Burnout Revenge

By on March 10, 2006

The Burnout series comes crashing into next-gen consoles with Burnout Revenge. Will this game take revenge on other race titles like NFS Carbon, released earlier, or will it just burnout against the competition?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Burnout is a long series of racing games that you should know about, unless you have been living under a rock all this time. The game is simple; you try to win the race by any means possible. That includes, preferably, crashing other cars, using all sorts of shortcuts, breaking anything breakable in your path, and use the most ridiculous amount of nitrous anyone can see.

The game has an unbelievable bevy of beautiful and fast cars, and some crappy looking ones too. It also features gorgeous looking environments in exotic locations. Also, there isn’t anything much better than to knock off all the tables and chairs from a roadside café!

The game has a lot of gameplay modes. There’s the standard (or not-so-standard, whatever) race, where you can do whatever you want to win. This is the cornerstone mode of every Burnout game, but there are a few little tweaks that add a layer of depth to it, like hitting civilian vehicles moving in your direction, to make them block your opponent’s path, or hopefully making them crash into the helpless vehicle. However, the game still stays true to the good ol’ Burnout tradition- your main weapon, is you, and it’s mostly up to you to eliminate the opposition. (Wow, I sound like a gangster!)

Anyway, there is the relatively new Crash mode, where you have to drive a crap vehicle straight into the traffic, cause mayhem, earn points for that, and THEN ONE of the time bombs in your car detonates (called a crashbreaker), causing more mayhem. Depending on the number of vehicles you destroyed, the crowd will chant for another crashbreaker, and you seem to get another time bomb out of nowhere, and that too will detonate, causing so much mayhem  (terrorists, you’ve got your Suicide Mission 101 right here.)

Then, there’s the time trial mode. Well, this is pretty self-explanatory. You race against the clock, with no opponents involved, and your only obstacles are the environment and the traffic.

Depending on how well you do, you get a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, and that translates to how many stars you get, which level you up, giving access to different locations and cars. You have many ranks to progress through, to get to the final, the World Championship.

One of the main things lacking from Burnout is a story. While it’s good not to have a story in some ways, it’s mostly not a great idea to not have any story, or characters. Maybe Criterion Games didn’t want to mess up the experience by offering some weird-ass story like Namco’s Dead or Alive games, but even a mediocre story could go a long way in the game’s value. For instance, the street NFS games are worn down, so the story, and the actors help the game in a huge way, and that’s one of the main reasons of the popularity of the game.

Another thing lacking in Burnout Revenge are the lack of variety in the tracks. The race courses look a lot different, but usually feel very similar. There are no sudden turns, so the tracks are usually very easy to play.

The car physics are unreal, in a crazy good way. Turning is simple, simpler than even NFS games. But the main fun comes when your opponent’s car goes flying into oblivion as you made him crash. The car will spin around, like a billion times, and car pieces fly everywhere. Seeing this is so much fun, and you will definitely be shouting “I OWN JOO! I OWN JOO!”

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The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
9
Great sense of speed, traffic checking adds a layer of depth to taking your opponents down, flawless online play.
GRAPHICS
9
Excellent looking cars and environments, framerate mostly stable, but drops at a few places, takedowns looking spectacular.
SOUND
10
Great soundtrack, but sounds from car crashes and nitrous boost steal the show.
VALUE
9
Great multiplayer and lengthy single-player will keep you engaged for a long time.
FUN FACTOR
8
Could have benefited more from a story.
OVERALL
9
An excellent addition to an already great franchise.

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