Full Auto

boyward - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Produced by: Sega
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Reviewed By: Phil Rownd (boyward)
STAFF REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: Other Racing Combat
Christian Rating: 4 of 5 (good)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)

 

Full Auto.  Illustration copyrighted.


Full Auto satisfies the gamer who simply wants to drive fast and blow stuff up without feeling guilty about it. Climb into one of 21 customizable racing machines, attach some machine guns, rocket launchers, tank cannons, mines, grenades, etc. and take to the streets for maximum damage. Just about everything in the game is destructible, so blow open a shortcut, smash your opponent cars out of the way, and make for the finish line.

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Full Auto has no storyline. With a simple arcade game like Full Auto you don’t need to have a reason for tearing up the city streets. So right from the get-go you can choose to play in Arcade mode or start a Career. Arcade mode offers standard “Point A to Point B” racing events, Lap Knockout, and the awesome Rampage mode which simply tasks you with blowing up as many cars as possible on the way to the finish line. Along the way you’re earning Wreck Points and if you score a lot with a good time you’ll earn bronze, silver, and gold medals. Scoring points is a big part of the game here, and it’s actually a lot of fun to try for that elusive Gold medal. Career mode is slightly more involved, as each circuit has a theme, you have to complete a circuit to unlock new vehicles, such as the Guardian, an extremely tough limousine with armor plating; or the Warlord, which is as heavily armed as the Batmobile. Each vehicle is rated for durability, handling, and speed, and everybody will find a car they like, as well as the perfect combination of weapons for each event.

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Like Burnout, Full Auto rewards risk takers who play dangerously by giving them a Boost gauge so they can pour on the speed at crucial moments, but Full Auto also adds something Burnout doesn’t have: Unwreck. The cars in Full Auto are really tough, but if any section of their armor gets completely pulverized, you’ll wreck. That’s where Unwreck comes in. The Unwreck gauge feeds on destruction, so while you race you need to blow up a lot of stuff to built it up. Then when you wreck you can use the Unwreck button to activate a rewind mode which reverses time for a few seconds and gives you a chance to avoid complete annihilation. It’s a completely awesome way of encouraging players to drive dangerously without penalizing them for messing up. Here’s an example: you’re flying down the street when you spy a tanker truck parked by the gas station. You squeeze the trigger, releasing a pounding attack from your twin machine guns and successfully blow both targets up, narrowly escaping around the right side of the explosion. Unfortunately, there’s another tanker behind the gas station and you slam into it head on. If you hadn’t previously worn down your front armor when you rammed into about 15 parked cars in a row you might have survived, but no such luck. No problem. Hit “Unwreck”, go back in time a few seconds and start over. First blow up that tanker out front, zip around the opposite and open side, and drive away laughing as your opponent racers smash into the inferno.

One other key difference between this and other 360 arcade style games (Burnout, Flatout: Ultimate Carnage, and Need For Speed: Most Wanted come to mind as comparable examples), is the fact that your vehicle’s armored plating is limited. In those other games you can slam into the other cars as much as you want without any penalty, but if you choose to plow through 15 parked cars in Full Auto it’s going to take its toll on your armor. Armor is monitored individually on the front, sides, and back of your vehicle, so you can use your car as a weapon, but don’t overdo it. Your best offense is the weapons mounted to your vehicle.

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If it sounds like I really enjoyed Full Auto, you’re right. And I don’t feel a bit guilty about it because the police never get involved (as in Need For Speed: Most Wanted) and you never see a single solitary civilian from start to finish (as in Crazy Taxi). Let’s take a look at Full Auto’s content:

VIOLENCE
Weapons are fired and stuff blows up from gunfire or collision. Cars, minivans, SUVs, trucks, fire engines– everything that’s flammable explodes. Ignited propane tanks are launched into other stuff which also blows up. Stuff gets knocked over and run over including scaffolding, fire hydrants, street signs, cafe tables, lamp posts, monuments, boardwalks… by your second or third lap the streets look like a war zone.

And yet the game is never mean-spirited or presented in terms of “let’s see how many people we can kill.” The absence of a sadistic and over-the-top storyline (as in Twisted Metal) made it possible for me to enjoy Full Auto without feeling bad about all the destruction I was causing.

PROFANITY
None

SEXUAL CONTENT
None

SPIRITUAL CONTENT
None

Graphically, Full Auto doesn’t have the elegance and sleek shine of other Xbox 360 car games. It chugs a little, the cars feel a little heavier, and the sense of speed never gets quite as intense as it does in other games where your only goal is to get to the finish line first. But when you hear the sound of crunching metal as you plow into a flaming tanker, you know that’s how it’s supposed to be. If most 360 racing games are an exotic car, Full Auto is a rugged and battered off-road vehicle.

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Achievement Points are easy to earn from the very start, and yet some of the challenges are hard enough that players will be playing Full Auto for sometime to come. Unfortunately, while Full Auto offers online play over Xbox Live, the Full Auto lobbies are empty at this point in time. Most gamers have moved on. Nevertheless, I can recommend Full Auto’s single-player experience to any teenage or adult gamer looking for a fun car combat arcade game.

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Year of Release — 2006

[tags] 4 stars, Other, Xbox 360 (Microsoft), T (Teen), Sega [/tags]




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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