By CarolynP 2 Comments
The impending end of support for original Xbox titles on Live gives me pause. And while there are so many great games we can look back on fondly from Xbox Live's original incarnation, for me, one looms particularly large on that landscape.
I've probably spent more time online, and had more fun online, playing Burnout 3: Takedown than any other online-enabled game. While most games these days fail to get regular play from us for more than a few weeks, a group of faithful friends and I played Burnout 3 frequently for months after its release. Thinking about the game today reminds me of where I was living at the time, who I was dating, where I was working...I created my own soundtrack to replace the mostly lousy EA TRAX stuff, and to this day, when my iPod shuffles up some of the songs I used--songs by The Postal Service, for instance--I'm instantly transported back to those wonderfully dangerous streets, to the thrill of knocking an opponent into one of the pillars of death downtown or of narrowly evading a truck as I tear through an intersection. I play a lot of games, and I love a lot of games, but few indeed are the games that get inside my head like this.
It's truly a landmark title in my opinion, one that pushed the genre forward and that delivered adrenaline-junkie thrills far more successfully than most games that try. And even though I haven't played it in years now, knowing that my friends and I can't ever race again through the crazily twisting streets of its nameless Asian city, trading paint and taking each other down as we go, makes me sad.
Thanks for the good times, Burnout 3. And here's a toast to Xbox Live's first generation, where those races were lost and won.