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Burnout Paradise

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Written by DM on Tuesday, March 04 2008

The Burnout game franchise has been one of the most prolific and well-received racing game series in recent memory. If you want arcade style racing without any worry of those pesky physics getting in the way, nothing beats a good Burnout match. This time around though, Criterion felt that the old formula, which worked well by the way, needed a change. Why gamer developers love to ignore the age old axiom “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I’ll never know, but that is just what they did. For the first time ever, a game in the Burnout series does not follow the race after race game progression. Burnout Paradise is based on a free-roaming town system, identical to the way that the recent Need For Speed games have been setup. This, understandably, made many gamers nervous (to put it lightly). Does the new formula work? Well, let’s find out, shall we?

We might as well start with the biggest change, the move to the open game world. The entire city of Paradise is open to you from minute one, with the basic idea being that you can do whatever you want, and go wherever you like. Of course, not all the events are playable from the start, but that is just common sense. There are 75 or so cars in the game, and you will have to spend a heck of a lot of time obtaining them all. As with any major game change, there are good and bad points.

The city design itself is pretty straightforward, which is a good thing. The layout is really made up of three sections, the city proper, the mountains, and the countryside. The city proper is laid out in a grid, the mountains are made up of a few roads covering lots of space, and the countryside is a mish mash of roads that cross each other back and forth. To top it off the whole thing has a river that runs smack dab through the middle. It really is an ingenious setup.

To begin any event, you simply pull up to an intersection and pull the triggers simultaneously. When an event begins, you must race from point A to point B as fast as you can (thus the name, race). You can choose any path you like, be they main roads or secret passages or anything in between. This also means until you learn the city layout you will likely have to check the map a few times as the race goes on. You do get a mini-map in the right corner of the screen, with an indicator that shows where the end of the race is, but it is nowhere near enough to guide a new player through.

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Burnout Paradise

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Player Support (1-8)

Co-op multiplayer
Head to head multiplayer

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Co-op multiplayer
Head to head multiplayer

Co-op multiplayer
Head to head multiplayer

Dolby Digital 5.1
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