Gaming Today Impressions of ‘Burnout Paradise’
I’ve been a fan of racing games for some time now. Everything from the Gran Turismo Series to Project Gotham Racing 4 is on my shelf. I have been sticking to simulation style racing for years and was never really interested in an arcade style racing game. I was speaking with Daniel, our marketing guru and he told me that he loved the instant action he was experiencing with Burnout Paradise. I paused for a while and realized that this was the first time Daniel had said something exciting about a racing game. He normally hates racing games. I knew that I had to go ahead and check out Burnout Paradise. Over 800 miles of racing later, I am completely hooked.
Burnout Paradise has completely changed my mind about arcade style racing games on home consoles. Unlike many other games, there really is no learning curve. The controls are simple and you learn all the more complicated moves as you go. You pretty much dictate exactly how fast you want to get good at this game. If you do decide to pick up this title, make sure you crank your stereo all the way up before inserting the disc. The opening track will certainly get anyone in the mood for some racing. This is the first next-gen racing title that stands way above the crowd.
Paradise City was well designed. There’s over 250 miles of road for you to explore. You can also explore those 250 miles at whatever pace you desire. In the city there are 120 unique events that you can take part in. Each event will reset as you get a better license. In addition to that, there are plenty of side activities to take part in. If playing online is your thing, there are over 300 challenges to be completed in the multiplayer arena. I can tell you that the challenges get crazier and crazier as you work your way towards 300. You might have to complete a set number of flat spins with a partner or you may have to jump off a bridge and crash into your partner in mid-air. The challenges are all unique and lots of fun. The game includes 75 cars that you have to unlock. This will take an incredible amount of time to achieve, but I assure you that you completely lose track of the time while playing this game. I played it for about 7 hours straight yesterday and it seemed like only a couple. There are three different categories of cars; ‘Aggression’, ‘Stunt’ and ‘Speed’ are your options. Unlike many other racing games, you really don’t have to worry too much about making mistakes and wrecking your cars. There are plenty of drive-through repair shops in the city that will take care of that. Another thing to note is that crashing is actually a lot of fun in this game.
Basically, this is one of those games that you pop in and the action immediately starts. You will be on the road and exploring Paradise City within a couple minutes of loading the game. It’s hard to describe what you will experience, but if you like speed, crashes and great special effects, this is the game for you. Personally, I like running other people off the road. Take downs are a big part of Paradise City driving.
Unfortunately, not everything is positive about this game. Fortunately, the negatives are so small, that it really doesn’t matter. This game is certainly my favorite title so far in 2008. The only complaints I have about the game are extremely minor. I wish the game had a built-in speedometer on the screen so you would know exactly how fast you are driving. The map and compass feature is awesome, but it’s visually difficult to see at times. There should have been an option to adjust the position of the on-screen map while driving. None of the cars in the game are real models. If they continue the series, I’d love to see some real cars in it. Finally, there needs to be an ability to record instant replays. The crashes and stunts you can pull off in this game are out of this world. It’s a shame there’s no way to capture these moments in the game.
All in all, Burnout Paradise is a complete blast. It’s one of the few games that’s great offline and great online. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Burnout Paradise. The official network review of the game can be found at 1Up.com.