When Criterion dropped the Burnout Paradise demo on Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network late last year, fans clamored for their first chance to try out the game's open world. It wasn't long before some were a bit disappointed, with whiners crawling out of the woodwork to complain about everything you could possibly think of.
Criterion's Alex Ward was outspoken, reminding everyone that it was "just a demo," and that they felt this was the best Burnout game yet. As he put it, "Burnout has always and will always be about evolution. We're quite open about this, and we've said it many times and in many interviews so it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone really."
Were the naysayers right, or did this "evolution" and willingness to make drastic changes pay off? And is "The Crash Mode" really the "suXXors"? Hit the jump for the better-late-than-never Destructoid review of Burnout Paradise.
Burnout Paradise (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
If you’re looking for a typical arcade racer in Burnout Paradise you’ve found it. Virtually everything you’ve come to expect from previous games in the series is here – impossibly fast cars, cocaine-fueled automobile aggression, and the resulting mangled steel. The heart of Paradise remains the same as other racers; your goal is to go as fast as humanly possible from one point to another. But Criterion has stripped away the typical in-game menus and progression we’ve come so accustomed to; gone are the race selection screens, and the "win the gold to take it all" mentality of other games.
The subtlety of this is a double edged sword – on one hand, it’s nice that this navigation isn’t too intrusive; the game is offering a suggestion (which is not always necessarily the fastest route), but it’s not really making any obvious, in-your-face demands. On the flipside, the subtlety of the navigation is nerve wracking, particularly when you’re quickly approaching turns at speeds upwards of 300 miles-per-hour. I can’t even begin to explain the aggravation caused by accidentally slamming into traffic (or even a wall) as I tried to keep my eye on the mini-map, the suggested navigation, and the road … all at the same time.
[Note: While I initially spent the bulk of my time playing Burnout Paradise on the PlayStation 3, my desire for achievements led me to pick up an Xbox 360 controller before long. Visually, the PS3 version looks a bit cleaner, but Paradise still looks great on the 360, and the differences are really negligible.
Because one of the joys of Paradise is exploration and discovery, there are many things that are tied to in-game "achievements" which can be earned in both versions. There is something rewarding about knowing that the achievements are going towards an already established score, and for that reason alone I'd say the 360 version has a slight advantage.
With both games, you're getting the same gameplay experience, and you can't go wrong either way.]
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