Flashout 3 is the third instalment in the Flashout series, developed and published by Jujubee S.A. The game features two campaigns and various races, including racing, destruction, elimination, and time trials. While the gameplay is engaging and challenging, the presentation and overall feel of the game leave something to be desired.
And yet Flashout 3 has it where it matters: the gameplay. Racing around the forests, volcanoes and space stations looks and feels fantastic.
Engaging Gameplay with Familiar Formula
The gameplay in Flashout 3 follows a tried-and-true formula established by iconic games like Wipeout. Players can choose between two characters that have little impact of the game apart from the final podium animations. The campaigns don’t really have any story but simply mix a handful of races together that include racing, destruction, elimination, and time trials. If you just want to jump into a particular event, races range from standard races with eight competitors to elimination and time trial events, with the standard races allowing the use of weapons to slow down or destroy opponents. While the gameplay is fun and challenging, the controls feel a bit stiff and not as fluid as they could be. The various vehicles or look and handle differently as expected from the small, speedy, and fragile to the hulking tanks that crawl along. I had to complete it on easy in order to work my way through the campaigns and cups. After over an hour on normal, I still wasn’t getting in the top three. Thankfully the easy mode was perfect for me working through the variety of tracks and challenges.
Surprisingly, the various camera angles that the players can choose not only offer a different perspective but also changes how you play the game. From the high distant camera, through to the cockpit camera and bumper cam all change how your craft reacts to the environment. The cockpit and bumper-cam seemed to be less affected by the side rails than the above view.
Inconsistencies in Presentation
Flashout 3’s graphics are inconsistent, with some tracks looking great and others looking quite bland and flat. The forest level looks fantastic with the contrasting grey and green but on the volcano track, the smoke felt very two-dimensional. The cover girl and boy look a little low-budget and may put some people off the actual game and the victory podium cinematic also looks a little clunky, contributing to the overall budget look and feel of the game. While the weapon sound effects are decent and the explosions sound powerful, the presentation as a whole is not going to blow you away.
Despite its flaws, Flashout 3 has its positive elements. The various camera angles offer a different perspective and change how players approach the game. The racing is fast and fun and when weapons are unlocked, it’s great to send your missiles and magna-bombs flying at your competitors. The levels are different enough and you will find yourself flying off jumps, carving through caves, and even obliterating offices. The game also features split-screen co-op (both horizontal and vertical) which is ideal for this type of game.
The soundtrack is packed full of catchy techno music that fits the game perfectly and the neon-soaked visuals fit the theme. The game is not easy (on normal mode) so players seeking a challenge will enjoy honing their skills in order to beat the normal and hard classes. Achievements are given out at a steady pace and you will need to up your game to collect them all.
Overall, Flashout 3 is a ‘good’ indie anti-gravity racing title that is worth considering given its rather cheap price point. It might not be groundbreaking, but it provides plenty of hours of enjoyment. The game supports split-screen co-op which is a plus point. The game has lots of tracks, vehicles and weapons and the difficulty levels mean plenty of challenge. However, it does not measure up to the greats in the genre such as Wipeout or Redout. While the gameplay is enjoyable, the game’s presentation could use some improvements. Ultimately, Flashout 3 is a tried-and-trusted formula that has room for improvement, but it is still worth considering for fans of the genre. Running at 60fps on the Xbox series X, I saw it in its best light, and I suspect that the Xbox one version may not have the same speed and graphical quality.
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