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Burnout Paradise (PS3)

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22 Reviews

Published by: Electronic Arts / Genre: Driving & Racing / Release date: 2008-01-25 / Subcategory: /Racing

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    22 Reviews
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      13.06.2012 16:14
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      a great addition to the burnout series and a classic of this genration of consoles

      Burnout paradise is the newest game is the burnout series and the first game on this generation of consoles. A lot has changed since the older games but they have kept the features that made the old burnout games great and thought long and hard about the new features to create a great new return for the series.

      Instead of the chapter style missions of older games it is a free roaming game with a pretty large map named, surprise, paradise city. To progress in this game you have choice of doing either races, road rage, a game involving escaping the police (even though they're not really the police) or a burning route which is just a cool name for a timed lap but they have got rid of the famous crash mode which i loved in the old games. It has been rplaced by a mode where by you can cause your car to go into an ultr unrealistic frenzy and crash through any street for a good 10 minutes destroying everything. Its fun but its not the old mode which was possibly my favourite feature of the previous games. You have a liscence that you add points to every time you complete an event which gets upraded from C to B and so forth. You win cars throughout the game by completeing burning routes, upgrading your liscence or taking out one of a few 'special' cars that roam around paradice city. The whole set up is engaging and there's plenty to do to keep you entertained for many hours. When in free roam you can go anywhere and there are sort of mini missions such as finding huge jumps and crasshing through gates not to mention a network of secret passages to be found. When not doing missions driving around paradise city is always fun. Annoyingly though if you fail a mission there is no option to restart it you have to either drive all the way back to the start of the race or just pick another.

      I got about 30 hours of play out of this game and that was without any of the downloadable content that can be added for a small price from the playstation store. The largest of which is a whole new island to discover and although i never downloaded them but without a doubt it does add to the games durability. Although i played this game for a long time it was over a long period of time as i could never play it for more than about two hours straight just doing the same thing over and over. During the time i played it though i got to know all of paradise city and driving through the same streets began to lose its appeal after a while.

      Paradise city is a beatiful place. A lot of though has gone into every little detail of the map and usually looks brilliant but because you are mostly hurtling around the streets at stupid speeds you wouldn't notice some of the textures around that are below average. I guess they thought as i do though, if your only going to be whizzing past it whats the point in making it perfect?

      The map has been excellenty designed. Its split about half and half with a built up city area on one side and countryside and mountains on the other. Every bit of the map is a challenge weather its dodging cars through the streets of the city or drifting round bends in the mountains. There are also pretty much huge car play areas such as a quarry and an airfield with huge jumps and tracks.

      The gameplay has changed very little from the last games. The same controls have stuck and the same fast paced action that the burnout series is recognised for have stuck too. Even with your first car being one of the worst models in the game you can be charging through the streets, drifting round bends and crashing into walls keeping the adrenaline running and making split second descisions to that keep you on your feet. As far as the crashing goes it is something that burnout is very very good at as its one of the main features in the game. When you crash into a wall at high speed the camera angle changes to go close up and into slow motion. The car acts just like a normal car would as the car crumples and, depending on your speed, will flip into the air a few times before coming to a smoking halt.

      In my opinion this game is a step in the right direction for the burnout series even if they have got rid of the crash mode. None the less it is a beatiful game that has its downfall in places but i can let that slide when i dont really want to be standing still for too long. Its fun, fast paced and completely over the top which is everything burnout needs be.

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      19.09.2011 10:25
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      Flawed, but seriously addictive ... worth buying for the price

      I have always been a fan of the burnout series, ever since I played the first burnout game in 2001. The thing that makes burnout stand out from a lot of its competitors (such as the grand turismo series) is the fun factor that the gameplay provides. However, I will say from the outset that i do not think that this is the best burnout game in the series, although graphically it is the best, it is not as fun to play as some of the other titles in the series, but i will explain this more later in my review.
      First of all, I must explain that the burnout series has never been true to real life, points are given for smashing into cars that are not oncoming, driving wrecklessly and doing stunts (although in real life points would be given for such actions, they would be of a different kind). As previously highlighted, what makes burnout good is its gameplay, which is fun to play. I have to say though that in terms of gameplay, i feel Burnout Paradise is a bit of a step backwards from other titles in the series such as Burnout Revenge (released in 2005 for the PS2). Gone are the levels (some would be races, others you would have to crash into as many cars as possible, some would be stunts), and in its place there is an open world arena (access races, stunts and marked man events - where computer controlled cars try and ram you off the road - by pressing 'L2' and 'R2' at traffic lights) which in my opinion is less fun to play and harder to access all levels (as you have to find all traffic lights, not easy). To progress through the game, you are given licences, which you have to upgrade (by winning events) to move up levels which take you further into the game.
      Conversley, as I have already mentioned, graphically Burnout Paradise is the best in the series, as it is the first to be released on next generation consoles (PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows) which have capability for greater graphics (so perhaps it is an unfair assessment). However, having said that, I feel that it still lacks someway behind its rivals (such as Grand Turismo 5) which have cars that look more realistic (although burnout cars can be quite quirky), although crashes on Burnout Paradise look very realistic (categorised into drive aways and wrecked) and scenery looks breathtaking (hilltops etc). At this stage i should point out that Burnout Paradise is a little disappointing in that it doesn't have any real cars, only cars based loosely on real life(Gran Turismo 5 has real cars).
      Music wise, the main music choice for Burnout Paradise is Paradise City by Guns N'Roses (name association etc). Whilst music does change throughout the game, often adding to the driving experience, but is not customisable (without purchasing a downloadable update from EA), meaning that if like me you don't like 80's hard rock it can get a little hard to bear.
      In all, for all its flaws, Burnout Paradise is still a relatively fun game to play. Although the open world arena is less fun than the formulaic levels in some of the other titles in the burnout series it still offers some escapism in the fact that it would be impossible to do some of the crazy stunts and fast driving in real life. In terms of graphics, the game holds up well, although cars are not as realistic as Grand Turismo 5 they still hold up well and environments are certainly very good (from urban towns to mountain tops) and the game is far better graphically than its predecessors. Although the game is good, it does still have some flaws, cars aren't true to real life (maybe not so important in a fantasy racing sim), music is limited and some levels can be difficult to access (easy to miss traffic lights). Of note, I cannot comment on Xbox 360 or windows versions as I do not own this title on those platforms. Similarly, I cannot comment on the price, as I bought the game for under £10, except to say it is worthwhile buying now that it has vastly reduced in price. In all, for all its flaws, i would still recommend this game to a friend, as it is original (compared to other series) and still relatively fun to play.

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        08.04.2011 18:39

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        Great game with lots of features to keep you going, as well as online play and doing crazy stunts

        I got the game for a cheap price. I looked at it at first and didn't think it would be too good, but after playing it, I realized that I misjudged this game a lot. The city to explore is quite big, it's not massive but it's not small either and has different parts such as mountain sides, high city blocks, harbor, military/navy bases etc... There are loads of different events to do around he city. Game modes where you have to destroy other cars are fun and evade cops. There is also plain racing in the game too, other side things you can do is knock down special gates and it tells you your progress on how many you've knocked down. You can leap over 3 hundred foot drops and do double barrel rolls over busy roads in the center of town. Do flips to your hearts content and do whatever you want in this game. You can free roam and just drive about if you want, as well as go online and race other people. You can get motorbikes also and get paintjobs for your car at the garage. Online is fun and there is also DLC for an extra island that you can get access to. Fantastic game.

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        05.09.2010 17:12
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        A brilliant all-round package

        Burnout Paradise is a departure from the series linear heritage. In Paradise, you can freely roam around the city of the same name, choosing any event you want. This sense of freedom is really satisfying coupled with exploration. Billboards and gates are dotted around the city which you can smash through to 'collect' them. There are tons of achievements and collectibles like this which gives you an incentive to just drive around and explore. The simple act of driving is so much fun in this game, I found myself cruising the city as much as I was entering races. There are generally four types of events; race, stunt run, take down and made man (survive driving from point a to b).

        The amount and variety of cars to unlock is astonishing, especially when each car has different characteristics. Cars are broken up into aggression, stunt and speed. They are each better at their respective events and customizable with different paint jobs. Graphically, Burnout Paradise is very impressive, crashing has never looked so good. There is a real kinetic and satisfying feel to the driving and ultimately the crashes.

        What is very unique to this title is the amount of free downloadable content that has been produced. Day and night cycles, motorbikes, new challenges are just some of the new additions. Overall, it makes for a game that will last you a long time.

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        14.02.2010 13:36
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        Great fun arcade racer with a stylish flare

        This is, and will always be one of my all time favourite games for the PS3, the initial release (before updates) was a refreshing take on the usual arcade racer. The gameplay consists of a huge array of cars which you can drive freely around a massive, beautifully crafted map. The sense of speed is unrelenting, and the arcade flare adds even more excitement to the mix.

        This perfect mix of free-roaming and racing was continually added to by the development team at Criterion Games. The team added vast amounts of extra content, some free, some charged for. It is still (to this day) probably the most supported game for the PS3, with daily news updates.

        The online features are some of the simplest to use, it takes literally seconds to jump into an online game with up to 7 other players, and with mini competitions between the current players in that team, online play is a perfect addition to an already amazing game.

        Overall I would definitely recommend this game to all those who haven't tried it, although it may seem out-dated due to its age, I assure you it isn't. There are still a huge number of loyal fans, and new comers continually playing online, and the support from the development team makes it a very worthwhile purchase.

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        25.12.2009 18:53
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        A brilliant overhaul of the series

        I am a big fan of the Burnout games; I own every single one that has been released, and the thought of the possibilities available with the series entering the next-gen arena were enough to make me go buy the game as soon as it was released. In particular I was intrigued as to whether the online features would deliver on their great promise. Thankfully, they have, and this is quite possible the best game in the series!

        First noticeable is the quality of the graphics: the model renderings in particular are absolutely amazing, as are the vehicular physics employed when you're destroyed by another car. The aesthetic of the city is also superb, and in general it is just gorgeous to look at.

        Although the game has always focused on being open-ended, that is taken to a whole new dimension here, with the developers having created a living, breathing world that the player can take online and share with other players. With a few button presses, you can suddenly transfer to an online server that seamlessly has you playing with other gamers. The main crux of the online play is to try and complete challenges together, which can involve up to a total of 8 players, where you all have to perform a number of tasks. It is incredibly fun and immensely challenging, not only because of the sheer number of tasks, but because often a lot of the other players want to just mess around and not help you. As a result I've mostly done the challenges that require less players, as they're easier to do. Something I do love, though, is that now if you make another player crash and they have a webcam, their PS3 will capture a picture of their angry face and send it to you, causing me to have quite a large collection.

        The single player offering is quite standard, offering the same thrills and race modes as the previous games, and my only gripe really is that Crash Mode has been replaced with a mode called Showtime, where you are able to activate it any time and start causing damage. I preferred it when it was a proper mode, but it's still fun. However, the real reason to get this game is for the online, which is amazingly great fun.

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        13.09.2009 14:03
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        If you've yet to buy this game save yourself money and get the ultimate box which includes some DLC.

        Despite being released more than 2 and a half years ago Burnout Paradise is widely regarded as as the best racer available on the market to date. With the original burnout game having first come out in 2001 it's remarkable to see how things have progressed over the years from just the 5 tracks to a massive open world environment.

        When Burnout Paradise was first released there were mixed feelings. Some felt the game had gone the wrong way by removing the tried and tested format that Burnout fans had come to know and love on the PS2/Xbox and created an open world arena. Others saw it as an exciting step forward in keeping with the next generation machine it was produced for. I personally was among the latter.

        So as I mentioned in this game races no longer have a set track. It is true that races will always require you to race from A to B or sometimes A to B to C and so on. That is about as much as Burnout has in common with other racers. Once the race has started the rules are completely abolished. You can take any route you wish to the finish, utilising the myriad of shortcuts (many of which are indicated with small breakable yellow barriers to allow users to learn the shortcuts) available. You can also force your opponents into other cars or walls.

        The game comes with a huge number of cars. Without any DLC the original game comes with something like 78 cars. You start off with the Hunter Cavalary (a modest stunt car) and as you win races you slowly unlock more cars. Adding together all the original cars and DLC cars (and bikes) you get to a number close to 150. The cars come in 3 different classes. Stunt, Boost and Aggression and these affect how you will build up your boost. Stunt cars build up boost by flying through the air and driving into on coming traffic. Boost cars build up boost by having near misses with other cars. You can only use your boost when it is full. However once you start boosting it will keep chaining boosts provided you don't let go of the boost. Lastly there is the aggression class. These cars gain boost by knocking other cars off the road. Scoring takedowns gives you a larger maximum boost bar but getting taken down will cause you to lose your bar size.

        The offline game comes with 5 game variants. Race, Road Rage (take down a set number of cars without destroying your vehicle or running out of time), Stunt Run (pull off stunts for points, chain stunts together for massive multipliers), Burning Route (race from A to B in a preset car in a given time) and Marked man (race from A to B while trying not to get taken out by the AI). The free DLC also added burning ride and midnight ride which are for bikes. They are the same as burning routes but use the bikes and utilizing the day/night system.

        The game really provides superb value for money. The offline game will take hours to reach 100% as along with all the races each road (and there are a fair amount) also has a time and a crash cash score to beat. There are then different stunts to pull off, billboards to smash and barriers to run through. Once you have fully completed this you can move onto the bikes which provide practically a new game in terms of length. After finally completing all this you can check out online. Through a very simple use of the D pad you can get yourself into an online game with up to 8 people total. You can just race about beating peoples records of things such as air time, best drift, most barrel rolls etc. The host can also create races or start challenges. There are a total of 500 challenges to complete online. The challenges that can be done depend on the number of people in the game (2 to 8) and all require teamwork to complete.

        Moving on to updates and DLC. The level of dedication Criterion Games has given to Burnout is testament to their commitment for quality. While many companies would have started working on a new game a few months after the release of their game Criterion only a few months ago released a large new island to the game. Looking at some of the reviews that had been written about the game you can see that they have obviously listened to their customers. Originally if you failed an event you had to drive back to the start but now you simply use your D pad and select restart which although a small addition saves a huge amount of time and stops the frustration of failing a race when you are on the other side of the map. The biggest free DLC came under the title Cagney. This introduced Bikes to the game along with a day night cycle and some new online game variants. 1 year on and I've yet to see another game provide such a large quantity of new material free of charge. As well as this there are 6 other DLC packs but these cost money. 3 include new cars, 2 new game modes and 1 (Big Surf Island) an entire new area as well as new cars and more. Although quite pricy by themselves, buying the ultimate box gives you most of the DLC (I believe only Big Surf Island is not included) and works out at a much cheaper price than buying the original game and DLC seperately.

        The developers of the game have successfully managed to create a vibrant inner city environment with it's many crossroads and large volume of traffic. To the west of this they've also incorporated a remote mountainous region with windy roads and huge drops. Both have been really well designed and have a believable layout. It can be complicated when you don't know your way around but once you've mastered the roads you'll be speeding through it like you've lived there all your life. Talking of speed, this is something Burnout is well known for, and there is no doubt putting the boost on you really feel the speed as you hurtle past cars and buildings. Added to this the sound the cars make when accelerating at ungodly speeds is extremely satisfying. With all this speed crashing is inevitable. Thankfully Criterion realised this would be the case and obviously spent many hours working on the crash system. This means every time you crash you will see this crash in slow motion as your car crumples into the wall or car you just ploughed into. After this crash your car will feel the affects of it. For example smashing your front into something can screw up your wheel making steering a pain until you've either driven through a garage or ended the race.

        The games soundtrack is an interesting mix. There are plenty of songs well suited for fast paced racing, but if you feel like slowly cruising through the mountains you can put on some classical music and relax, or at least until you accidently take a bend too hard and fall off the edge... It would have been nice to be able to add our own songs onto the tracks. Another thing lacking is people. Although adding pedestrians would just encourage running them over it was and still is a disappointment that your cars are driven by a mysterious invisible force rather than a person. Obviously when bikes were added it was important to add people as an empty bike would just look ridiculous. Unfortunately this is as far as it goes. When you crash on your bike the driver disappears and you just see the bike crash.

        Despite these few drawbacks the game is worth a 5 in every respect. If you want to take that experience one step further I'd recommend getting a wheel and pedals. I personally own a Logitech Driving Force EX which cost somewhere around £30 and included pedals. The wheel has force feedback and clamps so you can secure it to a surface. It is a standard wheel and will work with other racers so is a definate purchase if you plan on getting more racing games in the future.

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        22.05.2009 20:55
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        Get into Burnout and take everyone down what are you waiting for

        Burnout Paradise has expanded into a huge freeroaming cityof chaos. Burnout Paradise is similar to the previous titles which were full of action packed crashing, smashing and general wrecking of other peoples and your own car.

        The main new feature of Burnout Pardise not seen before is the huge freeroaming city you have to explore. It is much more immersive as you don't have to do a race go to a menu pick another event and repeat, you get to drive to your next event whcih makes the game run alot smoother as you are not constantly going in and out of games.

        The city in Burnout paradise is absolutly massive it, it is divided into a number of different areas. In each area there are a number of billboards you have to smash through, super jumps you have to jump and clear and smash gates you have to smash through to get into new areas and find new shortcuts. These are great addittions to the game but it can get a bit frustrating when you have one or two of these to find and you spend hours scaroughing the entire map looking for these last few discoveries to complete the game.

        There are a large number of cars and recently added bikes to drive around paradise. You unlock new vechicles as you progress through the game each usually better or faster then the last. There is also a special timed challenge to do for each vechicle that unlocks an upgraded version of that vechile which of course is very nice.

        There are a number of new and many of the old events still in Burnout paradise for you to complete. Just pull up to the nearest junction to start an event. The different event types include race, road rage, stunt run, marked man and burning routes. They are all great event types and take time to master especially stunt run and are easier in the different vehicle classes.

        This game is a great game that anyone can pick up and play it isn't overly difficult to play and have fun on but is hard to master especially when playing online. The online thing that i think it is lacking is a splitscreen multiplayer mode otherwise it is fantastic and one of my favourite games to date and would definetly recommend it to nearly everyone.

        *Review may also appear on ciao.co.uk under the same username Fishstir*

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        13.05.2009 13:51
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        Great fast paced game!

        Burnout paradise is the next gen HD game in a series of the game.
        Burnout came onto the scene a long time ago and made waves in the gmaing world.
        The first real game you could crash cars at stupid speeds into oncoming traffic other cars and building and actually see them shatter.
        Gt gave us the graphics and realism, burnout gave the world speed and carnage together.
        Whenthe new game arrived on the Playstation 3 it combined hd graphics with the usual exploding vehicles, awesome stuff.
        With over 70 vehicles and many many things to do you will keep coming back to burnout.

        The best new features of the game is day and night changes, hurtling round the place at night is great fun, especially wehn you smash both headlights out!!

        You also have the option to zoom about on bikes too, super fast adrenaline filled fun.
        So this really is a step up in terms of gameplay and graphics, they give you different race/objectives to do. burning route, race as fast as you can to beat the timer to a specified point. Marked man - try to get to a specified area without being ran off the road by your tails. Race- as normal race against opponents. Stunt run- gain as many points as you can by perofmring stunts, jumps etc. and the old famous road rage, beat the target number- they get quite high!

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        19.02.2009 20:52
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        Burnout Paradise is the latest game from Criterion Games and boy is it a good one

        Burnout Paradise is a revolutionary game in the Burnout series with a whole new gameplay mode it mixes free roaming and career mode well to create a good mix in between the two to give the best gameplay experience. The new physics of the game give a realistic crashing simulation. This makes the game seem more realistic than some of the more other racing game series such as Need For Speed.
        A new range of different game modes adds a large variety of thing that the player can do these are all on junctions on the map. Such as the all new stunt run, this allows people to show off the control that they have of their car and if they know all of the city. Then there is race mode which allows you to race against a range of different numbers of opponents. This allows you to show your knowledge of shortcuts and the way that you drive your car. Road Rage allows you to try and take town as many of your opponents as possible in a limited amount of time. Marked man competitions are the complete opposite as you are trying to escape from a number of enemies and get to a selected point on the map. You can use your own music to create your own driving experience.
        Through the game there are a number of cars that you have to unlock and upgrade. You get a new car after winning a selected number of events or unlocking a new license. You can upgrade cars by doing burning routes as you have to drive that car to a selected destination within a time limit.
        Throughout the game there are a number of different things that you have to such as smashing through 400 yellow gates, billboards, and super jumps. Super jumps allow you to jump of the wackiest areas of the city and doing the craziest stunts. You can also on every road set a road rule, this means that you have the fastest time on that road, then there is showtime that is started by pressing R2 and L2 this allows you to do like on the original games and hit cars as you bounce around trying to get the highest score possible.
        There are constant updates that you can download for this game ranging from new cars. these help to keep the game upbeat and interesting. Then there is the recent bike pack which has brought out two bikes and then two unlockable bikes, the faster of the unlockable bike is nearly as fast as any of the cars. But with his they add new races and also the ability to drive in the dark this gives a new aspect to the new game. Add coming soon they are creating multiplayer option and 3 new parts of he map which will have the fastest and best roads of any of the previous series.
        The online mode in this game allow you to race against all of your friends and talk to them via a bluetooth headset. You can do a selection of challenges which make the experience as much fun a possible. You can then do online road rage with your friends marked man so you go against your friends and try to take them out and then they also have the option to do a stunt run so you can show off your skills and favorite route. You can create your own race completely as you can create your own checkpoints in the race so you make it as long or as short as you want.
        Overall this is a great game and can only be faulted in it being to realistic in the crashes as one of the smallest touches to a civilian car will send you flying.

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        04.01.2009 22:33
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        The game is a big open ended racing game with plenty of choices of what to do

        Burnout paradise has the fun of a racing game, with the benefit of a well designed track and city set up. The game is very open and you can concentrate on the events that you're good at to earn points for your licence.

        As you drive around nearly crashing into cars earning extra boost don't forget to hit the trigger buttons and enter a showtime where your score will be compared with other online players. Then there's the fun of driving down a road with your boost on all the way and you realise that you've suddenly beat a time road rule.

        Once you've got your first car head to an autorepair shop and maybe a paint shop and get your car looking the best in the city. Then find a set of traffic lights with one of the 4 events you can do with any car at any time. A race, a marked man, a road rage or a stunt run. There are trophies for playing through the game, look around for yellow gates, billboards to smash through and finding the car parks.
        This game is a great racing game and good fun to play and it takes a lot of time to play through but not in a bad way at all. It's worth every penny.

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        22.11.2008 17:06
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        Great to pick up if you got a spare £20

        Burnout paradise is superb. I bought this game when it was first released fully completed it, traded it in recently regretted it and re purchaced and because of the new trophie support deleted my old save game and started all over again. Think that would be boring? think again!

        Each person that plays this gamewill have a different experience. If you like stunt runs then you canwork your way through the game doing mostly stunts with the target score getting harder and harder, conversely if you hate stunts then you can prett much avoid them completely (unles you want the Elite license wich is 100% completion).

        When this game was released I was a little sceptical about the open world races where any route can be taken. But you soon find there are obvious routes and short cuts that make the game very similar to older burnouts. The game was superb on release but the free updates have been unprecidented, new day and night mode the addition of motorbikes AND a whole new island on its way soon!

        Easy to pick this up second hand and I suggest you do so, worth £20 anyday.

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        30.10.2008 22:59
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        Burnout Paradise is a great game providing lots of fun and has lots of free DLC.

        Burnout Paradise is all about free roaming. The enviroment is huge which means you can drive round for hours and you won't get bored racing down the same street over and over again.

        The graphics are fantastic with a HDTV it really does show what the Playstation 3 has to offer. The game has a fantastic soundtrack and you can even play your own music. The framerate is great and runs very smooth.

        The gameplay is great fun and you can complete various challenges including races. There has also been a huge amount of free DLC for this game. They have added a day and night cycle which adds a new area to this game and have even added Bikes which adds a new element to the game. They also have plans to release a new island, again adding hourse onto a already 150+ hour game!

        However, there is one major problem with the game, if you fail a challenge, you will have to drive all the way back to the beginning again to start again. This can take up the 10 minutes depending on the challenge.

        In conclusion, Burnout Paradise is a fantastic game and provides hours of gaming. The game is also well supported with lots of free updates. However, starting in 09 the new ones will be paid for, but this is still one of the best games on PS3 that will last over 180+ hours.

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        19.10.2008 21:16

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        a good solid racing game that should provide hours of fun

        This has been the first burnout game that i have bought and i am glad i did. the idea of having a free roaming burnout game is brilliant. on burnout paradise you can cruise to your hearts content until u pull up at a set of traffic lights and start the event. there is a good range of cars for people to drive and in three classes: speed, stunt and aggression. by doing certain events you can unlock a version of your unlocked cars with different stats but this is where a problem arises. although it doesn't happen with all the cars, a lot of the time the new veresion has one more point on speed and one less on boost or the other way around and i thought this wasn't a very interesting new version but other than that there isn't much else negative. i would certainly recommend this to anyone that has an interest in racing games. one of the main reasons being, noone will be able to resist the brilliant new crash effects.

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        16.09.2008 17:56
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        A high-reaching project that is ultimately less than the sum of its parts

        I don't tend to care about racing games except for maybe Mario Kart but when Burnout Paradise rolled around, I felt I had to try it. Why? Because open-world sandbox games have always had this weird inexplicable appeal to me and despite the fact I don't particularly like Grand Theft Auto, the idea of a GTA-esque racing game was strangely appealing. But when you get down to it this is not a particularly well-executed open world and while it's better than most standard Need for Speed crap that I've played before, it leaves an empty feeling after playing it.

        So, Burnout Paradise is set in Paradise City, a futuristic metropolis where cars drive themselves after having wiped out the human race (ominous foreshadowing, if you ask me). Paradise City is named such solely so that EA could use Guns N' Roses song of the same name, and if you don't like Guns N' Roses you shouldn't buy this game. Their song Paradise City is blaring for a solid 80% of the time you play. Talk about grating -- and it's not a particularly auspicious start for the game.

        So, you play the role of a driver-less vehicle and have the one non-obliterated human being on the radio to help you out -- a weird guy with a native-America-sounding name and refers to himself as a DJ, despite playing the same three songs over and over again. There are two ways to play Burnout Paradise: you can go through and compete in a variety of events or you can ride around creating the most spectacular crashes you can and laughing at the utter destruction that you can so easily cause.

        Needless to say, going with the former option is probably the way to get the most out of Paradise City. There's a different event at every intersection, ranging from races to...more races...to some takedown events that prove to be pretty entertaining. It's a really standard racing game, with go and stop buttons and some boost to boot. Oh boy.

        Where fun really comes into play with Burnout Paradise should be with mapping out your own route to get from point A to point B during a race. Sadly, this potential is wholly squandered thanks to some pretty serious design flaws. Firstly, the AI generally knows the fastest way through the city to the finish line; following the AI opponents until the last leg is a surefire way to win just about every race. Secondly is the fact that frankly, it just feels that the game doesn't want you creating your own paths. Thanks to a really cramped map, you'll often take a path off the beaten track only to find out it doesn't merge with a road you thought it did.

        Flying around in some pretty sick cars, taking down opponents, and crashing into innocent bystanders (cars) should be pretty fun. And in many ways, it is. But during events the open city mechanic really does more damage than anything else, because there are so many little roads in the city. You'll be constantly opening your map every several seconds, making sure you're going the right way. This completely messes up any pacing that the game might have and doesn't mesh well with the idea of high-speed racing.

        One good thing that I can say for Burnout Paradise is that the open world approach, aside from causing a significant problem during events, works out pretty well outside of races. The city is fairly extensive and there are tons of varied environs, from curving mountain roads to inner-city gridlock. But the biggest problem is that Burnout Paradise doesn't feel like a cohesive package; there are two separate aspects to this game and they never really get along to provide the racing experience that could have been possible.

        On the one-hand, you've got the exploration, and on the other the actual events. Riding around the city is fun enough, and it's in this area that the sandbox idea works quite well. Cruising through Paradise is an enjoyable experience because it's varied and because you really can do whatever you want. The second aspect of Paradise, and the one that works less well, is the actual races, takedown challenges, and other events.

        These are just superimposed on the open world mechanic and frankly, it just doesn't work. It's a creative and ambitious idea, yes. And yet it's not so much a fault of the developers as it is an inherent problem with the idea. Like I said, having to constantly check the map just isn't conducive to a good racing game. The development team tried to combine two styles of play and the fact of the matter is that these two styles just shouldn't be combined.

        On top of this, you've also got the fact that because the events are scattered throughout the city, there is a very finite number of them (you can't unlock new intersections like you could unlock new events in a more menu-based racing game). As a result, the game has you repeating the same events over and over again. It's a shameless move on the part of the developers to extend the life of the game and comes off as decidedly lazy.

        But this isn't as huge a problem as you might think, because in actuality there's very little difference between ANY of the events. Sure, they're all "different", but there are only eight finish lines throughout the city so before long you've pretty much finished up all the game has to offer. Burnout Paradise's events just sort of meld together to form one big, uninteresting mega-event. The different races all feel so similar and the idea of an open city gets lost anyway when all you care about is reaching the finish line.

        If you do bother unlocking all the unlicensed cars and completing all the events the game has to offer, you'll never really encounter much of a challenge. Even at the end of the game, there's no noticeable change in the AI. Your opponents tend to be dumb as bricks and the only time they really prove a hindrance is when the accidentally whack into you and knock you off track. You'll seldom have to try an event more than once, and when you do lose it's almost always because of a wrong turn thanks to the map.

        I admire the idea behind Burnout Paradise, but ultimately it just never comes together as the game it wanted to be. It's still a decent racer, but you're going to have to get over some seriously annoying design issues to get the most out of the title. As a game, it just never really figures out what it wants to be and as a result tries to blend to mediums that don't mix well. The end result is a game that feels awkward and clunky, and it's one that's hard to enjoy. Yes, it's better than a lot of racing games out there and if you're looking for a more ambitious racing title than Burnout Paradise may very well fit the bill. The way I see it, we've not yet got a really stand-out racing game. And sadly, Burnout Paradise is not the game to fill that void.

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