High-Octane Crash ‘n’ Smash Gaming at its best.
©2008 Arthur Kotsopoulos
“`From the moment you put the disc in your Xbox 360 you better strap yourself to your chair or couch, because this is going to be one hell of a bumpy ride. Burnout Paradise the latest instalement in the Burnout franchise has seen a hefty overhaul. With updated graphics taking advantage of the 360’s potential, an open city to do as you please with many ways to win a race instead of set races and routes and an online that is to crash for.
“`Paradise City is where you will get your racing, crashing and smashing done for the entire game. You’re new to the town and need to prove that you are a worthy Burnout driver, and to do this you have a license, starting off at class D and going all the way up to Elite.
To rise up in the ranks you must compete in different races ranging from Road Rage where you race all over town taking down other drivers, Race where you take your own route to get from point A to B, competing against other paradise drivers, Marked Man which is a new event has you trying to get from point A to B while trying to avoid being taken down by MIB looking cars that are super strong and can make you crash as easy as buttering bread.
Burning route which is a race specifically for each car that has you driving to a certain destination within a certain amount of time and completion of the route earns you an updated model of your car and stunt run which is an event that will test your tricks with cars, flipping, jumping, drifting and smashing through billboards are just some of the ways to rack up points and win the event.
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Showtime has replaced Crash and is started pressing the 2 bumper buttons. Once in this mode your car starts flipping about and blowing up other cars you come in contact with. The aim of this is to make the damage cost rise for the street you started on by blowing up other cars. Boost is gained for every car blown up and allows you to go for longer and make the damage cost rise up in the millions. Maybe reword this paragraph?
There are 120 races in total spread all over Paradise City that can be entered by just driving up to a set of lights and pressing the 2 trigger buttons at the same time. While 120 races seems like it will be a lot of fun to complete, it isn’t, as once you reach your A license the races start to get very repetitive and boring as you will have to repeat races you have completed already. Driving down the same road taking the same shortcut and jumping the same jumps gets very stale after having to do it all again and again in succession.
“`Rising up in the license ranks gives you access to a variety of cars that are stronger, faster and slick looking, that you can use to complete events. Once again these are fake cars made up by Criterion and look similar to their real life counterparts but they are fun to drive and look good even while smashed, I’m not kidding. There are 70 cars in total to unlock and earning them isn’t a big deal as they unlock throughout completing races and also as you receive your next license. Just added the Italic part
“`As this is an arcade racer cars don’t handle realistically, this is where the Paradise dishes out its fun. Speed, Stunt and Aggression are the 3 different categories a car can fall under. Each have different stats and handle differently, so there is always a car for every situation and as you unlock more cars they only get better and easier to drive.
“`Burnout Paradise is one of the select few titles to grace the 360 that pushes its potential to the edge. There is nothing better than seeing your car crash at 200km/h in 720p goodness, with every little detail from dents, smashed windows, doors flying off, roof smashing in being included to create the most brutal and authentic crash simulation in a racing game.
Paradise City itself is a thing of beauty and has been crafted to perfection, with a lot of work put in to make the terrain look gorgeous, buildings to look realistic and also traffic reacts quickly and realistically by swerving out of the way when seeing you driving head on towards them, all this will have you thinking does this place really exist?
With all of these you still need one more thing to create the most realistic crash simulation, sound. Burnout Paradise takes full advantage of 5.1 and has the crispest, and the most ear shattering sounding crashes you will hear in a game. Everything from tiny bumps while driving, exchange metal with fellow drivers, and screeching of brakes have been included and will make you want to have your 5.1 set up turned all the way to max volume.
To top the sounding of the game, the soundtrack ensures that you have something to listen to while racing and competing in events. With artists from Twisted Sister, Guns’n’Roses, Avril Lavinge and many others, this games track list rivals those of the Need for Speed games.
With offline offering an array of features to ensure you to continue to drive through the streets of Paradise City, Online has taken in on the idea of the Jump-In, Jump-Out style of online play. Say you’re driving and want to pit your car against other gamers on LIVE, all you do is press right on the d-pad and select Free-burn, which allows you to either host or join a hosted room of Paradise City, for 7 other drivers.
From there you can choose to do anything you want within the City. Race each other, beat track records, take each other down or just drive around and stay in the lead with the different little records of longest jump, longest drift, and that make this Burnout’s Online something unique and challenging.
Burnout Paradise offers a unique arcade racing experience that till this day has been unmatched in terms of sheer fun, excitement and speed. For those that don’t want the hassles of tuning your car to perfection, set tracks, racing-aids and other features apparent in racing simulator games and some arcade games then Burnout Paradise is you cup of tea. Whether it would be offline or online play, this game has it all and despite it getting repetitive in the latter stages, and there is no better way of venting frustration after a long day at work than loading this game up and smashing your car at speeds of 200km/h.