monkeysdad's Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360) review

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A (high-speed) change of direction

Burnout Paradise is Criterion's 5th Burnout game, and the first built from the ground up for this console generation. It's apparent from the first moment you get behind the wheel, not just from the bump up in graphics, but  also the complete lack of loading screens.

It's a major change, which requires an adjustment in how you attack the game. The game's much less arcade-like now, taking the fashionable sandbox approach instead. Events appear on your HUD and world map once you discover them at individual locations. Drive up to the traffic lights, pull a doughnut to activate that junction's event and away you go. These range from the standard races and classic Road Rages to the new Marked Man, a point-to-point chase where the rest of the field are out to shut you down before the finish line.

No event has a set course, you're given an end point and it's up to you to get there first anyway you can. This can be a problem in the early stages as you slowly learn the layout of Paradise City. A wrong turn can lose you a race, and there's no quick restart option, other than to drive back to the start line. Once you've know your way around this becomes less of a problem, as there are also plenty of handy shortcuts. This has its own downside though, as it further breaks up the pack. One of Burnout's hallmarks is paint-scrapingly close races and frequent takedowns, which are much prevalent here.

The other noteable feature has always been the Crash Junction, a welcome change of pace which still kept the carnage levels up. This was almost a puzzle mini-game in previous games, with a set junction, vehicle and target score. In Paradise this has become Showtime mode, where you can flip your car out at any time to rack up a score. These wrecks can be extended almost indefintely, but with no set target score it feels a little pointless.

None of this is enough to spoil what is still one of the best racing franchises around, though. If you fail one event there are always plenty of other events (or cars) to try, and no other game gives the same feeling of sheer speed. Online races are smooth and easy to access in-real time fron the d-pad. As ever Burnout is deeper than it appears and rewards even after weeks of play.

Other reviews for Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360)

    Welcome to Paradise City 0

    Paradise City is filled with things to do.Burnout Paradise takes a huge leap in innovation from the previous Burnout titles. As a gamer who isn't incredibly interested in racing games (besides the occasional Mario Kart), I was naturally skeptical about Burnout Paradise. But, after seeing it for $20 as a Platinum Hits title at GameStop, I decided to buy it. I do not regret that decision.Burnout Paradise is a unique racing game. After selecting a car and fixing it up, you are free to go wherever y...

    19 out of 20 found this review helpful.

    All the violence of car wrecks with none of the people 0

        The Burnout series is the only set of racing games that I've ever really been able to stomach, and that is for a few reasons.  One being the fact that the game is as much (if not more) about wrecking stuff and causing destruction as it is about racing, and the other main reason is that it doesn't do that crap about making it feel more like the "real world" by making you manage money and repair and buy your own cars.  This game not only doesn't punish you for bustin' up your own set of wheels...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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