Paradise City is open for business and waiting for your carnage.
If I told you I was going to take you to paradise, I suspect some of you would already be stripping off in anticipation of carnal pleasure but as I say to my mates “not not guys, I’m playing the single player campaign mode.”
Single Player Campaign
If I told you I was going to take you to paradise, I suspect some of you would already be stripping off in anticipation of carnal pleasure but as I say to my mates “not not guys, I’m playing the single player campaign mode”. Anyway this is Burnout Paradise on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and we were very pleased to see that it’s followed in true burnout tradition with the game being all about fast cars and slow-mo crashes. If it’s not broke then smash it.
Now the world of Burnout has expanded – Paradise the city is a very large free roaming environment which is essentially your playground and we found ourselves just exploring. The map is just huge and takes a while to get your bearings, so much so that for the first few hours we were just happy driving around and looking at stuff, finding out where all the little shortcuts were, and yes doing a bit more crashing. And if the game was just that we would’ve been amused for days on end, but of course there’s more. At the start you’re given a license to drive and in the single player mode it’s about competing in challenges, a win in these challenges gives you a point on your license – no wait! In Paradise a point on your license is a good thing, collect enough and your license is upgraded. The aim is to get yourselves a Burnout license – not an easy task let me tell you.
There is no second place in Paradise, it’s win or lose. Simply, sometimes harsh. The challenges are set out across the entire map, each intersection in Paradise allows you to enter one of five types of challenges, just pull up to the lights and hit both triggers at the same time to wheel spin into the challenge. Races can be either a one on one duel or upto eight racers together, get from one point on the map to the other – standard Burnout stuff really.
A Stunt Run requires you to beat the target score by hitting ramps, spinning your car and smashing things like billboards for multiplier bonuses. We found that this is the most difficult of the challenges, once the timer starts ticking its amazing how all the ramps and trickspots become invisible. A Marked Man event is a game of cat and mouse, you have to safely negotiate a route while the guys in the black sports cars want to take you down – Ouch. Each car you have in the game has a burning route to complete, check the map to see where they’re located, it’s a timed solo run that if beaten will reward you with a suped up model of the car your in. But our favourite challenge was the Road Rage event, you have a set number of cars to take down in a set time limit, it’s no holds barred carnage. It’s something we could play, and play, and play all day long.
Now here’s our first grumble with this game, it’s win or lose. Yes we can handle the odd lose, but what we found unbelievably frustrating was travelling from one end of the city to the other to be picked at the finishing post by an A.I. smarty pants, then not given the option to try again. If you want to reply the same challenge again then you have to turn your car around and drive all the way back to the junction where you started from.
Each road has a set of mini challenges to complete, both on or offline. Hitting up on the D-Pad selects which target you want to attempt and away you go.Firstly you can try to beat the road time – a mini time trial, travelling down the stretch of road in the quickest time achieves victory. Also beat the Showtime score and you’ve ruled the road and that stretch of road becomes yours. Showtime is what Burnout is all about, if you feel a bit destructive while you’re driving along just hit the shoulder buttons at the same time to flip into a spin. It’s then a case of racking up the damage dollars – ultimate carnage, ultimate gaming pleasure.
There are also many things to hunt down in the game, you can unlock upto seventy five cars, these are won when your license is upgraded or when you come across a fellow race nutter just cruising around town. Hunt him down and take him out to have his car sent over to your junkyard, which is effectively your garage. You can also go and destroy all of the Burnout billboards in the game, these are hidden about the city. You can even find a number of Super Jumps hidden about the map, you can spend hours trying to find all of these.
If you do get a bit bored with the single-player action, you can always hop online and race against others. Doing so is quite seamless. Simply press right on the D pad to bring up the online menu, and then decide if you want to join up with other existing games or create your own. Online in Burnout Paradise is quite a different animal than that of previous Burnout games. You don’t just hop into a lobby menu and pick races to engage in. Instead, the city itself is the lobby, and while the host decides what he wants to unleash upon you, you can just mess around and do whatever you like.
When hosting, you have the ability to both race and take on challenges. Races are of your own design, with you setting the beginning and ending points anywhere in the city. Challenges are set, and there are literally hundreds of them. The trick is that there are a limited number of challenges depending on how many players are in a group. There are 50 challenges for two players, 50 for eight players, and 50 for each denomination in between. This means that once you’ve exhausted all the challenges for two players, you’ll have to get three, then four, and so on and so on if you want to complete them all. That might prove unwieldy for those who don’t have a lot of friends online to play the game, but at least the challenges themselves are creative and fun. The challenges range from competitive bouts of drifting, crashing, and jumping to cooperative versions of all the same stuff. It’s an inventive mode to be sure and an exceptionally fun one when you’ve got a good crew of friends to play with.
It also bears mention that while online, you can use the PlayStation Eye or Xbox Live Vision Camera to take shots of your rivals online. When you take down a rival player that has a camera hooked up, the cam will take a mugshot of that player’s reaction. It’s kind of a neat feature that, unfortunately, will probably be abused by all manner of nudity over the course of the game’s lifespan, but that’s inevitably what happens when you let people do things with cameras.
Basically Burnout Paradise has a lot to be getting on with, it’s going to take you weeks and weeks to complete and find everything, not to mention the sheer enjoyment of jus tdriving very fast and crashing for no reason whatsoever. So overall a smashing title – don’t mind the pun, with a serious game life, it’s near on perfect with it’s gameplay except the lack of instant race restarts and a must for any fan of the series or a great introduction for any newby into the world of car crash mayhem. DISCLAIMER: Just remember it’s just a game people, don’t try any of this for real in your Nissan Poopy Doopy down the high street, that would be silly and illegal. I think that covers us. We’re going to have one more crash for luck.