FlatOut was released on November 5, 2004 for both Windows and Consoles. My first impressions of the game were also back then. The game was fun. But now, it can only be played for nostalgia. I suggest you pick it up on a sale.
I said that the game was fun because there are better games out there that you can buy. This game made a good start for the derby racing game and started a future for FlatOut series. I still find it amazing how the driver just flies out of the window during big crash. The gave is hilarious especially if you play with friends. But I am not too sure if the game servers are even running. I know you can play with friends via some LAN programs or even HOTSEAT. It's a good game to have fun with.
As in any racing game there must be music in this one. It has a decent soundtrack for the time of release, but I have personally never heard those bands in my life before or after. I do not dislike the soundtrack but I think it could have been much better. The rest of the sound effects seem fine and nothing particular caught my eye( or more like ear).
2004 was a big year for very good looking games. This game didn't do too bad compared to big fish around that time. Car detail is good. The detail of the maps is good as well. Human rag dolls are a bit on the low side, but they are not that important. Overall, I am still very happy with the graphics to the current time. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=349808821
Controls and overall steering is a bit funny. I take it that's because the game was made for consoles too. There are not many buttons to press, but powerful steering can ruin your race. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=350923568
There are a few things, of course, that I quite hate about FlatOut. First thing is AI. It's so straight forward that it's actually not fun playing against computer. All it wants is to reach the finish line. I can also add that AI drives in the best possible way and will not crash. All other reasons add up to the first one. Because the AI drives really well, one mistake on the map could mean that you have lost your lead, quite probably for the rest of the match. And the last thing is that in my opinion the cars get damaged way too fast even without actually crashing into anything. But the end of the match you will end up having engine on fire, 2 car seats with human and skeleton of the car. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=350923322
Re-playability is low in my opinion, because you can just play other better games with the same name.
So in overall, I think this game (without considering the rest of the series at least) is quite good. I would recommend it simply because it's really fun. Not everywhere you can send the driver flying out.