Bugbear Entertainment lost the "FlatOut" license and FlatOut 3 was--from what I've read--a dissapointing entry created by "Team 6").

    STORY: Nonexistent.

    GRAPHICS: (9/10): It looks great if you bump up the resolution, runs great, and has aged well. The big hook is the many physics-enabled side barriers and other objects to crash through. Many are large enough to slow you down, but most just help you by providing visual indicators of how you're moving. Crash hard enough and occasionally the driver will have its ragdoll thrown out of the window. Each of the cars also deforms realistically.
    (From what I've seen of demo videos, "The Next Car Game" is set to have way more physics-enabled objects its cars are much more deformable (to the extent of being crushed in half, to where that alters the angle of the tires and thereby the driving mechanics). And since FlatOut 2 already does both pretty well, I'm excited to see that ramped up in the sequel.)
    The only visual disappointment is the lack of "real" licensed cars; they're all generic. I would prefer it if the cars were real and handled like their counterparts, because then I might feel like I was "learning" about cars.
    Additionally, FlatOut 2 is the best use of 3D screens I have seen so far. I have an Nvidia 3D vision screen, but most videogames handle 3D poorly, with shadows misaligned over character outlines; even slight misalignments become headache-inducingly intolerable in any twitch-action game. But the alignment of FlatOut 2's 3D is PERFECT! It's bizarre, since I can't imagine enough people in 2004 had 3D tvs to make it worthwhile for them to invest time in the feature, but here it is. And for 3D to really matter, to really "pop" at the viewer, you have to have objects coming at you at all times or you forget it's there; FlatOut 2 has solved this problem because the ground (racing surface) is always rushing towards you, so you never forget about it, and then the opponents' cars and other background objects move between the foreground and background in a way where the 3D actually helps you play better. And the showers of sparks from each partial-crash being thrown at you is just an amazing effect.

    AUDIO: (5/10) - Sound effects are fine. The music track selection is poor and I turned the music off.

    CONTROL: (9/10) - The car driving mechanics are great. I still think that the PS2-era GTA games (GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas) and by extension Rockstar's PS2 racing game "Midnight Club 3" had the most perfect vehicular controls, and FlatOut 2's aren't QUITE as good. Also, you don't have "lean" options like in Midnight Club 3 or the crazy jump-jets of "Nitronic Rush", just basic driving and a bit of refilling nitrous turbo-speed.
    But the controls are still pretty great (better than most racing games), the various racing surfaces feel good, and the inter-car physics is probably the best in the business. I tried the "PIT maneuver" from the GTA San Andreas driver's school, and it works if you can then avoid crashing into the car you just spun around. Gorgeous crashes occur organically, making those in Burnout 3 seem stiff and manufactured, precisely because FlatOut 2 has the best physics of any racing game (at least until Next Car Game comes out).

    DESIGN: (7/10) -
    From what I've heard, "Flatout: Ultimate Carnage", a partial remake with insignificant improvements, has the major downside that (unlike FlatOut 2) you can't reassign joystick buttons, and "accelerate" is mapped to the trigger, which would have gotten tiring on my stiff Logitech controller. So FlatOut 2 is a better choice based on this quibble alone.
    The AI is superb, probably the best in any racing game I've ever played. Your 8 opponents per stage are difficult and aggressive and knock you around, jockey for position the whole race, split up among the different shortcuts, and don't rubber-band (you do need to restart if you crash badly enough). But they also make "human" crashing mistakes and you can knock them into the environment if you play well. The constant challenge--and the fact that I never felt alone during a race--kept me invested.
    For gameplay types, there's a) racing (sequences of 3-5 stages) b) demolition derby and c) "skill games" like jumping. The racing is by far the best mode. Demoltion derby is fun at first, but it's a little too hard: to stay alive you need to avoid crashing more than the once-per-45-seconds to avoid disqualification but to win you have to cause more damage than the opponents.
    The biggest downside is the upgrade system, because I never knew if I needed to grind more cash to buy a new car or just play better. Not every game needs an upgrade system, people!
    Alas, there's no splitscreen multiplayer (boo! Hiss! WHY?!?). But it is nice that all stages are unlocked from the start for LAN/online.
    Strongly recommend for any racing fan.
    Full Review »