Minus the crazy physics, Fatal Inertia really doesn’t advance the genre in any meaningful ways. I like the game, but moreso because it reminds me of other games I enjoy than because I love it in its own right.
Official Xbox Magazine
It takes a minute or so to get used to controlling your hovering, weapon-packed F1 Speedster, but once you do, it's a snap and the entertainment kicks in. [Nov 2007, p.97]
Fatal Inertia promised so much in its early showings (which claimed to represent in-game footage), but has turned out as a decent but thoroughly predictable racer. [Oct 2007, p.95]
If you're a fan of the genre, though, and think you're willing to put up with weak framerate and some ill-conceived technical features in return for trying out genuinely interesting tracks and innovative weaponry - then by all means, put Fatal Inertia through its paces. For the rest of us, though, the search for racing carnage should probably lead back to superior franchises like FlatOut and Burnout.
Fatal Inertia's item selection and swappable course circuits and modes simply aren't enough to elevate this game from run-of-the-mill to classic, arcade racing fun.