--- Burnout ---
Burnout 2: one of the best racing games around, especially good because of its focus on crashing. It's so much more fun to play than a "driving sim", because I can drive in real life all I want. But not like this--not 100mph through traffic. If I tried it, I'd crash and die. That's no fun--but doing it in a game is!
Burnout 2 isn't perfect; there's a lot of room for improvement. Now, I know what you're thinking--"They DID improve it. Hasn't this guy ever heard of Burnout 3?".
Sure I have. And its improvements are impressive--much better graphics, the ability to "fight" with the other cars, internet support, and Aftertouch--the ability to steer your car a little bit after you crash, in order to crash someone else. COOL!
Too bad they messed up what matters most--the crashes!
Let me show you what I'm talking about. Here's a crash from Burnout 2 (click any of the pictures for the video):
Now imagine how much cooler this crash would be in Burnout 3, with me right in the action, trying to steer my crashed car to make SURE the CPU cars go down with me. Maybe I could have got all of them, right? Well...wrong, unfortunately.
Here's a crash from Burnout 3 (click any picture for the video):
So there you have it. All those improvements, and then they just let the CPU cars become bulldozers and ruin it all.
Aside from that, they also ruined Crash Mode, our favorite. In Crash Mode, you don't race, you just line up with an intersection and try to cause as much damage as possible. In Burnout 3, they added Aftertouch to that mode, too. Great! A bit of steering means interactivity, no more crashing and then just waiting to see what happens.
But...they also added bonus icons. That's odd. It turns out that now, there's only one goal in Crash Mode: get the 2X or 4X multiplier icon. If you do, you win. If not, you lose. It hardly matters anymore how large of a crash you cause.
I hate to say it, but Burnout 3 is a letdown. If you haven't played Burnout, get #2. Or you can wait and hope (along with us) that Burnout Revenge, due this fall, fixes these problems. Cross your fingers!
Here we are years later, and the Burnout franchise is still going. Did Burnout Revenge fix those problems? No. No Burnout yet has surpassed #2 as a racer, nor has any subsequent Burnout brought back the great Crash Mode. But the latest game, Burnout Paradise, is a fun game in its own right. It's just a very different game; an open world game. That's quite a game-changer; races now depend on your knowledge of the game world and/or your ability to read a map while driving. And there is no "Crash Mode", although you can get into some impressive crashes while just driving around.
And that's what we've had fun doing with Burnout Paradise: crashing. The races and other events (like Stunt Events) are fun, but the real fun is just driving around, jumping and crashing. Here's a video of some of our random crashes:
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