systech's Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360) review

I Can Has Cheeseburger In Paradise?

When has there been a time that I didn’t agree with crashing beautiful and expensive cars? Ah, yes, real life. Thanks to Burnout Paradise, gamers can now treat their gas pedal-happy hearts with crashing, jumping, racing, drifting, burning, and the ability to defy physics by turning your car over and wreaking havoc throughout Paradise City. Sound good? If it doesn’t, then let me elaborate for you on this great addition to a beloved franchise.

In the beginning of the game, you start out with a broken and beaten car, but have no fear, because the “drive-right-thru” repair shop will fix that up for you. These repair shops can become vital to you in races when your car has been taken down or has wrecked several times, but when in free roam, the damage taken is merely cosmetic. Unlike the past Burnout games, Paradise is completely open world with the given ability to start races, stunt trials, a survival game called Marked Man, and Road Rage where the objective is to take as many cars out until you die. To start an event, just look on your mini map and drive to said marked event.

The races are pretty straight-forward where you start at one point and get to another. You have a choice on what routes you take to arrive at the end, but take precautions on which ones will get you there, because every millisecond counts. In Stunt Run, you get as many points as you can by getting air, crashing through billboards, drifting and doing barrel rolls. Marked Man is basically a race, you just aren’t against anyone, but you can’t wreck or get taken down, so take your time and stay comfortable. The most amusing event for me is Road Rage, where you take down a number of cars before you die. The difficulty is a little easier than a race or Stunt Run however it isn’t too large of an issue. The reason you wish to win these objectives is to gain new vehicles and upgrade your drivers’ license and get more new vehicles… that and achievement points, which are a guilty pleasure of my own and plenty others. The one other mode that has also been added is Showtime where you press the bumpers and your car just turned into a rolling metal deathball. The objective is to create as much damage as possible for as long as possible. It may sound completely awesome on paper, but when a car is bouncing around the city for as long as seven minutes, you seem to forget that this is a racing game that you’re playing.

Sure, you want to see the sites. That’s the reason you are taking a vacation in Paradise City, right? The visuals are pretty when the cars are pretty and gritty when they’re gritty. Paradise’s graphics still don’t match up to Forza 2’s, but they certainly get the job done for a jam packed game. You won’t get a ton of time to admire the scenery when the annoying voice of DJ Atomica enters your mind every ten seconds or so. I swear EA could have gotten a better guy for free. I would rather have a homeless man who can hardly make complete sentences so I would actually be humored. You do, for the most part have the option to rid the “tips” voice, but DJ Atomica doesn’t die easy.

The online works seamlessly with the single player, so if you want to take down your buds or some random 12 year old, just press right on the D-Pad. There are a ton of online challenges and they can be fun or just plain frustrating. If youIf you A. Love Burnout, B. Like games, or C. Enjoy cars, you should definitely check out Burnout Paradise.

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