to be taken for a ride. by
Colin Thames (Click
here to read Vaughn's Full Auto review)
21, 2006 - I
expect a lot more from Full Auto for the Xbox 360.
It's a shallow, repetitious game that runs its course
in a few hours. While it looks good, it suffers from
slowdown and a few bugs. It's a shame that after purchasing
the Xbox 360 we are presented with only a handful
of new games designed exclusively for the next-next
gen console. The rest of the offerings are filler
arcade games like Smash TV, Bejeweled 2 Deluxe and
Robotron 2084. Games that could easily be ported to
the Xbox. It's really disappointing that when a genuine
game is published for the 360, such as Full Auto,
that it's not much deeper than the glut of arcade
Auto deals with racing and combat. Get a car, add
some weapons, put on some armor, shoot at other cars
and try to win the race. There's more to it than that
but that's the basic premise. Once you learn all of
the finer points of the gameplay, which may take an
hour, there's really nothing more to experience. The
cars, weapons, tracks and scenery are limited. Although
you can always unlock some kind of upgrade, the game
fails to motivate you to play to the bitter end. Online
play, or just local multi-play, has its own rewards,
and that comes in the form of beating another opponent.
It helps to wring some extra replay value out of the
game but not so much that you would consider adding
this title to your collection. Most players will probably
find that a day or two rental period is ample time
to spend with Full Auto.
events that require you to kill your competition always
occur in the future. I always thought that such brutality
would be eradicated as we evolved as a society and
became more intelligent. Then I witnessed the creation
of Ashley Simpson and Hillary Duff as pop stars and
realized that we may indeed be regressing, which makes
a premise like Full Auto very believable.
mode is where you'll experience the full brunt of
the gameplay. Arranged with a series of races, you
will arm your vehicle with whatever weapons, gadgets
and armor that you are in a position to select. In
each race objectives must be met that will earn you
points. Objectives include destroying competitors,
shooting at things in the environment and finishing
a race in first place.
are acquired in pairs. They are installed at both
the rear and front of the vehicle so that you can
destroy cars in front of you as well as those gaining
on you. Weapons are also used to shoot at objects
in the environment. You start out with a machine gun
and mine-dropper and progress to smoke screen, shotgun,
grenade launcher and rocket launcher.
boost meter fills as you slide around turns allowing
you to access a turbo boost which will give you an
incredible burst of speed to overtake your competition
or to increase your distance from the pack. Cars fly,
spin out of control, flip end-for-end and smash into
buildings and other obstructions. There's flames and
pieces of cars everywhere. Ramps let you take advantage
of shortcuts as you launch yourself into buildings
through the plate glass windows and find an exit on
the other side. Full Auto is like a more realistic
version of the cartoonish Smashing Drive.
interesting feature in Full Auto is Unwreck. It's
like the sand power in the Prince of Persia that allows
you to rewind time and start over from a point before
a particular disaster. If you hit the side of a wall
and end up in a collision you can access the Unwreck
feature and try to avoid it the second time around.
It's a strange addition for a racing game, since it
does more than interrupt the flow of the gameplay
- it actually forces it backward. But if you're really
intent on finishing the race in first place come Hell
or high water you can really get used to having a
second chance to fix the errors of your ways.
physics of the game is very loose and forgiving. For
the most part the tracks are wide and while there
are some sharp turns, once you commit them to memory
you won't be likely to get into many more accidents.
What you have to watch out for are the obstacles such
as parked trucks, civilian traffic, crates, barrels
and other items such as sofas that shouldn't be on
the streets. You vehicle will always seem to be under
attack from all of these elements, adding damage to
it bit by bit.
draw distance is excellent, allowing you to size up
the oncoming obstacles and twists and turns to make
the appropriate maneuvers. You can powerslide around
the turns and avoid obstacles by applying the handbreak.
It's a technique that isn't necessary thanks to the
Unwreck feature but learning how to powerslide will
ensure that you keep the action flowing. This is one
of the few elements in the game that give it some
depth since you'll need to play the game for hours,
or even days, before you acquire the skill to use
Career mode you will unlock new cars, weapons, paint
jobs and objectives. You will also earn medals such
as gold, bronze and silver for your efforts. There
are more than 20 different cars that you can unlock,
each one an improvement on the last. Upgrades in handling,
speed and armor are welcome but overall, the races
seem too similar. Faster cars usually have better
armor and can take on more damage but the competitors
will also earn upgrades so that you will always be
racing against similarly equipped vehicles. This makes
all of the races relative to each another with no
particular car having the upper hand.
modes include arcade and multi-player. You can play
against one other racer offline or against seven others
online. When playing online you can't use the Unwreck
feature for obvious reasons as it would put all players
back a number of seconds every time someone implemented
it. That would be really unfair to the player out
in front. Different competitive objectives are offered
for online play which are just variations of the Career
mode gameplay. The framerate takes a nosedive in the
two-player offline mode but it also slows down whenever
the camera zooms in during an explosion. The animation
stutters and sputters as car parts fly and fireballs
erupt into the heavens. The graphics of the explosions
look great but the slowdown makes it seem like your
viewing it in "bullet time."
cars always maintain a showroom finish, even when
they display damage. There isn't an incredible sense
of speed to the vehicles which makes the challenge
a little bit too easy. The backgrounds, buildings
and obstacles look photo-realistic so I guess the
developers want you to see the stuff they worked so
hard on rather than have it go by as a blur. The music
is techno which is subdued during the actual races.
It never gets in the way but it doesn't generate any
excitement either. The sound effects of the explosions,
shotguns, accidents and motor acceleration are really
all that's needed.
just isn't enough variation or challenge to recommend
Full Auto for a purchase, unless you just gotta have
the shiny new Xbox 360 game. Use it and lose it.
No pre-calculated or canned animations. Players
will never see the same wreck twice!
Unwreck feature gives players the ability to control
time, rectifying fatal errors, missed opportunities,
and bad aim.
gameplay modes include a 60-event Career Mode, Pursuit,
Arena, Tag, and Rampage. A host of mini-games add
to the collection.
Jump and Death cameras magnify key moments. One-touch
replays and customizable highlight reels amplify
the awesome presentation.
intense combat and unlimited replayability thanks
to 20+ vehicles and 10 distinct weapon types.