Not your father's Burnout
Criterion decided to go in a different direction for Paradise. Instead of a grinding progression of event after event, you are dropped into a city. Paradise
City. Every junction is a new event, which you start by parking up and spinning your wheels, and they end at one of eight places, at each compass point. Explore the city, get to know the shortcuts, get to know the dodgy corners. Take every event as it comes. How to progress is entirely up to you. Fail an event? Start a new one that's around where you failed, or trek back if you want.
But I liked Revenge! They've changed too much!
Well then, no-one's stopping you playing Revenge. Some of the major features that you might miss are the lack of a Crash Mode and the lack of local multiplayer. But this is an entirely different game, and works as a whole very well. The open world setting also means that grand prix lap races have been axed, as well. Traffic Checking now works much better - instead of firing cars all over the road like a pinball machine, it'll now depend on your class of car a lot more. You can still send them careening in a 4X4 if you want
What you won't
miss is Stryker, the obnoxious DJ wanker.
No local multi? I had so much fun with my friends in Crash Mode!
You now have DJ Atomika, fresh from Radio BIG and slightly less obnoxious and wanky.
It does suck a little. But trust me, once you get stuck in, it won't matter at all. The philosophy behind Burnout Paradise was that you should never see a menu if at all possible, and never
be removed from the gameplay. What little menus are required you can pull up with the d-pad, and you can hop straight into online without a hitch. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Unfortunately the nature of the open world means that it would be a massive drain on the system to have local multiplayer, and would mean that the locked 60 frames-per-second that is necessary for such a twitch-based game would have to be compromised. Crash Mode as it was in previous Burnouts doesn't fit this open-world, do anywhere setting. By its nature, it's very constrained.
There is a replacement for both of these, though - Showtime, and a very robust set of online features.
What else is new?
There's a handbrake. Miss a turn in a vast city and you're suddenly lost. Hit the brake and scream round and you're suddenly back on track. Or if you want, just find another shortcut to the finish line. Or quit out of the event and find some parked cars, and Power Park
into the space. Up to you.
As well as Race and Road Rage, there are a few new events.
is a race from a junction to a finish point, and is kind of a mix between Road Rage and Race. You don't need to get there first, but you do need to get there - as unmarked black cars are all trying to ram you off the road. Get taken out too much and you fail. Survive to win.
is best described as Tony Hawk in a car. It sounds awful, but the only thing that really affects this is the combo mechanic. After doing any type of stunt - a jump, a flat spin, a barrel roll, whatever - you'll get a multiplier and some points. Drifts and boosts will gain you points. Almost everything will gain you points. And you'll also get a 'timer pie' at the top of the screen. This gives you five seconds in which to do another stunt. Fail to do so and you lose your combo. Do so, and refill your timer pie and keep your combo going! Fail to get the requisite amount of points within the time limit and you fail. Fail
is the reimagining of Crash Mode for an open world that I mentioned earlier. Hit R1 and L1 together (or RB and LB) and you'll launch into the air, bouncing your car along the street. A dollar damage amount for hitting other cars and billboards, and multipliers for buses, as well as boost for multiples of 5 crashes. Run out of boost, show's over, and your total is calculated.
exist for every road in the game. They all have names and they can all be owned in two ways - a Showtime score beginning on that road, or the fastest time set on that road (a Time Road Rule). The game will automatically compare your scores to those of your friends and let you know if one of them beats your score. Beat a friend's score online in the same match, and you get to send a Mugshot
to them, mocking them.
can be taken if you have an Xbox Live Vision Camera or a PS3-compatible USB camera (like the Playstation Eye). Get taken down by someone online? You've got three seconds to give them the finger before it takes a snapshot of you and it pops up on their screen. Great little feature and an opportunity to try on lots of pretty hats.
is new to Burnout. It sounds like what it is. Just open up your 'Easy Drive' menu, which pops up in the corner of your screen while you're driving around, and select 'Online Freeburn'. Bam.
You're now in an online game with some other people.
Yes, it's that seamless
You are driving around the same city, with the same level of detail, in the same place, with virtually no lag and no frame drops. Except you now have seven other people somewhere else in the city. It's very impressive.
Now you're in Freeburn, try out some Freeburn challenges. There are fifty two-player challenges, fifty three-player ones, and so on, up to eight-player, for a total of 250 challenges. These range from 'Everyone get 200 yards of drift' to 'Jump over each other while barrel rolling' to 'Crash into each other while airborne over the broken bridge'. And it's a ton of fun.
For completionists, there's a ton of collectibles
. 500 gates, 200 billboards, and fifty jumps to find. Stuck on any of 'em? On PS3? Lob your save on a USB stick and use the Save Game Analyser
, which will tell you where all the ones you need are located. And if that's not enough, there's eighty or so cars to collect - you'll see them boosting around the city like a maniac, and if you take 'em down, they're yours.
Oh wait, there's more - each car has a different boost type
. Aggression cars tend to be heavier and gain more boost from Oncoming and Traffic Checking (and can earn more boost in total), Stunt cars get more from... stunts, and Speed cars earn Boost like Stunt cars but can only use it once the boost is maxed out. Use all of a Speed car's boost in one go and you'll get a Burnout, and it'll refill part-way - all the way if you've done enough boost earning while losing the first lot. Keep doing this to get a Boost Chain and boost constantly.
I want to get involved, and get up-to-the-minute info!
Then check out the official website
. They also have a podcast that they release every week or so, called Crash FM. Here's the RSS feed
Criterion also runs contests for game content - some of the new stuff coming soon is community-created.
Didn't this come out already?
Paradise has been out for a good while. You might already have completed it to 100% - or 101%
. But on July 10th, the 'Cagney' update was released through PSN, and Xbox Live gets it on August 4th, which adds more stuff
. On September 18th, the Davis Bike Pack will be launched. Which adds even more.
I'm here to crash cars, not win Oscars!
No, no. Cagney is the codename for Criterion's first substantial batch of DLC (what they call 'Game-Changing Content,' or GCC), out on PS3 and 360 right now. This adds a bunch more functionality to the game that was not available at release - for free!
- Online Road Rage, Stunt Run, Marked Man
- 70 New Freeburn Challenges, including time limits and challenges with multiple goals
- At least two new vehicles (One very fast and heavy, but with no boost at all)
- At least five new paint jobs for your car, including two created by members of the community
- Rebalancing of ranked races
- Custom Soundtrack support on PS3
- Bug fixes and improvements to the UI and certain behaviour balancing
- Always recording Time Road Rules
To get the update on PS3, simply pop the disc in while online. Your system will tell you there's an update available, and will download it. On 360, first go to Xbox Live Marketplace and download the Burnout Paradise Cagney Pack. Once it's completed, load up the game while online and it will prompt you for a Title Update. Once it's done you're good to go.
A full new single-player mode for motorcycles, with a male or female rider, including against-the-clock events and races.
A fully customisable day/night cycle that traffic adheres to - if it's night, there's a lot less of it, and so on. If you want you can sync it to your system clock.
Dynamic weather. Watch it on Dead Man's Edge on a rainy night.
70 Bike-specific Freeburn Challenges - bringing the total to 490.
Did I mention that it's free
Kotaku have the official Criterion trailer here
Eastwood (expected Autumn/Fall 2008):