As with the majority of people, I loved Burnout Paradise and played it religiously throughout my PS3 times. Then when it was announced that Burnout Paradise was getting a remaster, I literally lost my mind. Fortunately I found it again and I’m able to put together these words to give you a low down on whether the remaster is worth buying.
So if you have never played Burnout Paradise before then you are in for a treat. Essentially you are driving around at break neck speeds, trying not to crash, whilst carrying out a number of different race types.
So starting up the game, you are introduced to Guns N Roses, and the amazing tune of Paradise City, and your narrator that you will hear throughout your game time. Once you have gone through a brief tutorial of the game and are released to your own devices, then the real fun begins. When you first start Burnout Paradise Remastered your map is entirely empty, to find new races all you have to do is drive to an intersection with traffic lights and this will populate your map. If you manage to find the entire 120 available events then you will get a nice acheivement / trophy pop up for your troubles. Although finding them all is no easy thing.
The best thing that Burnout Paradise Remastered does is the driving, each car has different stats and are of a different boost type. You have aggression cars, these are heavy duty vehicles that can cause major damage. Then there is stunt cars, these are nimble and are able to carry out flips and barrel roles with ease. Then the final type is the speed class, these are pure speed, with the ability to carry out extension boosting, chaining burnouts to get faster and faster until the inevitable happens and you crash into either another car, or a solid wall. It’s ok because the slow motion crashes that made Burnout famous return with the remaster and they are glorious. The car slowly deforming with body parts flying off, wheels bouncing away and glass being left all over the floor.
So race types, you have a number of different race types to take part in, these are all over the map including a point to point race, road rage seeing you take down a specific number of opponents, stunt races where you need to chain big tricks together to get high scores. You then have another take on the point to point race, but this time you have to avoid being taken down. Then finally you have the burning routes, these are car specific where completing unlocks an upgraded version of your current vehicle.
There is strictly no story or campaign throughout your time in Burnout Paradise Remastered, but what you will spend your time doing it completing races to upgrade your driving license. All the way up to the Burnout license. Each upgrade takes a certain number of races and events to complete. One you have moved up to the next license level, all the races are cleared and you can start all again. Its a great little system that rewards you to simply just drive around and have some fun. Something a lot of racing games are missing, there is always too much of an emphasis put on getting those wins rather than having fun. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to win races to knock them off and to move forward, but if you have to replay a race because you took the wrong route then its not the end of the world.
With the whole map being open from the off, you are free to go wherever you want, and that is one of the best elements of the races, if you are carrying out a point to point race then you are free to go in any direction you want, and take any route you like. Burnout Paradise Remastered gives you a few little indications when you are coming up to an ideal turn. The road signs above the screen showing where you are will start to flash in the direction you should turn. Hit the E-brake and slide around that corner, and try and avoid oncoming traffic.
With the announcement of Burnout Paradise Remastered, comes all of the DLC that was released originally included Big Surf Island! This is a stunt lovers heaven with mega jumps, island tours and plenty of things to do if you find that the main Paradise City is lacking in events and things to do. You do receive all the cars that were released after its original launch, included the iconic cars based loosely on certain cars including the Ghostbusters ECTO-1 and K.I.T.T from Knight Rider. The best is the toy cars though, having miniature versions of some of the main cars is always fun, especially when you take to the streets in a toy motorbike with miniature rider as well.
So what else is there to do on Paradise Island if you just want to explore. Well you have smash gates to go through, super jumps to find and billboards to smash through, and they are littered all over the city giving Burnout Paradise Remastered a massive amount of appeal to those completionists out there that have to find all available extras.
Then you have a couple of other elements in the open world, there are times that can be beaten on each of the roads, so get to the start of a road and hit that boost and reach the end before the timer runs out to claim ownership of that road. Then you have showtime, activated by hitting the shoulder buttons together, you start a crash extravaganza. Hitting other cars and buses, and signs all gain more value on your crash exploits. Again beating the target score gets you ownership of that showtime location.
Now all is brilliant, and its all a massive amount of fun, however, with the inclusion of all the DLC from the beginning you can be tempted to jump into one of the fastest cars in the game and just destroy the competition. Now this is OK if you are trying to blast through to get your licenses, but the real appeal of Burnout Paradise Remastered is that feeling of progression. To unlock the standard cars you have to complete races, then new cars show up through the map and to get that car back to the junk yard where all your cars are stored you just have to smash it into a wall or other structure. So if you can resist the temptation try not to jump into K.I.T.T and just go with the flow. You wont regret it!
Graphics is a bit of a hard one with Burnout Paradise Remastered, as the original game was incredible looking. You can definitely see that the visuals have had an upgrade, and it plays so smooth, so I expect that its getting some high numbers on that frame rate. Obviously the visuals aren’t the be all and end all, but with this game the visuals are paramount. Each scrap of metal that flies off when you graze against another car is there, when activating showtime all the explosions and crashes need to be there, and quite frankly its beautiful.
The environments are brilliantly rendered, and looks stunning as you hurtle past at breakneck speeds. All I would recommend is take a drive out into the hills and just have a look back at the city, its stunning.
There is one little element that does seem to be a bit strange. When at certain points of the map and driving at certain speeds, you see these lines appear on the screen. Its almost like its not rendering all of the sections you see. Its not a game breaker at all, but it’s definitely a strange sight to see.
“Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.!” The soundtrack to Burnout Paradise Remastered hasn’t been touched, and it didn’t need to. It is a perfect mix of musical talents.
The sound effects are loud, brash, and perfect, from tyre squeals to engine sounds everything is as it should be. Nothing feels out of place and nothing feels too much. After all Burnout Paradise Remastered is a larger than life game.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is one of those games where you can spend hours just driving around and doing the odd event here and there and you would feel like you have spent that time wisely. However you are able to take it online with your friends or random people and take on some challenges. These can be get the longest drift, biggest stunt score, or highest jump total. Giving the game a massive replay factor, however one of the DLC’s that was released on the original game was the Party Pack. This enabled a number of challenges to be played through for some pass the pad multiplayer. Unfortunately at the time of writing none of my friends had the game, so was unable to really fully test this.
All of these additions to the base game give Burnout Paradise Remastered some major longevity, so once Paradise City gets its hooks in you, you won’t ever be able to get them out.
Burnout Paradise Remastered smashes and crashes it’s way to a Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclaimer: We received a physical copy of the game to carry out this review