Have you heard? It's Burnout Paradise

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Fistoh

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Edited By Fistoh

I've been playing Burnout Paradise Remastered, and somewhere along the line the act of tearing through those mostly empty streets dug up a cobweb covered tomb hidden in the recesses of my mind containing pure kernels of childhood gaming bliss. Feelings forgotten over more than a decade of "growing up," over college papers and coming to terms with a world which shrouds its intent behind doublespeak, half-truths and unspeakable secrets. My experience of growing up in post-9/11 America was growing up in a world where nothing was clear, a childhood defined by fear that later was replaced by distrust and skepticism. To be frank, it's exhausting.

Burnout isn't like that. Burnout is a game where you drive fast, crash into shit, spin donuts in a baseball stadium, but it's also a game where you sit with your stupid face one centimeter from a far-too-bright display gripping your controller so hard that it's a wonder it doesn't just snap in your sweaty hands. Burnout is the type of game that doesn't have character models driving the cars because it would make the crashes too dark. Burnout Paradise felt to me like a game that didn't give a fuck what you thought. You start it, fucken Slash starts grooving, DJ Atomica tells you what's up in Paradise City, and then you're going, and that song is still going, and that's bliss.

Looking at the moment to moment action of Burnout Paradise reinforces this sense of nonchalance and reverence in its own absurdity that makes and made it such a unique experience for me, as a child in 2008 and as whatever the hell I am now in 2020. It's a game that encourages you to push the edge of what you can do in this car without viscerally ripping yourself out of the action for a brief few moments as you watch your off-brand hot wheels turn into that one hot-wheels you dropped into the garbage disposal that one time, it's a game that rewards you with nitrous for doing cool shit. Cool shit like driving into oncoming traffic, like almost crashing into cars, like kind of crashing into cars, like side checking your opponent hard enough that they careen off the road into a bus conspicuously absent of pedestrians. It's fun, it's fast, it's the pure unfettered joy of being an idiot.

At the time the racing I knew was Gran Turismo. Austere car reverence peppered with easy-listening jazz and a vibe not entirely dissimilar to my dentist's office. That's not to say I didn't dislike Gran Turismo or simulation style racing, but many of the complexities of driving life-like cars were completely foreign to me, a child who didn't drive. Burnout has GN fucken R, it has Girlfriend, it has that Brand New song, that Killswitch Engage song, N.E.R.D. and Depeche Mode remixes, a wide variety of classical music--this game was absolutely insane. It felt like nothing I had experienced until that time, it was a game about the joy of racing games, not the breathless car showroom joy of putting your ears to mufflers and sniffing tailpipes or whatever car people do.

This is all to say, Burnout is engineered for fun, and the late 00s felt like a time where games were less concerned about being... fun. That isn't to say I dislike this period of gaming, but I transitioned pretty hard and fast into being terrified of multiplayer games to being stressed about my KDR in CoD 4 because I was bred to constantly compare myself to my peers. At times games were not fun. They were awful, being yelled at over Xbox Live and constantly feeling pressured to perform. Burnout was my way to relax. Half the time I wasn't doing events I was just aimlessly driving around Paradise city, exploring, trying to do sick shit in the airfield, not giving a damn about doing well in multiplayer because the whole server was just there to chill and have fun in one of the greatest motherfucking video games of all time, and a game I needed then and need now more than ever.

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msouza1991

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I am super curious to see how this game will run on Switch.

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xanadu

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...we can swear in forum titles again?

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hermes

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There is a purity to Burnout Paradise.

The feeling of a small child playing with his box of toy cars, going "brumm! brumm!" as he does physics defining stunts and headon collitions.

And I am perfectly ok with that...

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bigsocrates

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Burnout Paradise is a great game but...it's not the first Burnout game? It's kind of weird to hear it talked about as this total revolution in the way cars were presented in video games when it's part of an established series. It added the open world, which was cool, but it was definitely not the first open world racing game either. I remember really liking it but it seemed like the next logical step for Burnout, which was always a series about freedom and the ability to do whatever you want.

I guess it all depends on how old you were when the game hit.

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FacelessVixen

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As far a Burnout goes, I like Paradise, but I'm more of a 3 and Revenge guy. And to open it up to more racing games that came out around that time, Midnight Club LA is pretty good and is long overdue for a remaster and a PC version.

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Fistoh

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#6  Edited By Fistoh

@bigsocrates: Yeah it's certainly a time and place thing--and also that I was a bit young for the earlier Burnout games. Paradise was my exposure to the series and the first full game I just bought and downloaded online (I think I used my Dad's credit card and slid $30 under his bedroom door)

For those reasons it's such an important game for me personally, and playing it again made all those feelings come flooding out again.

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Fistoh

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@facelessvixen: My friend was super into Midnight Club LA and I would play it with him quite a bit, lots of fond memories of that game.

I should really go back to Burnout 3 and Revenge, I've still yet to play them.

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shorap

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@fistoh: hah, what was your dad getting up to that you had to slide that $30 under the door?

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rorie

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#9 rorie  Staff

@xanadu said:

...we can swear in forum titles again?

Not according to the community rules! I edited it. Sorry for the trouble.

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Onemanarmyy

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I do think it's a neat game, but i'm always a bit jealous of people that were really into the whole vibe of the game and describe it as this very joyous summer game, when i just never had that vibe reach me. I remember being dissapointed with the somewhat grimy, harsh graphics. It kinda felt like there was a heavy grain filter applied and the colors just wouldn't POP out. Like even the beach on this screenshot doesn't seem all that inviting to lay down at.

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FacelessVixen

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Oh shit. This game does support 21:9.

This game is great.

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Fistoh

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@rorie: Thanks Rorie, and sorry for the trouble!

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Fistoh

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@shorap: haha, honestly this probably happened at like 3am so probably asleep.

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cikame

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Also the PC version of the remaster is a bit crashy apparently, which kinda spoils it a bit.

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Fistoh

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@cikame:Just listened to that Bombcast too, I got it through Origin and I think Jeff was talking about the Steam version unless I missed something--haven't had any problems myself so hopefully it's just some initial woes because having access to a much bigger friends list on steam would make that multiplayer much better.