No racing? No problem.
Let's get this out of the way, this is not a proper follow-up to the Burnout series. If you come into Burnout CRASH! expecting a racing game, turn around and leave now. Hell, if you expect it to be exactly like the crash mode in the older Burnout games, you will be disappointed as well. This is a brand new take on that game mode. Does that mean this top-down game is bad? Not by a long shot.
The object of Crash is to cause the most damaging wreck, measured in dollar amount. Crash will start you driving down the road toward the intersection, the speed is fixed, you can only steer. Once the accident starts, the only way you will be able to move around is by blowing yourself up with the Crashbreaker. The goal is to get stars to unlock cars and advance to the next city. Each level will have three stars based on your cash score, and two more for various objectives like destroying a golden car or blowing up a certain building, for a total of five max per stage. There are six cities in the game, with three intersections in each one. Each intersection has three different gameplay modes .
The first mode is Road Trip, which has you causing as big of a crash as possible, but with a tower defense twist. If five cars escape the accident, the stage is over. A couple of times during the stage, there will be a feature that helps you rack up more money. At the end a Super Feature will destroy the majority of the stage in grand fashion. The strength of the Super Feature is based on the number of cars you let pass. Each city will have its own, and they are all pretty good, ranging from a tornado to a lobster monster. There is a bit of strategy because of the tower defense aspect. If you see a tanker, you can blow it up to cause more damage, but it may also blow up your roadblock, leaving a wide lane for cars to pass through. This can also be frustrating because a bad turn of events can ruin your whole run. Nothing is more frustrating than your roadblock exploding at a bad time, letting cars through. You can restart at any time, but it still sucks having to redo things because of bad luck.
The second mode is Rush Hour. This mode gives you ninety seconds to rack up the damage, and the features are random. At the end of Rush Hour your car will blow up with a massive bang. This mode is more hectic, but also not as strict with the guidelines. You can do more things you wouldn't be able to do in the other modes, such as move away from the intersection towards a parking lot with an expensive sports car. The third mode is Pile Up. Which plays the most like the original crash mode in older Burnout games. You will have a set number of cars that will pass through the intersection, and goal is to cause the most expensive crash. The car patterns are the same throughout so you can try to hit a bus into the oncoming traffic just right. At the end of the stage, your multiplier will kick in, and you can keep going as long as something is burning.
The features are the best thing about the game. The features can be broken down into two categories, environmental events and special vehicles. Environmental events range from a giant sinkhole in the middle of the intersection to fog that will cover everything. The feature vehicles also have various abilities. Blowing up a tanker causes a huge explosion, while clearing the way for an ambulance will nullify a miss from earlier in a level. A lot of the features will have clips from songs. "Ice Ice Baby" will play when a blizzard occurs and when a thunderstorm happens, it will be accompanied by "It's Raining Men." These in addition to game sound effects like slot machine payout noises and the Halleluiah chorus lead an assault on the ears that leave you wanting more. The game's sound design is great, and is one of the best things about Crash.
The game is short, and can be completed in a few hours. You unlock everything with stars, so by the time you reach the last city, you will have most of the cars unlocked as well. After completing the game, the only thing left for you to do is try to get all of the stars. There is no multiplayer, but it does have the Autolog feature from Hot Pursuit, so if you have a lot of friends playing, it can be fun trying to top their scores. You can also see how many tries it took them to top your score.
If you can get over the fact that this is not the next true Burnout game, and see Crash for what it is, there is a lot of fun to be had here. This is meant to be a quick game to have fun with occasionally, but there is enough to keep more persistent people hooked. Even if you aren't a completionist, for ten dollars you get a lot of game for your money.