Fatal Inertia

Format: Xbox 360

5 060073 303212
Age Restrictions: 3+
14 September 2007

The population of the 22nd century have found the ultimate form of entertainment. State of the art hovercraft, travelling at more than 900Km/h, cut through dense jungles, rocket down rocky canyons and blast over icy cliffs, all at just a few metres above the ground. This is the sport of Fatal Inertia...

Set in the 23rd Century, Fatal Inertia mixes street racing, demolition derbies and rallying with a futuristic setting where machines no longer need wheels and the laws of physics govern all. The sport is called Inertia and it's one that offers a heady mix of speed, combat and real world environments that can be used to make your victory and break your opponents.

Within about 10 seconds of switching this game on you'll realise that this is a Wipeout clone. I have to admit to actually enjoying Fatal Inertia, but mainly because it took me back to the endless nights I used to play Wipeout on my old Playstation.

The game itself is split into various modes. You can play multi-player or single player modes as well as choosing from quick races, seasons, or take a quick tutorial. Your vehicles can, eventually, be customised to help get the craft that handles best for you, as well as looking cool.

There are different styles of races too. These include a knockout round, where the person in last place at the end of each lap is eliminated; speed round, where all the weapons available are speed based; magnet round, where you have unlimited magnetic bombs to drop on your opponents; and a standard round where you can use the weapons and your speed to finish the race in first place.

This game comes with a lot of weapons, which can be picked up by driving over weapon portals that are strategically placed around almost every race track. These weapons include rockets, magnetic bombs (which stick to the ships and must be removed - by barrel rolling or using the thrusters - before they explode), elastic catapults (that can be used for loads of cool manoeuvres), smoke bombs, time dilators (which slow everything down, but let your ship continue at its current speed), shield and force blasts (which can knock your opponents for six, or send you racing forward). Most of the weapons can be thrown forward or backwards, depending on whether you are in the lead or tailing your opponents. And each weapon can be put to a variety of uses (for example, throw the rockets forward and they cause damage to any ships in their path. Throw them behind you and it gives you a speed boost).

This game is much better when you are playing against a human opponent in multi-player mode (2 players if you are playing on the console or up to eight players if you play on Xbox Live).

Sadly this game lacks a really kicking soundtrack - what we get is okay, but could have been so much more. So I was forced to turn the music off and listen to something a little more hardcore.

At the end of the day this game will appeal to fans of Wipeout and other similar racing games, but to be totally honest, it doesn't add that much new to the market that you won't have already seen before.

Nick Smithson

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