One decade after the last Burnout instalment, we’re getting another play on another console generation in Burnout Paradise Remastered. Yay! Unfortunately, it’s only a remaster, but we’ll take whatever we can get from Criterion Games and their Burnout series.
As lifelong fans we’ve put countless hours into Burnout 2, Takedown, Revenge, and the anthology epic Burnout Legends on the PSP. All this time spent perfecting the perfect drift angle, just the right spot to take down an opponent, where to aim for the biggest scores in Crash.
When Burnout Paradise was released in 2008, we had to admit we were disappointed. The open world and choosing your own route seemed new and exciting. Bombing it round a city in our favourite cars just for the fun of it sounds like the perfect vision for a driving game. Playing just for fun. But in reality, that lack of structured challenge and reward almost makes the game pointless.
All that training we had done over the years never paid off with Burnout Paradise. It ended up being both useless and too useful all at the same time. On one hand, the physics and handling of the cars has changed since the second gen days so we were hitting every barrier on the corners. On the other, the difficulty seems to be geared towards complete noobs. Only two takedowns required for the first road rage race? We got 18!
Having to choose your route means you lose the exceptional technical tracks from the originals that needed all your drifting prowess to beat. We’re not level designers, guys! Now you just nail it down this straight road then turn right at the end.
A few hours in you’ll get the hang of how this game is supposed to work and be creating your own fun. Finding shortcuts and crash jumps. We spent a lot of time at the airfield pulling off some sweet tricks. Having everything available to you from the beginning is a little bit daunting. Your imagination or lack of it ultimately limit you.
Burnout Paradise Remastered features some beautiful visuals and will make you question your own eyes when compared to the original. The graphics are a lot more vibrant and give the world a lot more character, especially the Big Surf DLC island full of its white beaches, turquoise waters, and bright orange mega jumps. The new 4K colours also make the pearlescent paint jobs on the cars look stunning. You really stand out when you’re flying through the air or smashing your car to bits, both in slow motion and both done again and again and again. That being said, this is still obviously a driving game and not a driving sim with graphics paling in comparison to the likes of Gran Turismo Sport.
As well as the updated graphics, the other significant addition is every DLC ever made for Burnout Paradise. That’s over 100 cars, a new section added to the map, and new online game modes. This is more than necessary to stretch the game out and give the player more things to do but removes what little story and progression the game did have by giving you extremely powerful cars right at the beginning of the game.
We love the Burnout series but need our hand holding a little bit more than Burnout Paradise Remastered is willing to do. We tried the play with others online but failed to find more than one or two players in any game mode which is insanely poor a mere two weeks after launch. We had a lot of fun in Paradise City, but when the fun runs out, it’s up to you to find ever more chaotic ways to mess about in cars.
If you love raging up and down the streets at 1,000,000mph for nothing more than the thrill of it, this is the game for you. If you want a higher sense of achievement, maybe not. If you’re an achievement hunter, definitely. We nailed 35 trophies in 3-4 hours!
Aspiring writer Adam, whose screenplay will 100%, definitely, for sure, go into production any day now, brings you cutting edge reviews and content relating to all things TV, movies and video games. He may have the hand-eye coordination of a drunk OAP, and the gaming aptitude of your Great Aunt Bessie, but that hasn’t stopped this Jack of all trades, master of F-all before, and he’ll be damned if it stops him now.