Not really in the picture anymore
Criterion naturally links everyone to the well-known franchise Burnout, which caused a whirlwind in the racing genre, but we haven’t heard from the developer for a long time. At least, real games of their own making have not come in recent times, and that is perhaps a shame. However, Electronic Arts has decided to breathe new life into a gem of the past. Burnout Paradise Remastered is the first EA game to be remastered for this generation of consoles, so at least we can’t speak of eviction from EA’s side yet.
And if you’re making a remaster, you have to do it right, and that’s what EA is trying to do with a game that has been very successful in the past. The game was released in 2008, which means that the game is already 10 years old! But that is absolutely not to be dispensed with from the racer. The game looks very good on the new generation and even runs in 4K at 60 frames per second. And yes, I can say that the game runs like a charm on the Xbox One X. The loading screens, short, the framerate, extremely stable, the textures, definitely improved and the graphical user interface, it just looks sleek and really up to date. It is therefore obvious from this remaster that the original is already 10 years old. But what exactly is Burnout Paradise?
You can actually explain that succinctly. The game takes place in Paradise City, a city with different faces and landscapes that can be experienced both during the day and at night. The highways of the game world are often fairly empty, and they have to be, because this game is all about speed, but also brutal speed. The game contains several challenges that you must complete in order to upgrade your license. You have the racing mode, in which you simply have to cross the finish line first by driving from A to B, the stunt mode, in which you have to perform as many stunts as possible in a short time for points, Marked Man, in which you target becomes for opponents to smash, and my personal favorite; Road Rage. In this mode you have to eliminate players by making takedowns. This can be done by smashing opponents against the wall, or by simply blasting into them. Each challenge contains targets, and only the first place counts. The game contains a total of 120 challenges spread across the city, so you will have plenty to do. But there are also the Burning Route challenges, where you need a specific car to start and play the event. In this you have to complete a race within a time limit after which you get an upgraded version of your current car. Furthermore, you can also find all kinds of small components in the game, including finding shortcuts, making mega jumps and every now and then you have to recharge your boost by driving in gas stations, repair your car and you can go to your dump. go where all your cars are housed. You can exchange your cars for Paradise cars, Toy cars but also Legendary cars which can reach unprecedentedly high speeds, or can pound extremely well.
Not varied enough in modern times
The game therefore seems quite extensive, but it is actually not so much. The variety of the challenges is not really up to date anymore, and therefore gets bored quite quickly as you finish them. For 2008 this might have been a great game and varied enough, but more type of challenges would have been welcome at this time. The racing is very casual and very accessible. With gas, brakes and boost you can get along very well, although it is often difficult to keep an eye on both the minimap and the road. This also creates the necessary wrecks during the gameplay. Offline the game is easy to do, yet challenging enough, but it only becomes really challenging when you get going online. Online it is only really nerve-wracking when you compete with each other and throw in well. Especially the physics engine comes into its own. When you slam into a wall or ram someone else into the guardrail, you really get the sense of how much impact the speed has on stationary, solid objects. The car folds in completely, so that your car can immediately be declared a total loss. The game features all the downloadable content from the past including Big Surf Island and the engines you can prepare. However, the DLC these days are quite a joke when you see how small this extra island actually is. The 8 add-ons are therefore definitely a must to expand the existing world, which is actually not that big. From East to West, from North to South you are practically in 2 or 3 minutes when you give full throttle and open the boost considerably.
In terms of audio, this game is and remains wonderful. The Guns ‘n Roses main soundtrack called Paradise City couldn’t be more appropriate. But songs like ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavinge and ‘I Wanna Rock’ by Twisted Sister also fit well with the brutal gameplay of the game. This makes Burnout Paradise a game with 2 faces; It was of course a great game in 2008, but now 10 years later there could be some more variation in the game. The five different types of challenges mean that the game can sometimes feel a bit one-sided simplistic, and that aspect weighs quite heavily in my opinion. However, the quality of the fast, accessible gameplay, the audio, the significantly updated graphics and the content make up for it. In this day and age, the game would have struggled to hold its own as a completely new game, but as a remaster this is definitely a game that you must have if you’ve never played Burnout before and want to experience it. The graphics have been well polished and modernized to 4K, making this certainly no simple port from EA to quickly rip the money out of your wallet. However, we still hope that a full-fledged successor will be on the shelves within now and at least two years.
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Author: Jeroen Janssen | Genre: Racing | Release: 13-03-2018 | Publisher: EA | Developer: CriterionGraphics: 7.0 † Sound: 7.5 † Gameplay: 8.0 † Controls: 8.0 † Playback: 6.0 7.0+ Wonderfully smooth, casual gameplay+ Polished up (4K-) graphics+ Intense physics- Additional race types would give more variety- Feels a bit old-fashioned-