Late to the Party: EA's Burnout Paradise

Late to the Party: Burnout Paradise

Another new Games column? That’s right, it is! We all love reviews- they give you an early sense of a game, comic, movie, or tv show, and let you know if it’s worth your time and hard earned money. Most reviews are for products that have just come out. What if you missed it, though? What if, like everyone sometimes, you were late to the party? This column is for you. For the gamer that’s still interested in that game from a year ago, you just never got around to picking it up. Maybe it’s in the bargain bin now, or a “greatest hit” that can be found at a reduced price. Maybe you can get it on the cheap used at your local Gamestop.

One such game is Burnout Paradise for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The bulk of the game follows the Burnout formula. There are Road Rage missions where the object is to run other cars off the road, races (where of course doing the same is encouraged), and a version of the Crash Junction. Quite a bit of new was slammed into this one, as well, with a new race mode that has several cars out to get you and only you before you reach your destination, and a wide open map. This time, you don’t just select an event and teleport to the starting line. Instead, you drive to a stoplight, and activate the event available at that marker. The whole city is open immediately, as well, but new events are added as you progress.

The Crash game mode has been replaced by an activate-any-time crash function. You just use a button combination to start the crash (hint: have lots of boost before you start), and bounce around, hitting everything you can on the way. This allows you to string along literally miles of mayhem, leaving crashes and explosions in your wake- very satisfying (and often less frustrating than the old way).

The re-fueling stations for Boost and repair shops for your car are a mixed blessing- there are times when you absolutely NEED to get to one, and they never seem to be nearby. You can recharge your boost the tradition way, as well, by causing crashes or driving a little more dangerously, but the mission-extending powers of the repair shops are the crucial and sometimes only way to successfully complete a mission.

Overall, if you’ve ever played a Burnout this is likely to satisfy, and be an easy to pick up and play title. If you like racers in general, and want more of an arcade (and GREAT multiplayer) style racing game, this is the best current option out there. FREE downloadable content expands the game, adding more vehicles including motorcycles and soon planes(!) to the mix, extending the life and value of the game even further. Really, this is a great addition to anyone’s library, and you’re likely to have fun with Burnout Paradise, even if you’re late to the party.

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