Burnout Paradise Review
- Posted February 18th, 2008 at 06:45 EDT by Eric Blattberg
- 20 Comments
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Burnout Paradise is the freshest racing experience in a long time. This complete re-invention of the series revitalizes the racing genre, immersing players in a true paradise.
- Remarkable “flow,” especially regarding the seamless online integration
- Incredibly detailed graphics with spectacular crashes
- Sheer amount of bang for your buck
- Paradise City is more accurately Paradise Ghost Town
- Showtime, while fun, is no replacement for the old Crash mode
Ever since its meager beginnings in the heart of Criterion Games, Burnout has always been about heart-throbbing speed followed by adrenaline-fueled crashes. That’s the basic formula, and Burnout Paradise certainly doesn’t deviate from it.
However, what this latest installment does do differently from past Burnouts - and in fact, from all other racers on the market - is give the player a completely open world in which to play. Criterion took a major risk when designing this game by eschewing the industry standard, and their decision has undoubtedly paid off.
Burnout Paradise is a prime example of ‘flow’ in games. There are nearly no menus to navigate, and the few that are present work seamlessly into the title. For example, the “Easy Drive” online menu is relegated entirely to the D-Pad, thus the player can continue driving while controlling it. Another aspect that helps the game flow lies in the complete absence of loading; there is essentially no loading to experience after the initial start-up screen. What truly creates flow though isn’t nifty ideas or technical tricks. Only through freeform gameplay, in which the player can create his or her own experience, can this concept of flow develop, and Burnout Paradise contains exactly that.
The entirety of Paradise City is open to you from the beginning of the game, no unlocking of areas necessary. You only begin with one beat-up car, which you must take to an auto repair to fix up. From there, you’ll most likely spend your first hour or so crashing through Paradise City’s hundreds of fences (which signify shortcuts), smashing through the many breakable billboards off of a plethora of insane jumps, and just generally becoming familiar with your surroundings at 150 miles an hour. If at any time you wish to participate in an event, just drive into an intersection, do a burnout (hold gas and break at the same time, R2 and L2 respectively), and get going.
There are three varying classes of cars, which span the 75 vehicles in Burnout Paradise: Stunt, Speed and Aggression. Stunt cars are the most maneuverable, perfect for drifting and jumping. Speed cars specialize in boosting; they can potentially go on forever if you’re able to chain together Burnouts, which can only be started with a full boost meter. Finally, Aggression vehicles aren’t the fastest or the swiftest, but if you need to take someone out, they’ll do the job just fine.
There are five differing types of events within Paradise: Race, Road Rage, Marked Man, Stunt Run, and Burning Route. Each event is tied to one of Paradise City’s 120 diverse intersections. Completing events often releases one of the 75 drivable cars into the city, which at random times on will whiz by you. When you see one (they’re not that hard to spot or hear when they show up), take it down to send it to one of five junkyards, where you’ll be able to pick it up to use as your own. Completing multiple events garners a higher class of license, which in turn allows for faster or better cars.
Races are the most straightforward event type, although they are still completely dissimilar from what you’re likely accustomed to. Getting from point A to point B is a lot different when there’s dozens of overlapping routes on which to travel. The street signs present on the top of your screen recommend the quickest standard route, which helps alleviate the burden on players unfamiliar with Paradise. Although shortcuts are often quicker, you’ll have to figure them out yourself, not a particularly easy task while racing down the roads of Paradise City. Burning Routes are similar to races, but there are no other competitors racing. This leaves you in an epic battle between your car and a ticking clock as you attempt to reach one of eight final destinations on the edges of Paradise City within the time limit. Unlike races, Burning Route events require you to use a specific car, and are therefore the only events that don’t reappear each time you obtain an upgraded license.
Road Rage and Marked Man events are fundamentally parallels of each other. In Road Rage, you’re given a set amount of “takedowns” to achieve and ... (continued on next page)
- 3:19am EST - February 18th, 2008
yeah i got this game, its awsome :)
- 3:48am EST - February 18th, 2008
i love the game i cant stop playing it this is a must buy !!!!! it will take a while to get bored of it!
- 3:51am EST - February 18th, 2008
This is an awesome game. 9/10 for me as well.
- 4:07am EST - February 18th, 2008
psn id: gingo.... i love this game aswell it was between this and DMC4 for me and i think i made the right choice
- 5:44am EST - February 18th, 2008
this is the worst Burnout game so far. and i have all of them.
- 6:39am EST - February 18th, 2008
Yeah I got this game too, had it a couple days now, a few annoying bits for example you can't restart a race. You can't skip to the junkyard you have to drive all the way back. Wouldn't be so bad if you could have some sort of GPS to guide you but there isn't. These are all cons Eric Blattberg.
Other than this it is a good game, trying to get to know all the streets at the moment. Its the type of game you won't get bored with because there is so much to do. Stunt runs are awesome. I'd rate it 8/10
- 6:44am EST - February 18th, 2008
I downloaded the demo for this game and was very impressed with it. So after the online mode for the demo was shut down, i went out and bought it. Great game i tell ya! But it's a big shame that it lacks split screen.
- 9:37am EST - February 18th, 2008
EA tried to make the game with no loading screens, which is the point of Showtime, You just press L1+R1 and viola! It works. No loading crash junctions, it's just seamlessly integrated. I do wish they had a retry option and the ability to jump to junkyards. But then there would be loading screens. Overall, Burnout "rips"!
- 10:29am EST - February 18th, 2008
@ #5 I agree with you, this is the worst. As someone who has played the old burnouts, this one just does not do it for me.
- 4:06pm EST - February 18th, 2008
Wow its been awhile since I've seen 9.0 grading here for some of the games reviewed.
- 5:39pm EST - February 18th, 2008
I have this game and love it, soo much too do and its really fun to play with friends (online friends) but split-screen would be kinda cool
- 5:56am EST - February 19th, 2008
Sometimes I have a problem with the races... cuz I'll just end up taking a wrong turn or w/e which leads me to staring at the map more and more and eventually I'm watching the map more than racing.... which saddens me.
I love the game other than that small squabble tho. If perhaps they put up some boundries so you don't take the wrong road which leads you 1/2 way across the map before you realise you've gone the wrong way.
- 6:32am EST - February 19th, 2008
I know what u mean hush 404 i also cant stand that they should of made it like burnout 3 takedown a true racing game not some dumb knock off of need for speed they shouldnt of made this game so crapy i love the bp franchize but this truly is a horible game for me. Maybe next time burnout dont try being something ur not and do what u do best make a good racing game.
- 8:44am EST - February 19th, 2008
yea i got the game.. but the one thing i hate is you dont know your speed. otherwise its a great game
- 2:18am EST - February 23rd, 2008
This game is one of the best.. IDK what anyone else says... Most of my online friends have made the move to this... Sorry but COD has just lost its luster to me..
- 6:34pm EST - March 1st, 2008
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- 7:57am EDT - March 25th, 2008
Awesome title, let down by some minor things such as the inability to restart a race which can get frustrating at times...
- 10:30am EDT - March 28th, 2008
I have no idea why this game got so high of a rating...i personally thought the game play sucked..all of my friends think it sucked...you get going SO fast that its nearly impossable to make the correct turns...and the obvious reason this game blew...not being about to restart, without having to go all way back across town.the only cool thing about the game was the crash sequences. 4/10
- 7:22pm EDT - July 13th, 2008
I think the flow of this game is fantastic... seamless. The crashes are a thing of beauty, as are the lighting effects and the perfect controlls.
My only complaints are these: you can't restart an event, you can't jump to junkyards, and you can skip foreward in the playlist but not backward.
- 1:28pm EST - February 28th, 2009
As far as the series of Burnout is concerned, yes this isn't the best, however, since it is the only one for the PS3, it does a nice job of being a simple cheap racing game. Graphics are pretty good in the game, and the intense racing events always has you resting on the edge of your chair. A deep and rich selection of different cars gives you a bit of selection to play from. It severly lacks split-screen, and though availible for $9.95 on the Playstation Store, you shouldn't have to pay twice for a game just so your friends can play. I bought the game to enjoy playing and so my Fiance' could enjoy something to play aswell, and the lack of split screen made me file this game back in my library. Yes, it is a great game, it is worth buying, just be ready to invest another 10$ into it, otherwise pull out your PS2's and play some burnout revenge.
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