Burnout Paradise Review
Burnout Paradise is the fifth game of the excellent Burnout racing series which, true to form, offers lots of crunchy crashes, flips, stunts and takedowns. Unlike the previous installments of the series, however, Paradise allows you to roam all around the huge Paradise City to find new events and hidden areas and so on, including drive-through gas stations to refill boost, and mechanics to fix your car instantly, even during an event. Players can also choose their own routes and shortcuts during races.
But, there’s trouble in Paradise (City). While these ideas sound great in theory, I found their execution poor in certain areas. For example, the city’s road system includes a bunch of roads that don’t go through, as well as loopbacks and roads which don’t have many turnoffs. Thus, unless you know every twist, turn and road like the back of your hand, you’re going to have some trouble with races. It was all too often that I started a race and proceeded in the right direction, and found that the road I was on looped back with no way to get back to where I needed to go for quite some time. I very often avoided race events. Another problem, which I also noticed in Burnout Revenge (#4 in the series), is that there are a number of areas where walls jut out at sharp angles on the side of the route, particularly in the off-road situations. This does not bode well for a player, boosting along the edge of an industrial side route at high speed. This was never a problem in Burnout 3: Takedown.
There are a number of nice addons to keep your interest, like a giant variety of challenges for you to try online with other players, like time trials across the city and stunts. This is one of the funnest parts of playing online – boosting at full speed to a ramp and proceeding to execute a full double barrel roll through a section of pipe is a rush. Players can also send “mugshots” to other players during multiplayer games, if they have the XBox 360 camera attachment. The graphics are very well done, and the old standards from the previous games, Road Rage in particular, are always a hit. Overall, I found the game to be pretty fun in certain areas, but not enormously well done in others.