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    Burnout Paradise (PS3)


    Male Number of posts : 450
    Age : 25
    Location : Norwich, England
    Registration date : 2008-04-09

    Burnout Paradise (PS3)

    Post by DeTekT on Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:48 pm

    The Good

    • Racing and wrecking is as thrilling as ever

    • Open-world design creates a great sense of destructive freedom

    • Showtime mode is a hoot

    • Online functionality is seamless and addicting

    • Superb visuals.

    The Bad

    • Could have used more variety in race and event types

    • Soundtrack and DJ dialogue are awful

    • Early in the game, you'll probably be a little confused and overwhelmed by the whole thing.

    The star of the show is Paradise City itself. Coming complete with
    the titular Guns 'N Roses song (because Burnout: Night Train or
    Burnout: Mr. Brownstone probably wouldn't have been as catchy),
    Paradise City is, at first blush, a pretty standard racing game city,
    complete with all the usual landmark locations and boring background
    traffic. But it quickly becomes evident that Paradise City is meant for
    a greater purpose than just being a simple city to race around in. In
    effect, the city is a blank slate, a pristine canvas on which to paint
    your own obliterative masterpiece. The simple act of driving aimlessly
    around the city constantly presents new roads, shortcuts, and
    destructible objects for you to experience and, often, destroy. Nearly
    every intersection of road hosts a new event of some kind, and even
    after you've worked your way through the game's progression of driver's
    licenses (the only specifically linear portion of the game design),
    you'll still be finding new things you didn't even know were there.
    That might sound a little overwhelming, especially if you've
    grown accustomed to the rather specific brand of racing that Burnout
    has always subscribed to. And at first, it most definitely is. Though
    the in-game tutorials do a decent job of explaining the event types and
    basic mechanics, you're initially left to your own devices and only
    have the small minimap to guide you through the many twists and turns
    of the city as you race--unless of course you want to hit the pause
    button regularly and use the larger map, which is a bit annoying to do.
    Those well accustomed to Burnout's previously track-based racing model
    might find having to explore to find the best route to the finish a bit
    frightening, but the good news is that it doesn't take a great deal of
    time to get a feel for the city's various ins and outs. Until that time, you will experience some trial and error (with a
    heavier focus on the error), but the funny thing about that is that
    while you may initially find yourself failing races, it's not often you
    have to just go back and keep doing that same race again and again. The
    focus of Burnout Paradise isn't on doing specific events so much as it
    is about doing whatever you feel like. If you fail a race, odds are
    that there are roughly a dozen starting points for other races near the
    finish line of that previous race, and unless you've done them all, you
    can just hit up any one of them to get another notch on your license.
    Toward the very end of the game, when you've bested the bulk of the
    game's events, you may find yourself lamenting the lack of a quick
    return feature to get back to a race's starting point. But for the
    majority of the game, it's not really an issue.
    It's a strange design to get used to initially, but once you
    do, it becomes incredibly rewarding. You can spend hours at a time just
    dawdling around the city and still make forward progress within the
    game. Don't feel like racing? Just go break through shortcut gates or
    bust up billboards, which are tallied up as you break each one. Or,
    track down one of the cars you unlocked on the road and take it down to
    add it to your collection. Or, you can opt to pick a road and attempt
    to "own" it. There are two types of events associated with each of the
    major roads in the game. Time trials are as you'd expect--you simply
    start at one end of the road and start driving down it, attempting to
    get the fastest time you can. Secondly, there are showtime events,
    which are the game's effective replacement for the crash mode found in
    previous installments of the series. Whereas crash mode was sort of
    like a puzzle mode in the way it made you create elaborate car crashes
    out of painstakingly built traffic designs, showtime is the polar
    opposite. These are elaborate car crashes born from little more than a
    bunch of nearby cars and your ability to control what is, in essence, a
    sentient car wreck. In a word, showtime mode is absurd. The goal is similar to crash mode
    in that you're aiming to create as much damage as humanly possible,
    with various types of cars offering up different cash bonuses that feed
    into your final score. All the while, you can move your busted husk of
    a car around by pressing the boost button, which causes you to bounce
    around like a rubber ball. Again, totally absurd, but also totally
    awesome. It might lack the puzzling nature of the crash mode, but for
    pure visceral thrill and laughs-a-minute wrecking, showtime mode
    delivers in spades. It would have been nice if Criterion had found a
    way to have both the crash mode and showtime mode coexisting, as
    neither would make a particularly good replacement for the other; but
    on its own, showtime is a great deal of fun.

    A number of other elements from previous Burnouts are also missing
    or altered here. The lack of aftertouch (the mechanic that let you
    steer your wreck into opponents during races and take them out) is a
    real bummer, as it makes wrecking during races a pure nuisance rather
    than an opportunity for more destructive glee. Traffic checking is
    absent as well, though it isn't sorely missed. The racing artificial
    intelligence has seen a bit of tweaking here and there. You still get
    the sense of rubber banding that the series has always employed, but as
    the game goes on and the racers get tougher, your opponents become more
    aggressive and don't just tank right before the finish line. By and
    large, the game is actually a bit easier than the last couple of
    Burnout games, but the challenge toward the later stages of the game
    definitely ramps up significantly.
    The racing itself is as exciting as it's ever been. Standard
    races are intense and thrilling, road rage events are full of wreckful
    delights, stunt runs have you jumping, barrel rolling, and flat
    spinning all over the place, marked man races are tense fights to the
    finish line as multiple enemy cars bop you around trying to wreck you
    beyond repair, and burning routes have you taking on challenging time
    trials to earn new cars. If there's any flaw to be noted with the core
    game design, it's maybe that there aren't enough event types. There's
    no shortage of events and random stuff to do, but running the same
    event types, and even some of the same specific events again and again,
    can grow a bit tiresome after a while. After each license upgrade, all
    the events you've raced (except for burning routes) reset, so you end
    up doing a lot of them over and over again. This wouldn't even be an
    issue if there were a greater variety of event types, but as it stands,
    there are only those few, and you may wear out on doing races and
    marked man events again and again.
    If you do get a bit bored with the single-player action, you
    can always hop online and race against others. Doing so is quite
    seamless. Simply press right on the D pad to bring up the online menu,
    and then decide if you want to join up with other existing games or
    create your own. Online in Burnout Paradise is quite a different animal
    than that of previous Burnout games. You don't just hop into a lobby
    menu and pick races to engage in. Instead, the city itself is the
    lobby, and while the host decides what he wants to unleash upon you,
    you can just mess around and do whatever you like. When hosting, you have the ability to both race and take on challenges.
    Races are of your own design, with you setting the beginning and ending
    points anywhere in the city. Challenges are set, and there are
    literally hundreds of them. The trick is that there are a limited
    number of challenges depending on how many players are in a group.
    There are 50 challenges for two players, 50 for eight players, and 50
    for each denomination in between. This means that once you've exhausted
    all the challenges for two players, you'll have to get three, then
    four, and so on and so on if you want to complete them all. That might
    prove unwieldy for those who don't have a lot of friends online to play
    the game, but at least the challenges themselves are creative and fun.
    The challenges range from competitive bouts of drifting, crashing, and
    jumping to cooperative versions of all the same stuff. It's an
    inventive mode to be sure and an exceptionally fun one when you've got
    a good crew of friends to play with.
    It also bears mention that while online, you can use the
    PlayStation Eye or Xbox Live Vision Camera to take shots of your rivals
    online. When you take down a rival player that has a camera hooked up,
    the cam will take a mugshot of that player's reaction. It's kind of a
    neat feature that, unfortunately, will probably be abused by all manner
    of nudity over the course of the game's lifespan, but that's inevitably
    what happens when you let people do things with cameras.
    Paradise's visual presentation is precisely the kind of
    top-notch work you've come to expect from the series. Once again, the
    game sets a standard for how a sense of speed should feel in an arcade
    racer. This game is lightning fast, and the frame rate in both the Xbox
    360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game holds up regardless of the
    chaos onscreen. The car crashes in this game are absolutely fantastic,
    thanks to some dynamite particle effects and camera work in each and
    every mangled wreck. Cars deform to wonderful effect, scrunching up
    like an accordion in head-on collisions and bending and twisting nicely
    in other situations. The only thing that continues to look a little
    weird is the total lack of drivers in all the cars around the city.
    It's understandable that Criterion would leave out mangled corpses or
    what have you for the sake of an E 10+ rating, but it still looks
    strange seeing all these disembodied cars driving around like a society
    of Turbo Teens. It's also worth noting that Burnout Paradise is a game that commands an
    HD display, and not just for full graphical effect. On the
    standard-definition TVs we tried, we found the minimap to be borderline
    useless unless we squinted like crazy. On an HD set, the minimap is
    detailed and blown up enough to rely on, but when playing in standard
    definition, it simply became a hassle to use.

    If you're looking for differences between the two versions, you
    won't find many. The PlayStation 3 version looks maybe a hair crisper
    than the 360 version, but that's about the only visual difference to
    speak of. On the flipside, the 360 version has a slight edge in that
    you can use custom soundtracks to drown out the miserable collection of
    songs EA has amassed for the game. There are a few highlights that fit
    well with the theme of high-energy racing, but the vast bulk of the
    music consists of irritating modern rock that's about as ill-fitting as
    humanly possible. Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" might, itself, be
    a car wreck of a song, but it doesn't fit the vibe of the game at all.
    Add in the collection of original Criterion-produced guitar rock tracks
    from previous Burnout games that sound like they were culled from Joe
    Satriani's nightmares, and you have a pretty unpleasant musical
    experience all around. The annoying radio DJ who pops up now and again
    to give hints, mock you obnoxiously when you fail, and make one glib
    comment or another about something going on in the city doesn't help
    matters. He's merely an annoyance that probably wouldn't even be worth
    mentioning save for the fact that you cannot turn him off. At least the
    sound effects are still top-flight in every regard. Crashes thunder,
    engines roar, and tires screech with terrific clarity all throughout
    the game. If you've got a surround-speaker setup, it's all the better.
    It's entirely possible that some people might not enjoy Burnout
    Paradise's significant shift in direction, specifically those who
    simply wanted another incremental Burnout sequel. Indeed, Paradise is
    anything but incremental, and while it might prove a polarizing
    experience for some, most will likely appreciate what a radical
    overhaul this game really is. The open-world design isn't just a lazy
    gimmick--it's a wonderfully executed concept that doesn't rob the game
    of the series' most beloved tenet: the act of driving fast and wrecking
    hard. If you're one of the people who tried the Burnout Paradise demo
    and formed a rather negative opinion of the game, you're not alone. But
    if you have any affection for the series, you really owe it to yourself
    to give the full game a look. The demo did little to truly represent
    what a superbly fun racer this game can be.

      Current date/time is Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:56 pm