Given the timing of this release, some may be quick to dismiss Full Auto as nothing more than a half-hearted Burnout clone. On paper, it sounds like a fantastic game that offers everything an action racing fan could hope for, but the end result feels rather average. And while I'll admit to the fact Full Auto succeeded in offering a serviceable, entertaining experience, I can't justify it as a must-own.
For those not in the know, the concept can best be described as Twisted Metal/Burnout hybrid. This winning combination ultimately proved to be enough to pique the interest of 360 gamers starved for a solid, multiplayer experience. Yes, I said multiplayer. In the beginning, there was nothing but love towards the single-player mode, but pretty soon, I was ready for human competition. There's plenty of content to unlock, explore and dominate (much like the World Tour that recent Burnout iterations offer). That aside, the career mode is rather easy to complete, save for the last trial event that literally took multiple attempts. Even the so-called "master mode" was a breeze (took me a mere 8 minutes total). Even if the objective here was to make the game accessible to newcomers and veterans alike, I would have expected the game to be just a bit more challenging.
I definitely have to give credit to the game's "unwreck" feature, which saved my butt more than a few occasions. Taking a cue from Prince of Persia, players can turn back the clock and as the term implies, allows them a second chance to prevent devastating wreck from taking place. Earning the right to liberally exploit this technique depends on your level of destruction; whether it's at the expense of your competition or the racing level itself. It's a good practice to focus on solid driving skills, especially since you'll be challenged to events where the unwreck feature isn't available.
To reiterate, the online multiplayer will undoubtedly be the main draw for picking up (or keeping) Full Auto – especially for those who can't wait for the eventual release of Burnout Revenge. To date, all my sessions were fast, intense and free of lag. Glitch free, you ask? Oh, if only that were true. Sadly, Full Auto suffers from the same sort of glitches that plagued Dead or Alive 4: lock-ups, save data corruption, etc. And for those of you that value pure online competition, get ready to come across players who boost for rank achievements and to see their name high up on the leaderboards. Personally, none of that (aside from the glitches of course) bothers me – although multiplayer sessions fail to send players back to the hosted session. This means you either have to search for that room again when the event ends or locate another room.
So now the question is, should you buy this game? To put it simply, no – at least, not while it's selling for $60 a pop. Full Auto gives off a rushed vibe filled with inexcusable glitches and basically just feels a bit too ordinary to garner the attention of the racing purist crowd. And while the multiplayer aspect definitely has some legs to stand on, there's not much beyond that to keep you faithfully interested.