I’ve been a big fan of the Burnout series of racing/crashing games since the original was released. I have favorites and fond memories of these games. I don’t really have a favorite – each has its redeeming qualities, though Paradise almost my favorite of all.
In fall of 2007 I put down a reserve for Burnout Paradise at GameStop. Later in the year (or perhaps it was in early spring of the next year) I downloaded and played the Burnout Paradise demo via XBox Live. A few of my friends tried it out, too.
We were unimpressed. Ultimately, I cancelled the reserve on Burnout Paradise and used the money for a reserve on Mario Kart Wii.
At this point I wish to stress the following to all Burnout fans who have not given Paradise a chance: Purchase the complete game. It’s very good and the open world offers a lot of replay value.
I think the problem with the original game demo was that it represented only a small corner of the open world, which did not well represent the game overall. Playing in a restricted zone prevents players from getting a true feeling for the city and what it’s like flying through intersections and hitting jumps after screaming through on-coming traffic.
I also think the lack of Road Rage was another reason the demo failed, in my opinion. Granted, there wasn’t room in the area included in the demo for a proper Road Rage event, but it made me wonder if Road Rage had somehow been changed in a way that I would not enjoy.
The only thing I truly miss (as do many others) is the crash mode. The only mode similar is called Showtime, which basically has your car bouncing up and down streets into traffic. It’s fun but it’s not crash mode.
I have no doubt it was probably difficult to add crash mode into an open world but perhaps they could have built an amusement-park like island that contained various crash intersections triggered by the tap of a single button or by driving over some kind of marker on the road?
Burnout Paradise offers almost everything previous Burnout games have. In many cases older game modes such as Pursuit can be played on-the-fly simply by chasing another player on-line or, in this case, activating a Marked Man game in Freeburn.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of the open world is the ability it provides for players to crash into whatever they choose without time limits or barriers that prevent back tracking on a route. My fond memories of Burnout 2 include crashing into various obstructions at high speed (signs, fences, houses, hills) to make my car fly as high and far as possible. With a friend I used to spend several hours executing these “stunts” over and over again. But in Burnout 2 we couldn’t leave the main road and the barriers that appeared behind us would eventually force us across the finish line.
If you’re still thinking about Burnout Paradise I highly recommend you purchase it. In fact, now is a better time to buy. The average price has dropped to around $25-$30 and several updates (that include new content) have been released and future updates including a new island have been confirmed for the near future.