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Burnout Paradise (PlayStation 3) artwork

Burnout Paradise (PlayStation 3) review

"Developer Criterion Games tend to spice up Burnout's gameplay in each installment, bringing something new and fun to the table. And Burnout Paradise is no exception. The Burnout series has had a complete makeover, and puts every other Burnout game to shame. "

Developer Criterion Games tend to spice up Burnout's gameplay in each installment, bringing something new and fun to the table. And Burnout Paradise is no exception. The Burnout series has had a complete makeover, and puts every other Burnout game to shame.

Welcome to Paradise City, the home of DJ Atomica, the radio DJ who you'll hear a lot of throughout your stay in Paradise. Well, if smashing cars, barrel rolling into walls and doing some overly aggressive racing is your type of Paradise, then you're in the right place.

Two words describe this gameplay overhaul: "Open" and "World". No more invisible walls or big yellow arrows pushing you along a confined track. You go where you want, when you want, no questions asked. Well, there may be some questions asked, if by question you mean "two tonne truck," and by asked you mean "pummeling you into a cube." Just because it wouldn't be a Burnout game without the ferocious driving, spectacular crashes and aggressive opponents.

And these aspects are better than ever! When doing a race, the AI opponents will all go their separate ways to the finish, and they are constantly trying to shunt you into the closest solid object. When you or the AI wreck, it looks frighteningly realistic. Metal crumples, windows shatter and sparks fly. And if it's not a big wreck, you won't respawn with a shiny, undamaged car. You could drive around the city with doors missing and huge dents down the side of your car.

Fortunately, it's simple to start an event in Paradise City. All you need to do is pull up at any set of traffic lights and spin your wheels. The radio DJ will then present you with a map telling you where you are, and what you need to do. For example, if you're doing a Stunt Run where you'll have to chain crazy stunts in a set time to accumulate points, DJ Atomica will tell you how much points you'll need to win the event, and other basic instructions like that.

Another new event is the Marked Man event, where you'll need to drive across the map without being pummeled into a cube by the mysterious black cars that are following you. Other events are the usual Race, Road Rage and Burning Routes (formerly known as Burning Laps).

But with all of these extras comes a price. The beloved Crash Mode is no more. Don't shed a tear just yet, because in it's place is Showtime. Showtime is less of a puzzle, but more of mindless crashing. And this is by no means a bad thing. At any time in the game, hit L1 and R1 to send your vehicle flipping, scraping and bouncing down a traffic filled road, and try to hit as much vehicles as you can, and this will refill your boost bar slightly. Once you run out of boost, Showtime ends and your points are tallied.

Burnout Paradise is just as good online as well. Just double-tap right on the D-pad, and you're online! While online you can just drive around Paradise City, taking each other down, or the host can start a Challenge. A Burnout Challenge could be anything from getting ten seconds boosting time to have 7 players lay underneath a ramp, and have the eighth barrel roll over them.

Unfortunately, the take down system in online is seriously floored. It doesn't matter whether you rammed into them or if they rammed into you, if they have a car with a higher strength rating than your car, then you're going down. Heck, I've even managed to take people down without even touching them!

Burnout's audiovisual quality is a love/hate relationship. The graphics aren't exactly mind blowing, but they get the job done in a sleek fashion. The cars look great, the environment is crisp and colourful and everything is generally very detailed. The engines rev, tires screech and crashes thud just how they should. But the music is pretty bad. One notable mention is Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend song. Not exactly what you'd listen to while relentlessly smashing cars into a wall.

But for what it offers, Burnout Paradise delivers. A fully open world with zero loading times, reckless driving and a host of things to do and find. Looking at your mini-map while speeding down a traffic filled road at 200mph is a little tricky at first, once you've learned the map it all comes natural. Even with a flawed take down system in the online portion, the game has one of the best online modes for the system. This is one of the best racing games for the PS3, do not miss out.

microwavedapple's avatar
Community review by microwavedapple (May 14, 2008)

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