Burnout Paradise Remastered Review
Are you ready to revisit one of the greatest Burnout titles? How many can still remember how to navigate the streets of Paradise City? Will it still feel like home to you in this remaster?
Burnout Paradise was released by Electronic Arts and Criterion Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows back in 2008, and is one of Burnout’s most successful games to be released in the franchise with its open world racing system. There were many DLCs released as well to keep the hype of the game going, adding new cars, areas, and modes. Many challenges could be met and overcome in this amazing game, and now we have been given a remaster of this amazing game on PS4 and Xbox One, giving us a revamp in the graphical textures, but not really touching up any of the mechanics, which means you’ll get the same nostalgic experience with some better graphics.
Chaos on the Roads
The simplicity of Burnout Paradise was, and still is, refreshing. You drive around the city to discover race events, such as the standard Race event, or Road Rage, or Stunt, etc., complete the event, upgrade your driver’s licence, and become the best Burnout Racer in the game. You were even able to compete online, and set time scores for other players to try to beat. There’s a certain freedom in Burnout Paradise that some other racers lack, as well as a chaotic hilarity. Being able to knockout another car in such outrageous fashions always brings a smile to my face, because it brings back the classic Burnout nuance of that I’ve always enjoyed. Whether it’s in the races or out-and-about in the open-world, when you find another race car, it’s always satisfying to test out the ridiculous physics of the game. I’ve had a few insane crashes and takedowns, and it doesn’t get less entertaining. I still find it silly how the civillian cars end up trashing your car easier than the race cars do, but I suppose there needs to be a certain element of control. It does encourage you to dodge them and not cause an unnecessary accident. (Even though you are causing accidents to other cars, but that doesn’t count, I guess?)
One of the best features of the open world races is the fact that, during the events, there are no arrow guides or boundaries telling you where to go, you need to navigate the city as best you can to get from point A to point B. A lot of the cars will generally go the same route, but you can break free and take a better route if you know how to navigate the city. This forces you to learn the city, and find all the secret shortcuts and routes to annihilate the competition. Your car’s indicators will blink to show you the way, but you can always hit the map button to temporarily pause the game and plan out your route and go. I often forgot about the indicators, because I was too focused on not crashing into civillian cars or not missing my turn, but it was a small helpful mechanic to get used to, which you eventually start doing subconsciously.
Cityscapes and Islands
I can definitely confirm that there has been a graphic revamp, but is it an impressive spruce-up? Unfortunately, it’s a minor spruce-up in detail. With a few upgraded textures, smoother edges and better lighting, we get the upgraded graphics it promises, but in some cases you need to look really hard to see them. This game offers all the previously released DLC, with exception to the Time Savers Pack, meaning you will need to progress through the single-player properly to unlock all the campaign cars. But you will have access to the Legendary cars, so it almost feels like cheating, but it’s so much fun! The visual capabilities are supported on 4K displays for consoles that support this, as well as delivering 60fps across the board. The sharper details are especially visible in 4K however, so if you have a supporting console and screen, you’ll be able to enjoy this game to it’s fullest.
The simplistic, almost arcade, feel of the game can get a bit tedious after a while however, unfortunately. I’ve found many cases when I did a race, where the route was exactly the same, only in reverse. After a few races, it feels a bit slow, especially when you’re racing with one of the Legendary cars, oddly enough, so I would call that a bit of a drawback to the freedom of being able to choose from that selection. Driving with the campaign vehicles will allow you to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played. For excessive speed and chaos, go Legendary! Another drawback is that there is no fast travel and you can’t set any waypoints to plan your route. So if you take the wrong turn during a race, it could ruin your chances of winning. Fortunately, there is a way to restart the race if this happens, but the game does not tell you this. I only discovered it by accident. If you make a grave mistake during a race and need to restart, push the D-pad’s right arrow, it will bring up a menu to restart the race. You can either cancel the race, or restart it with this option.
Burnout Paradise Remaster is faithful to its original title, bringing us revamped graphics that shine especially well on 4K displays and consoles, but even though the revamp from the original is great, it still doesn’t leave you in jaw-dropping awe. This doesn’t take away from the chaotic fun that the game offers though, and you will find many nostalgic moments while screeching down the streets in either the campaign cars or in a mock version of KITT. The events can get a bit tedious after a while, especially if you take advantage of the DLCs that are readily available from first launch, but you are free to do as you please, which also has its pros. The soundtrack is still fantastic, bringing back those memories from the original launch a decade ago, with the classic “Paradise City” done by Guns ‘n’ Roses. This game is a classic, and even though some races can feel a bit tedious, it hasn’t lost its charm. We need more racing games like this. You can get your copies from BTGames for R565.00 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.