Paradise is here, and it's full of smashed-up cars...
I've never quite understood just exactly why racing games are as popular as they are. For me, racing games are similar to fighting games. It's fun to play with your buddies, but doing it alone get's real boring, real fast. It's no wonder, then, that Burnout Paradise surprised me in ways I'd never thought possible. There you are, driving around in a huge city that just looks amazing, with challenges being thrown at your face just about wherever you go. You see ramps to jump over, shortcuts to be discovered, billboards to smash everywhere...It's just mindblowing. After you've completed a few events, smashed a couple of billboards and cruised around the city for a few hours you start to get your head around what this game really is about. You spend hours, literally hours, driving around Paradise City, just smashing billboards and exploring the city. Then you start doing the events, and before you know it, you're completely hooked by the game.
The online stuff in the game is really cool as well. There are 300 events for you to do online, but that's not all. It's really weird, you're driving around in Paradise with some other dudes when the game suddenly tells you all to meet up at a certain place, and then perform some weird task like forming a line so that one of you can -- in true Evil Knievel style -- jump over the other players' cars using a ramp. To do this you need to communicate with each other, which just feels super-weird and yet super -fun. Kudos for EA here, you guys did a great job coming up with this.
All is not well in Paradise, however. First of all, the "wrecked"- cut scenes. It's kinda cool to see your car crash the first time, but after the first 10 crashes it gets really old. When you're in first place in a race and you crash with a truck that appears from nowhere, you're forced to see the crash for several seconds before you can start driving again. If that happens just before you cross the finish line, you'll be pretty pissed. It's like the game rubs it in your face everytime you mess up, and it just kills me everytime. NOT EVERYONE GETS ORGASMS FROM WATCHING A CAR SMASH INTO A WALL, CRITERION! Sheesh.
The other bad thing in the game is the soundtrack. I mean, Avril Lavigne? Come on. Luckily this isn't that big of an issue, as being a 360-owner means that I can listen to my own music while playing. Problem solved.
But yes, I do recommend this game to everyone ( expect maybe those of you that has a short fuse...), as it's so much more then just a driving game. Cliché as this may sound it's actually more of an experiance. A big, nasty and absolutely wonderful experience. Get it, NOW!