Some developers have a hard time combining their fantasies with the possibilities on our earth and a result of that is often a trip to Mars, Jupiter or Pluto and such. This is also the case with Fatal Inertia, a racing game with extra-terrestrial vehicles on another planet.
Fatal Inertia can best be seen as a Wipeout-game for the Xbox360. The story is quite thin. When starting up you get to see a short goodlooking movie and you expect the storyline to develop in this style. However, there are no cut-scenes to be found in this game so how do you get to know the plot? Well, there are some short pieces of text that explain everything at the start of your career: there are races going on and there are four groups that can sponsor you.
You get your first vehicle after finishing your first race. It’s quite remarkable that there are only a few space racers in the game. This is somewhat compensated by some tuning that has a pretty varied amount of possibilities that make your racer look quite different.
Of course there’s little to do with our vehicle if we don’t have a track. There are six of those and the colors and atmosphere of the environments are quite diverse. One time you’re flying over through the devil’s lair and at another time you’re on some island paradise with bright colors and a lot of water. The setting quite nice but lacks some variation, or is it maybe a bit too much? In any case, there’s something definitely wrong and another downpoint is that certain places are extremely dark which make you crash into obstacles quite easily. This is quite frustrating, especially if your vehicles starts spinning and makes you fly in the opposite direction after which you have to make a complete turn again. Enervating!
Also you’ll quickly notice that the checkpoints could have been placed at better places and that your speed isn’t affected by curves.
To help you a bit with the racing there are weapons and speed-ups. These can be gotten by flying over circles that are spread over the environment. You do have to look at what you’re getting as it’s possible to use these things in multiple ways. You can for instance use an accelleration to go faster, but you can also shoot it away. Logically, that last part is quite useless.
On the other hand you can use different types of magnets that can shut down an engine and make one slow down. The ultimate weapon is a combination of three magnets that slow down the ship even more but you’ll sometimes really have the impression that it doesn’t always work and luck clearly has a role.
The weapons don’t really have the spectacular influence and you would expect a rocket to do more than clashing into a ship and exploding. There’s some damage afterwards but this isn’t immediately seen. After several of such actions you’ll start seeing smoke coming out of the vessel. Some time after that fire will pop up and also some enervating sound will start making you nervous as you’ll be very capable of noticing yourself that your ship is about to malfunction without that noise.
We can hardly say that the game is a total disaster but after a while it does become nerve-wrecking. There are also online possibilities but these don’t really add much and there are also way too few players. This game clearly isn’t worth full price but if you get it on discount you may consider it.