Burnout Paradise Review
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
North American Release Date: January 22nd, 2008
European Release Date: January 25th, 2008
Trophies: Yes, 1 | 2 | 10 | 38
Burnout Paradise continues the wildly popular Burnout series through a trip on the PS3 side of gaming. It's set in the fictional city of Paradise City, and lets you, the player, roam free in it to do basically whatever you like while driving a car.
Burnout Paradise greatly influences you to roam Paradise City and do whatever you want. You can do a vast number of things; like smashing through billboards or finding shortcuts. You can set "Road Rules" where you drive the full length of the road in record time, or do a "Showtime" (which used to be called Crash Mode in previous Burnout titles). Showtime lets you crash your car, and hit other vehicles to rack up points, or rather damage costs. The bigger the vehicle, the more money gets added to your damage cost counter. Also, hitting buses gives you a +1x multiplier. This mode is extremely fun and I'm glad it was kept in and improved.
There are many different vehicles that can be unlocked, each are in a certain class. There's Stunt cars, which are for, you guessed it, stunts. It's the most efficient way to earn boost (which greatly increases your vehicle's speed, and is displayed with a bar in the HUD) to perform stunts. There's Aggression cars if you're in to taking down and ramming other cars. Lastly there's the Speed class of cars. This are obviously the fast set of cars, they are also weak. The problem I had with these different cars is that each class is specifically directed for certain events, meaning you will have to switch cars each time you want to do an event. And anything but the Speed class I had a hard time with, usually with the handling. The turning on most other cars are slow and frustrating, especially when you get rammed and do a 180 degree spin.
The Super Jump, quite fun to pull off.
Playing Burnout Paradise means you're in for a fast-paced adventure, all you need is the right car for you. You unlock cars by finding them and taking them down (when prompted that there's a driver in Paradise City. You can tell they are "drivers" when they drive fast and dangerously around the city). You can also get them from completing the various events around Paradise City.
Unfortunately there isn't a feature to customize your own car, which would've been a great feature to include. If you unlocked skill points after each event and were able to upgrade your car, I would've fallen in love. This is a great idea for a future Burnout title though, and hopefully gets implemented sooner rather than later.
In Burnout Paradise, you complete events to earn marks on your license until you earn a Burnout license. That's pretty much it. This would work in theory, if there weren't only four different events total, and you didn't have to change your car class to successfully do each one. First, there's the classic Race event. A free roam race that lets you choose your own path to get to the finish line. Again, this would work in theory but when the game is designed to make you crash a lot, and you have to get somewhere you're gonna be far more than angry. Sure flying through the air while you look back at the chaos you just caused is fun when you don't have somewhere to get to. But you do! It's also tedious to have to bring up your map every 10 seconds to see if your still on the right track or not.
You may want to get used to this.
There's also Road Rage, an event that has you try to take out a set amount of vehicles before the time runs out. It's a fun event but lacks inspiration, because all you do is make others crash and avoid crashing yourself. Stunt Run is another type of event. You need to pull off jumps and other tricks to get the highest score possible. I wasn't fond of this as I would always have to change my car from speed to stunt, as I also had to do with Road Rage (from speed to aggression) because, like I said before, the speed cars have the best handling. Marked Man is the final event type. All it has you do is get from point A to point B without being taken down by men in black...cars. There's not much to say about this event because there isn't much to it.
All in all it's more fun to explore Paradise City, while doing the events every so often. This drags the game on though and you will probably get sick of grinding out each event just to upgrade your license. I wish there was more to the game than this, but there really isn't.
The multiplayer has a drop-in drop-out online feature, that lets you go online wherever you are in Paradise City with a mini-menu pop-up that you can access while driving. This type of feature was a good add to a game such as this, as people don't want to stop what they're doing, exit, then go play online in a free roam game.
Multiplayer is essentially singleplayer with more people. The differences are though that you can compete for Road Rules, and can complete Freeburn Challenges. Freeburn Challenges have to be activated by the host of the game, and require each player to complete them. Basically, they are mini challenges such as "Drift for 500m". Once every player has done so you will have completed it. The problem with this though is that the host has to activate it, meaning if the host doesn't want to then you have no access to them whatsoever. The best thing to do is host your own game to do them, but they're only such a small feature so I wouldn't bother.
The graphics make the cars look sleek and clean, which I really enjoyed. The soundtrack is quite good and add to the cinematic act of smashing through cars on a freeway, especially when Paradise City (the theme song) plays. The crash animations are gorgeous. You really see the spark of Burnout Paradise when you car's rusty carcass is mangled and broken after giving the soccer mom in the mini-van the worst day of her life. But there really isn't much to it, if you get a good speed car the driving is nice and smooth, but when you pick a tough aggression car the driving is clunky and irritating. My best advice is to choose whatever type of vehicle that suits your play style. You'll have less broken controllers that way.
Being an ass is even more fun when doing it to others!
The trophies aren't that hard, but require some dedication. Mainly with just acquiring the Burnout license. Most trophies can be obtained by just freely playing the game and having fun, which is always a good thing.
Burnout Paradise has a great concept, but I found myself get bored after playing it too long. Unless you create the fun yourself, you certainly won't have fun grinding all of the events that are found in Paradise City (unless you're one that likes doing the same things over and over, in which case carry on).
It does what it tries to do perfectly, and is fun to just drive around Paradise City.
Can get boring fast, with nothing really there to do but events and small things that don't matter much scattered around the city.
Fun can be had while crashing into other players, or doing Freeburn Challenges and Road Rules, but it's more of what the singleplayer game was.
Nothing wrong with it, but nothing truly great except for the crash sequences.