You can check out the Salient website here for the Burnout Paradise review, click on the printed version for a closeup, or read it below…
Genre: Arcade Racer
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: EA Games
Burnout Paradise flat spins the Burnout franchise in an entirely new direction, creating a huge open world named Paradise City. Paradise City is a fictional American location consisting of mountain ranges, a beach and a harbour town. As soon as you start up the game, Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses blares from your speakers, you’re thrown into a junk yard, and you are free to chose a car, and roam the city. Criterion Games promised an open world to explore at your leisure, and that’s exactly what they delivered.
There are no boundaries or set paths, the beauty of this game is that you clear your own route through the streets to the finish. At each intersection marked by traffic lights, there is one of five different events on offer. Races involve you competing against the AI to a set landmark. Stunt Run has you performing outrageous stunts like a madman before your time runs out. The classic Road Rage mode is back, from previous titles with the aim to score the most takedowns (crashing into an opponent car and obliterating them from existence). Marked Man is a game of cat and mouse as you try to escape from your pursuers.
Showtime mode is the evolution of Crash mode. Crash mode was a feature in the previous Burnout games where you picked an intersection, and drove your way into traffic, trying to crash into as many vehicles as possible. In Paradise you can enter into Showtime mode at any time, which has you flipping over endlessly — steering your wreck left and right as you bounce along the streets, smashing into traffic to rack up the points.
The Online component of Burnout Paradise is absolutely seamless between offline and online. One moment you’re driving on your own, and the next racing or competing for challenges among your friends or other gamers. The Freeburn challenges are so different to what Burnout has been before and work perfectly with the open world of Paradise City. Some involve racking up jump distance, drift meters or performing a jump in a specific location like the airfield or the mines. Headset support is an added edition with players usually helping each other out when someone needs a hand.
I don’t own a Live Vision camera for the 360 (PlayStation Eye for the PS3), but every time you score a takedown, their camera snaps a picture and adds it to your collection, which is rather neat. Of course my collection is mostly made up of people with their middle finger outstretched!
If you loved the original Burnout series there is a good chance you will love this game too. If you haven’t played a Burnout game before, Burnout Paradise is the perfect open world racer. There is just so much to do in this game, and you can do it your way!