Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Burnout Paradise (2008)

Genre: Racing | Players: 1 - 8 | Developer: Criterion Games

Burnout Paradise is an arcade racer. It's an open world environment that lets you progress at your own pace. The devs claim there are over 250 miles of game area to explore. I believe it. It’s possible to spend hours exploring the initially daunting environment completing secondary tasks before you even begin to race.

Once you’re done exploring, it’s time to delve deeper. To trigger an event, pull up at a traffic light and spin your wheels. Once discovered, an event remains on your map so is easily found again. If it’s not possible to complete a certain task in your current vehicle, you can return later.

The Burnout series is defined by two things: Speed and Dangerous Driving. Being reckless fills a boost meter that helps you gain the lead in races. Continue being reckless during boosting and you’ll get a boost combo. The sense of speed is exhilarating. When the adrenalin kicks in, corners become things to fear. Nailing a boost-combo of double figures is a godlike sensation. If, or more precisely when, you wreck your shit you’ll lose your boost meter. You can repair your vehicle, even during races, by driving through repair-shops scattered over the map.

It’s not all about racing. There are chase and stunt tasks. Also 'Takedowns' that require you to pursue and crash a rival car; win and it gets added to your garage for use. They’re usually faster than you, so skilful driving and short-cuts will be necessary. However, like previous Burnout games, once you nail that perfect vehicle you’ll have no need of the rest ever again.

The 'Showtime' feature has you bouncing your vehicle down busy roads causing crippling carnage. Combo hit as many cars as possible to earn multipliers on your damage meter. I spent more hours than was healthy pin-balling my car down roads and off bridges. I may need some readjustment before being returned to society.

Entering multi-player is effortless, with no frustrating lobbies to navigate. If you've a good connection it's as smooth as the one player.

A great feature lets you use any music you've ripped to your HDD while in-game.

Buyer's Guide:
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Make sure and get the online patches before you begin, even if you've no intention of playing online. They fix some niggles and add new challenges and content: a day/night feature and motorbikes. It’s DLC that makes a real difference to the game, and 90% of it is free. If you get The Ultimate Box it has the extras included.

4½ skid marks out of 5


Impudent Urinal said...

I can feel the Doc boner through the text.
There needs to be a new Road Rash.

Dr Faustus said...

I almost burst my zip.

EA were working on a new Road Rash but it got cancelled. Looks like it was running on the Burnout engine. There is pre-vis footage: