Features (4 out of 5)
As far as car racing games go, Burnout: Paradise is a great one. However, it is such a far cry from the previous Burnout games that some people might be turned off by its vastness. I bought this game expecting to have another collection of demolition derby type racing events, but instead it plays more like one of the Need for Speed titles from the past few years. Although this is still a very good game, I was a bit put off by its lack of the simplicity that made the previous Burnout titles so much fun.
This is more than just a car racing game. Instead of various tracks to choose from, the game takes place inside a large city where you are free to drive around wherever you want. In order to complete in an event, you just pull up to a stop light and hit a button. There are all kinds of ways you can compete in the game, and they range from basic races to time trials and performing various stunts. Although it takes a little while to really learn the system and the city, it eventually turns into a very in-depth racing game packed full of options. Winning races and events will let you unlock better cars and more.
Graphics and Sound (5 out of 5)
The graphics in Burnout: Paradise are awesome. I’d dare say they are the best I’ve seen in a racing game. Part of what makes it all so great is the realism employed in the whole map. You drive through all kinds of streets and tunnels that are laid out just like the real thing, yet there are still ample opportunities for stunts and tricks. The cars are all very well detailed and downright cool in appearance, and the whole package just shines. The sound is equally impressive with all the effects from racing and crashing cars, though I tend to ignore the music.
Controls (5 out of 5)
I found the controls for this game to be very responsive and fluid. One thing that always aggravated me about some supposedly super-realistic driving games is the how frequently you’d spin out of control, like in the Gran Turismo games. In this game, the cars tend to hold the road better and it makes for a much more satisfying game. I hate it when I have to master a game just to be competitive with the AI, and this game has the right balance of challenge and difficulty to make it fun from the start.
Online and Multiplayer Options (4 out of 5)
Online multiplayer action is the bomb for this game, and it seamlessly integrates online and offline play. I was in the middle of one race and didn’t even know I was competing online until some guy started talking into his microphone. Just know that, as the warnings clearly says, the game rating my change in online play. That’s a nice way of saying you’ll probably hear a lot of profanity online.
You can also go to the PlayStation Store and buy add-ons for this game. There are currently six options available, and they all involve adding or unlocking more vehicles to the game. These downloadables range in price from $3-10, but may help give you an edge when playing against others.
Overall (5 out of 5)
In the end, Burnout: Paradise is a great racing game with so much to do that it’ll keep you busy for hours on end. I still prefer the simplicity of the older Burnout titles, but this is one game that will remain in my collection for quite a while.