Fatal Inertia Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Let’s face it, Koei’s output, whilst generally likeable fun isn’t exactly dripping with variety. Dynasty warriors is all about hitting hundreds of people with all manner of weapons, whilst Samurai Warriors is more or less cut from the same cloth, only this time set in Japan rather than China. Warriors Orochi (review soon) is again largely more of the same, but features characters from both universes. The likes of Disgaea, Makai Kingdom and the Atelier Iris games were a breath of fresh air from the still loveable publisher. Crafted by Koei’s new Canadian studio, Fatal Inertia is their first racing game and is reason more to breathe in the pleasant air.

Fatal Inertia is a fast futuristic racing game, consisting of devious weapons to gain an advantage over your opponents. As you’d have guessed, it’s very much in the vein of the Wipeout games, but does feature some nice ideas all of its own.

The weapons are particularly creative. Of course you have all the usual you’d expect from such a game such as shields, rockets and smokescreens, but even some of these aren‘t quite as cut and dry as they appear.

The rockets for example, don’t explode, but instead stick to an enemy ship, firing an almighty boost that sends them spiralling out of control, whilst the secondary fire, will see the rocket attached to your own ship, granting you a significant boost of speed. Magnets on the other hand, can be stuck to ships, causing their handling to become cumbersome and slowing them down. Our favourite of the lot though is the tether, a lengthy chain that has multiple uses. Attach it to the environment to zip around a monster corner for example, or you could always attach it to two opponents in the hope that they’ll both have a nasty crash, you‘ll most probably laugh maniacally after succeeding at this. The possibilities are numerous and we imagine many people will have a lot of fun with this wonderful new creation.

The racing itself requires effective controlling of your ships pitch, to clear higher terrain amongst other things. This, along with efficient use of your weapons, requires skill, and of course first learning the ins and out of the hit and miss tracks.

The most well designed tracks are a thrill to race on, but others, which require you to manoeuvre through small gaps can at times be a chore more than anything, at least until you’ve been on them multiple times, memorizing all those nasty corners and gaps.

With some impressive water effects, a great sensation of speed and all round solid looking visuals, it looks rather nice, but Fatal Inertia is certainly no technical marvel. The game may be fast, but on occasion the frame rate will struggle, which is really quite unacceptable especially when you consider that many similar games from the past generation were beautiful and ran at a perfectly smooth frame rate.

We feel that Fatal Inertia has been a mite underrated by many other reviewers. It’s racing, whilst mildly stained by a less than impressive frame rate can be enjoyable and the creativity of the weapons makes hurting your opponents more fun than it’s ever been.