It’s certainly not rare for developers to support their game post-release, especially in this day of downloadable console content, where popular map packs can bring in millions and millions of dollars in their first week of release. But most of what we’re getting is pretty standard stuff, like map packs, new skins, a mode or two… nothing all that earth-shattering. The other thing is that we usually don’t know too much about upcoming add-ons until they’re just about ready for release.
Maybe that’s why Criterion’s approach to Burnout Paradise add-ons seems so crazy. The team has already announced plans for four different patch/add-on packages for Burnout Paradise. And to slide in some extra cool points, they’ve given them all codenames.
The Bogart release is the first big update out of the gate, though it’s been a bit of a clunker so far. It hit for the Xbox 360 version last week, but after some users started reporting frame rate issues, the patch is apparently going to get recalled and re-released in around a week. The PlayStation 3 version of this patch is apparently still on for release tomorrow.
Bogart is mainly dealing with issues found in the initial release of the game, fixing a few things that would cause the game to hang, remixing some of the surround sound, giving people more time to pose for photos, and so on.
The next update, currently known as Cagney, starts to get a little more substantial. Three new online modes will be added, letting you compete in Marked Man, Road Rage, and Stunt Run events against other players. A few new cars will also be added, including a couple of paint jobs that were submitted by fans of the game. Then there’s the Hunter Olympus, a big SUV that Criterion says is “the first vehicle without Boost in a Burnout game.” That just sounds like crazy talk. Cagney will also add a live news page to the front-end of the game. It’s planned for release at the end of June.
Today, Criterion announced some details for the third update, known as Davis, and it’s totally blowing my mind right now. Motorcycles in a Burnout game? Considering how detailed the wrecks in Paradise look, I can’t wait to see what happens when there’s an human body involved… but considering the game probably isn’t going to delve into M-rated territory now, I can’t imagine things will get too crazy. The Davis update will also include nighttime–the game currently only lets you race during the day. A day/night cycle would be pretty cool, hopefully that’s how it works. Davis is scheduled to be released in August.
Past Davis is Eastwood, and this is the update that will add new areas to the game, among other things.
It’s neat to see developers be more forthcoming with their future plans, especially when it’s a game that I’ve already played the hell out of and want to keep playing. If you’re interested in more detail, I recommend checking out Criterion’s site, where you’ll find a blog that’s broken up to include info on each update, and a podcast where the team at Criterion gets crazy deep on the science of crashing cars.