Burnout Paradise is the latest installment of Criterion Games highly praised IP. Almost every aspect of the game has been tweaked in some way or another; this is not your Xbox’s Burnout for sure. Some of the tweaks really work in favor of your gameplay and some do not. What you end up with is an intense, blazingly fast and perfectly controlled racer, one that no one should miss.
The first change is an open environment. The entire city is open from the start, with the idea being that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want and pretty much however you want. Not all of the events are present at the start, mind you, and you’ll have to put some time to unlock the game’s roughly 75 cars, as well as drive around to have all the events active and on the map, but you never feel limited.
And the blue car’s driver says… TAG your IT!!!
Stopping at an intersection with a light and pulling the RT and LT at the same time will start a race or event. When a race starts, you simply must race from point A to point B as fast as you can, along whatever route you want. There is a handy dandy indicator at the top of the screen telling you what direction to generally head in and there are some nice indicators about road names and intersections as well.
“Burnout Paradise delivers a car crushing experience that every gamer should own and relish!”
One gripe I had with the way an event unfolds is that you cannot restart an event, and if you fail you have to backtrack all the way to try again, this can be really frustrating and to me was a waste of time really. The way you end up behaving is that if you try an event and do not get it right 100% or fail then you can simply head to the next stop light and do another event.
The next event type is Road Rage; this vent really has not had much change done to it. You still race from point A to B and try and takedown as many opponents as you can in the given timeframe. There are quite a few opponents on the screen which makes for some awesome crash sequences and things to try and avoid.
Did you love crash mode? I did, and it is now gone, supplanted by Showtime Events. This type of even can be started at any time with the two bumpers. The long and short of it is that you start your car rolling and crash into stuff, pretty fun actually.
The next event type is the Stunt Event. You are basically tasked to rack up as many points as possible in a given time frame by stringing together stunts. The only downside here has to do with the different types of cars you can choose and how they affect a Stunt event’s difficulty.
So how do you earn more vehicles? When you get a new license, you’ll be rewarded with a new ride in your junkyard for driving immediately. All of the other cars, however, have to be taken down first. When you “unlock” a car after an event, it will then appear somewhere in Paradise City and drive around on its own. In order to fully earn it, you have to find said car and then take it down. You can spot these free radical cars pretty easily as they weave in and out of traffic like drunken sailors. They will avoid you and cause accidents and are a fun diversion.
The best feature of all really was how multiplayer was implemented. All multiplayer activities can be executed as you play by pressing right on the dpad.
You can create a custom race where you can set start and end points and drop any number of checkpoints onto the map. You can even save these routes for play later on so that you don’t have to keep making them.
Overall Criterion delivered a wonderful game in Burnout Paradise. The driving mechanics are near flawless; the 60 fps visual experience is smooth and very impressive. The crash effects are fantastic, slowing down to show you your crumpling wreck as the steering wheel is shoved into the driver’s seat. The open world allows for freedom unseen in any recent racing game. Burnout Paradise delivers a car crushing experience that every gamer should own and relish!