The Burnout series on consoles were some of the best arcade racing experiences. Alongside the likes of Sega Rally and Daytona USA from an iconic stand point. Everyone that played Burnout had a blast. The games got better with every sequel. Burnout Revenge was great and even Burnout Legends on the PSP was a lot of fun.
The whole design changed with this game compared to it’s predecessors. Criterion Games ruined a winning formula. Instead opting for an open world map without limits. They took the idea from the Need For Speed games such as Carbon and Underground. The concept worked for those games. It doesn’t for Burnout.
Burnout’s a series that’s entirely based on demolishing opponents. Fast frantic mayhem. Instead of having a game entirely filled with these moments you find yourself driving around streets with no particular desire to do anything. The old system of going through the menu. Select a category and jump straight into some high octane races are no more. Instead your expected to drive around the fictional city of Paradise Island and wait at traffic lights while pressing specific buttons to initiate a race event.
Race events are nothing short of annoying. Understanding the route isn’t straightforward. Street names appear at the top of the screen like some poor GPS system. Except it doesn’t indicate which direction you need to go. This is found on the map in the bottom left of the screen. Not helpful at all as looking at the map will inadvertently lead to a crash and ruin the event.
Presentation is good, graphics are reasonably good with very high fps performance. It does look a lot sharper than the console versions.
Burnout Paradise supports most major peripherals. I managed to play the game using an Xbox360 wired controller and the Logitech Driving Force GT Racing Wheel and they both performed great. Handling is responsive, control of the vehicles are tight. The mechanics are very well implemented. Probably the game’s best feature.
Burnout Paradise should’ve been the pinnacle of the series. The ultimate version of Burnout. So much was expected of the game and so little was created. Everything the game stood for has been totally ruined, it’s a real disappointment considering the complete change of direction the series has shifted to. In shorts bursts gate crashing can be fun.