You know when you were but a child? You would play a lot, wouldn’t you? Yeah? Yeah. You’d have your cars and you’d make them crash and the “boom!” sound with your mouth. Ah good times. Well, seven years ago, developer Critereon made that fantasy a reality, bringing to the world their latest in their landmark racing series, Burnout: Paradise.
The game opens with a futuristic female voice preteniously telling you how the game works. It is unskippable, so you will be tempted to drive your controller into your own trachea. After that, however, you are greeted by the voice of the ever-punchable DJ Atomica, a man whom I have never seen yet want to maim and slaughter with every ounce of my conscious being. DJ Atomica will be your “guide” throughout the game. When you finally find your car, it is wrecked beyond repair. Except not beyond repair, so you drive to the nearest Auto Repair and repair it. Then the game is your oyster.
There are five game modes; Road Rage, Marked Man, Stunt Run, Race and Burning Route. Each one, except for Stunt Run and Road Rage, is basically about going from A to B under different circumstances. I’ll write about them in order of best to worst. First, there’s Marked Man, you drive from one point to another while being hunted down by a number of huge, black cars that are fast and strong. The beauty to this mode is the simplicity of it. As you progress through the game, leveling up as you go, the difficult also increases. It also depends on your choice of car, forcing you to hone your skills. Secondly, we will talk about the classic Race. It bascially does what it says on the tin. You race to one of the landmarks on the map against either one other person, in the head to head, or eight other racers. Like the Marked Man, your choice of car affects your opponents car, keeping the races fair. Probably the most original, the Road Rage mode is probably also the easiest. It involves you and an infinite number of other cars racing in a most linear version of a demolition derby, you having to “take down” the target number of cars in the alloted time, avoiding getting taken down yourself. The Burning Route is probably the most exciting, not because of the mode itself, rather the prizes you can win. Each of the 70 (ish) cars has a Burning Route. The Route consists of you driving from A to B in the alloted time, sometimes being devilishly difficult. If you do it, however, you will win a more suped up car (is that how you spell “suped”?), doubling the game’s roster. Finally, the one I don’t really like, probably due to my absolute awfullness at it, is the Stunt Run, in which you need to reach a ridiculously high score by performing stunts in the alloted time, that’s it.
The levelling up system is relatively simple. Everytime you get to a landmark number of wins, you get your license upgraded, from Learner to Elite. Each time your license gets upgraded, the number resets, making the game easily 16 hours long. You may also notice that this is a review of “The Ultimate Box” you may be thinking “What the flippidy-flappidy is that?” I’ll tell you. It means it includes the motorbike DLC, increasing the run time for a good few hours. Include the other DLC (Big Surf Island etc.) and you’ve got a few days worth of content, easily.
Overall, this is probably in my top ten favourite games of all time, so that should say it all. Forget Forza, this is the ultimate racing experience.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations