A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players have to win by any means necessary.
Positive Role Models
Only those who drive fast, without regard for others, will win.
Ease of Play
Controls will be familiar to race fans, easy to pick up for novices, though play is sometimes tough.
Violence & Scariness
Cars are demolished in fiery crashes, explosions; players can send driver flying through windshield when they crash, but it's all rather cartoony, with no blood, gore, dismemberment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Soundtrack includes songs with sexually suggestive lyrics.
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Song lyrics include "bulls--t." Online modes aren't moderated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is an arcade racing game with a cartoonishly violent twist. When you crash, and you will, you can hit a button to send the driver flying through the windshield. You can also knock cars off the road or hit them with bombs, causing them to explode. But while this imagery may be disturbing, it can also be rather cartoony, and there's no blood or gore; the flying bodies might as well be rag dolls. Your driver also doesn't yell any obscenities in midflight, though some of the songs on the soundtrack have iffy language ("bulls--t") and sexually suggestive lyrics.
Is It Any Good?
Though not for serious gearheads, this arcade-style racer will appeal to fans of this series and those looking for an over-the-top Sunday drive ... for a while. In FlatOut 4: Total Insanity, players have to drive twisty and hazardous tracks with multiple pathways. But instead of driving sports cars on city streets or precision motor vehicles on closed tracks, this has you driving junkers around a petrochemical plant, through a logging camp, and on some dusty desert trails. You're also encouraged to try to knock out your opponents by crashing into them, which you can also do in the game's demolition derby mode.
What sets this apart is that when you crash, you can hit a button to send your driver flying through the windshield like a rag doll. During races, this merely works as comedy. Or maybe tragedy. But the game also includes events, played solo or with friends, where you use the ejector seat to do stunts for style points. But like so much in this game, these events get a bit mundane after a while. There also are race events where the cars come equipped with weapons, but since they're not earned, recharge rather quickly, and are overpowered, they make this mode more of a mess than a challenge. Add in some wonky physics and a bunch of technical problems that sometimes slow the action to a crawl, and you'll understand why FlatOut 4: Total Insanity is also partially frustrating.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.