natehamill's Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360) review

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Great game of early 08

The fifth and newest entry in the arcade racer Burnout series by Criterion Games has arrived. While the same chaotic and over the top crashes still remain the formula for this game has totally changed. The largest change would have to be the new open world game- play (similar to any of the Midnight Club games) versus the previous games in the series with the planned events. The entire city is open to do what you want when you want to, such as finding hidden jumps, finding nice C-curves to drift around, and finding billboards to smash through. Also within this open city are challenges called “Events” each of these events will be found at a stoplight and is activated by holding down both triggers. The reason to accomplish these events is to upgrade your license, by upgrading your license you will receive any number of the 75 cars to unlock. These events are Marked Man which is essentially to try to get to point B before the army of cars behind you take you down into a pillar, wall, other vehicle etc., Stuntrun which is you are given a preset time limit and you must achieve that score target by boosting, drifting, hitting jumps and a variety of other things, Race, pretty self explanatory got from point A to point B before your challengers do, Road Rage, slam your fellow competitors in walls and pillars to achieve the take down target in a certain amount of time.

One thing you will notice about the map is that it stayed true to the previous entries in the series. For example most of the parts of the city levels are very reminiscent of the boards in the previous Burnout games. Many of the faults that lie in the new game formula is the lack of the ability to restart an event while in progress, so this means if you are racing from one side of the map to the other and you are losing you cant simply restart the race from a pause menu you have to finish the race and trek your way over to do the same event. Another problem is that your mini map down in the corner is just absolutely awful you will constantly find yourself losing your path to finish an event or just getting to an event. Another thing that seems to be missing from previous games is the Crash Mode this has been replaced by Showtime. Which is basically you press both bumpers at anytime during game play and your car will just go hurdling through the air at other cars that you control, while it may be entertaining it lacks the subtle strategy of the old Crash mode.

The last negative I have about the single player is the fact that the in game radio DJ could be one of the most annoying characters in a video game ever and that lack of an ability to shut him up is a very annoying omission.
Now lets get on to the major pluses I have about this game and that would be the way it looks, sounds, and handles. The graphics in this game are absolutely fantastic the cars are very life like and the best I have seen in an arcade racer. Also the crash physics in this game are amazing the way your car crumbles from hitting a wall is just breathtaking. The sounds of the cars also remain top notch and don’t ever sound over powerful or weak. The developers kept up with the steering system from previous games although it may not be the most realistic doing turns with pin point accuracy going 125 is really entertaining. Now the multiplayer is a great feature in Burnout Paradise. You can tear up with up to 7 friends over Xbox Live. Besides just the normal events there are these multiplayer challenges that become quite addicting. These range from having you meet on one certain point on the map, to having one other person barrel roll over the other. While burnout paradise may suffer from some flaws its pros definitely makes for it. Between top notch graphics, a great multiplayer system, awesome sounds, and entertaining steering these things make it one of the best games so far in 2008.

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