Burnout: Paradise

2008-12-07 21:54:08

Burnout Paradise (Xbox360)

As a racing fan I've played my fair share of racing games, everything from arcade racers like Cruis'n USA to Simulations like Ferrari F355 and arguably some of the Need for Speed series. Burnout has been one of the driving games that I have passed over, it's concepts seeming to be counter to what I had been looking for in a racing game. I was suprised with what I found.

Before you think the geeks going soft, there are some flawed items that could stand to be corrected to make this a perfect game, but as always I have to butter the game up before slaying it with it's critical fails. When you first engage the game you are given a wreck of a ride, literally, as in the car is all fucked up and just came out of the junk yard(where all your cars are housed in the game). The first thing and last thing you're really told to do is to take it to the nearby car repair to get it fixed up. a quick drive through the repair shop and your car is shiny and new.

Once you are done with the game's 1 edict, you are thrust into a fully realized Paradise City. a beautiful and varied city with no locked out zones, the game world starts out completely available, and the whole game is free roam, Something very foolishly missing from NFS's latest offering. as you driver around Paradise City you are greeted with challenges to perform at each and every stoplight in the game, all you have to do is stop at the stoplight, and punch the gas and brake to engage the race. One of the reasons that Paradise City is so addictive and easy to keep playing for hours on end is it's variety. You have regular races(get to the finish before the rest of the pack duh!), Stunt Runs(pull omg wicked stunts for mad points) which I admittedly stink at because I didn't focus on them at all in the early game, Marked Man(Paranoia mode, everyone IS out to get you so make it to the objective before you die!), and Road Rage(destroy x number of cars before time expires) which is my personal favorite. There really is no end to the fun that can be had in Paradise city, whether it's racing, wrecking other cars into things, or finding shortcuts and secret areas(which are plentiful) the game services the gas junkies very well. there are 75 cars in the Xbox 360 version, I currently have 69 of them, and almost every single in game car has a secondary edition you can pick up by doing a special 1 man timed race called a burning route. The game is the most fun I've had with a racer in a long time.

The soundtrack for the game is epic, with both big and small name bands in the mix giving you the standard mix of rock/alternative/hip hop you'd expect from most racers, unfortunately this can lead to a strong desire to wreck cars into roads on the highway in real life anytime one of these songs comes on your car stereo.

Alright, the moment you've all been waiting for. Here's where I tell you all why this game isn't as peaches and cream as I've been making it out to be. Let's see, first flaw that's a big one is that the camera controls are limited, you have 2 vision modes, you have a behind the car look basically a chase cam, and you have a on the bumper cam. The Bumper cam is awesome in that it rotates with the car so when you perform barrel rolls it can be an enjoyable experience. But as a racing purist I tend to prefer a "in the car" cam where I can see at least the hood of the car and I can pretend I'm actually riding in this gigantic deathtrap. Secondly, no speedometer. I know this game is a bit on the arcadey side so speed isn't really the factor in many cases but it can be helpful on certain turns I take frequently so that I can learn what speeds I can take a turn at, and what speeds I can't, rather than continue to crash headlong into the barricades in failure. Lastly, is the unskippable crash cam. The crash cam at many instances in the game is awesome, it drops the game speed to super slow motion, and displays your wreck as metal bends and twists, glass shatters, and engine blocks meet passenger compartments. It's an awesome display, but at times it can be a distraction or just downright annoying, and not only that, but even though the game drops to slow motion, and takes complete control away from you, it has the audacity to keep counting down your objective time limit in real time, so here you are helpless as you hear the faint beeping of the last 10 seconds of your race limit going away before you have a chance to hopefully get to the end in time.

Reason Rank
Start 10
Best Racing Soundtrack Ever +6
Lots of Car Variety with excellent mechanics +5
Strong Replayability +5
No Speedometer -5
Unskippable Crash Cam -3
Unskippable Cam while Race Timer is ticking -4
Only 2 Camera Choices




The game gets a 13/10 from me, which in Geek terms means this one is a mold breaking experience, the game doesn't do enough wrong to place it in the 1-10 range nor enough to break negatives, it does enough right that despite it's flaws, it excels at being a great game. If you like driving and crashing to some great music, this game is for you.