Well, Right now I’m honestly sitting here trying to find something to do which will be somewhat productive to waste time. Seeing as my options are thin I’ll write something.
Despite Burnout Paradise being released quite a few years ago, I only picked it up recently. Before that I was playing Skyrim and Saints Row the Third. (Both Good games. Might do a Review of SR3 soon too.) I hadn’t seen or heard anything about the game but I knew what to expect having played some of the previous versions. One thing I was aware of was that this game featured a big open world in which you could explore but never leave your car. Although technically you don’t actually ever see a human being in this game as one of the gimmicks of this game series is that when crashing your car, it isn’t just a light bump in which you recover from just reversing and steering round the obstacle. In this game, when you crash into something, the camera angle changes, it goes into slow motion and you’re forced to watch for a few painful seconds as your car just sits there. Or most likely the case, you’ll hit another car, get knocked into the air for a good 40 yards before hitting the ground then skidding for the remainder of the tragedy.
It’s entertaining to watch the first few times but after a while it gets annoying as you’re most likely trying to get somewhere and if it happens during a race then don’t forget to wave to the opponents as they pass you by and finish before you do.
Anyway, I’ll now break it down into smaller parts that I want to discuss because I could go on forever on all the little details, but I’ll spare you all that crap because the chances are that you’d of stopped reading by now unless you’re Charlie and I’ve forced you to read this. Hi Charlie!
There is no storyline. You’re in a vehicle. Drive it to the finish line then attempt a different race. If you’re expecting a storyline from a game like this then it would need something such as human characters and then it’d be horribly tragic and violent with all the crashes that happen every 20 seconds.
The game has a large soundtrack, but one thing that I personally see as a letdown is the song that plays when starting up the game. Paradise City - Guns N Roses. Don’t get me wrong, the song is okay. But it only really works for the first time you start up the game. You’re sitting there and then this music plays as the title comes up and it feels quite welcoming, But I find myself spamming the A button on the title screen to get through it as soon as possible because hearing it every time gets slightly dull. Especially with all the different songs that are on this game. There’s Punk rock, Classical music and there’s also songs from other Criterion games, which I thought was quite a nice add as I liked some of the music from Burnout 2.
This game split the vehicles into 3 categories.
In a way, they’re almost like difficulty settings. Speed will be the fastest, Aggression is usually the strongest and Stunt seems to be slightly more durable for those “Propelled into the air” crashes that you’ll be having. I’ll explain how they work.
Stunt cars are the best for going over ramps as they don’t seem to lose control after landing, they also gain the most boost when performing stunt moves but this isn’t the only way they can gain their boost. All cars can gain it by driving on the wrong side of the road, making other drivers crash and so on and so forth.
Aggression cars are useful for taking down other opponents and if you’ve played any of the other games then you’d know that you can do this in many different ways, some being by forcing them into a wall, into other cars or by landing on them from jumps. This is how they gain the most boost.
Speed cars work differently from the others. You can’t boost whenever you feel like it, you HAVE to wait until your boost bar is “Ready” and you do this by filling it up completely. It can be a slight annoyance but the gimmick with a speed car is that if you’re able to deplete your boost in one go then you get a refill. So technically you could use it indefinitely. But with the amount of crashes you’re likely to have and the fact that Speed cars are the weakest type, it’s not too easy to use.
You unlock more cars in this game by doing challenges. Every now and again the Narrator/Radio DJ seems to talk directly to you and other times he seems to be talking in coincidence to what you’re doing. He will tell you that you’ve either got a new car added to your collection or that there’s a new vehicle driving round the island and if you want it then you’ll have to make the other driver crash. (Which is essentially saying: “Want that car? Put the driver in a wheelchair and steal it!”)
Also, almost every car comes with a unique challenge that allows you to get an upgraded version of the current car. (Despite some cars having lower stats and “Looking better”). The challenge will always consist of you needing to reach one of the 8 finish lines on the Island within the time limit. Some of the challenges take the piss though and you barely get enough time. There are 75 cars, to get them all you’ll need to finish EVERYTHING. EVERY. THING.
Races + Challenges
I really should of got to this one sooner..
This game has:
- Road Rage (Make x amount of cars crash within the time limit)
- Stunt Run (Perform x amount of points by doing stunts within the time limit)
- Marked man (A bunch of extremely strong cars are trying to make you crash. Get to x before your car takes too much damage)
- Burning Route (Time trials in which you unlock the upgraded version of your car by getting to x before your time is up)
There are 8 Finish lines in this game. So after a while, you’ll hopefully have an idea of where to go. The challenge will start and the Narrator will say “Get to x”. There are multiple ways to guide you, the developers decided not to block off the wrong roads in this game so you could pretty much end up anywhere if you’re not careful. With the minimap and “Compass” (Which is just the road name at the top of the screen and sings that appear either side of it to show what roads are coming up incase you need to turn.) to help you then it becomes something you can easily adjust to.
The closest thing this game has to collectibles is Super Jumps, Billboard smashes and Shortcut gates.
- 50 Super Jumps
- 120 Billbaords
- 400 Shortcut Gates
and they’re not just in one area, they’re dotted round the entire map. Using guides I’ve managed to get all the Billboards, all of the Super jumps and 392 of the shortcuts. I can’t find the last 8 and I’d rather die than check all 400 of them as there is no way to fast travel in this game. Imagine if Skyrim was like that…
Showtime + Road rules
One of the reasons Burnout fans love these games is because in the past, there have been set scenarios with loads of traffic about and the only goal is to cause a big of a pileup as possible, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. In this game, they couldn’t have areas that we’re stuffed with traffic and gridlocks so they implemented a feature in which Pressing LB + RB at the same time would send your car into “Showtime” mode in which you could then guide your flipping car into traffic and cause a massive disaster in a matter of seconds. Also, when activating this mode, there is 10x more traffic about so that it’s actually possible to score points.
As for Road rules.. I don’t actually know how it works. I didn’t bother to check but I’ve managed to win a few challenges anyway. If I had to take a guess. I’d say that it starts when you enter one end of a street or road and the goal is to reach the other end within a certain time limit. It doesn’t actually notify you when you trigger one of these challenges and you may end up winning a few by accident.
Things I’d change
I think it’s a great game and I’d totally recommend it. However, if I was put on the development team, I’d make these changes:
- Add a fast travel option to Challenges and Buildings that you’ve already discovered.
- Add a skip option on crashes when in free roam (It’s cool. But sometimes I don’t have the patience for it.)
- Add a speedometer
- Change some of the songs featured in the soundtrack
- Move the support beams for roads that have the train line running above it. You’ll be surprised on how many times you end up ramming face first into one during a challenge.
- Add a Retry Challenge option if you fail a race. It’s frustrating to have to drive all the way back.
Anyway, Thanks for reading. If you have anything else that you want to know then I’d he happy to explain it. I know I didn’t cover that much.
Oh, and here’s a Map of the Island: