Well, there's seems to be a lot of negative press generated around this game. Not only was it supposed to be a PS3 exclusive launch title, but apparently it was also supposed to be the next WipeOut. Funny how things changed and in my opinion, for the better! On to the review:
GRAPHICS: This is hands down the prettiest futuristic hover racer this side of Quantum Redshift. If you remember how spectacular that game looked on the XBOX back in '02 I believe it was, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about here. Since it's using the Unreal 3 graphics engine, the game is nothing short of beautiful. From the lush jungles, to the frozen tundra, even to the rocky canyons of some desert. They've all been created with wonderful detail. There's even some interaction with the environments in the form of pulse blast that can cause rockslides, old rotten trees to fall over and other hazards to keep an eye out for while racing. One thing that will be apparent from the start is the games seemingly lack of speed. Now could this be a limitation of the Unreal 3 engine, quite possibly. But for now let's not fault the engine. The game does pick up speed graphically the further you get into it. Which really makes me question some of these "professional reviews" that said the game moved to slow. Once you get into some velocity races, you'll see how fast this game can move. It's actually quite impressive. The ships are modeled in great detail and while there may only be 4 ship classes, they all look and feel different. The damage, while looking severe, is really only superficial and doesn't effect performance. Though once you see smoke, you'll know it's about time to retire as the ships to exploded when abused to much, ending you're race.
SOUND: Very solid all the way across the board. The ships sound as they should. The explosions are quite satisfying. You can really feel the impact when you nail objects or bottom out your ship as well. There's very little in the way of background music, which I will take as a plus.
CONTROL: This is another area that "professional reviews" complained about. I didn't once encounter a time where I couldn't get my ship to exactly what I wanted. Maybe you have to be skilled to play this game. I'd like to think that, but who knows for sure. To break it down the controls are as follows: You can powerbrake the ship to get a fast (and I mean fast) jump off the line by holding both the X and A buttons together. This works really well if you wait until the counter gets to 2. By the time the counter says "GO!" you have maximum boost to rocket off the line. Once you're racing you use the LT and RT to control the strafe action of the ship. This comes in handy more times then not. Especially when making hard turns. You can also just steer the ship normally with the L analog. Combine the two and you can manuver through even the tightest opening, provided you have the skill and a steady hand. You'll also have to compensate for drop when coming off of hills or big jumps. Basically pushing forward speeds you towards the ground and pushing back makes you hover slightly, used as a way to slow descent, but also keep you from bottoming out. Then there's the barrel rolls. These are accomplished with a double tap of LT or RT. This is very effective for removing magnets that have attached themselves to your ship. They're also good for quick manuvering out of the way of debris and other hazards. There's even a light modding ability with the ships as well. You can upgrade just about everything on the ships from cockpits, to wings, to bodies, to engines, brakes, side panels. You can even slap on some decals to give it a personal look. With some patience this game is better than WipeOut.
OVERALL: If you're a fan of futuristic racing, then by all means give Fatal Inertia a spin. Though you will need to bring patience, skill and a little luck to fully enjoy this game. And yes the game moves faster once you get into the higher classes and upgrade your ships, so don't believe ALL the "professional reviews" you read.
Thanks for reading.