Wednesday, 30 May 2018

10 years later we return to burnout a paradise

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Platform tested: Xbox One X
Released: 2018

Review: It's been ten years already and Burnout's first and only last-gen exclusive appearance has been remastered. Although a lot of people missed the more classic styled Burnout when Paradise changed the formula from circuit racing to open world, I'm not here to talk about whether or not that was good or bad. I'm here to celebrate Criterion's fantastic racer from 2008, the game Electronic Arts refused to give a sequel to and made Criterion develop on the bland Need For Speed series instead.

They've bumped the visuals up from a meagre 720p on Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 to a full, fat, native 4K on the Xbox One X. Textures have been replaced to scale with the insane resolution increase, as well as other post processing effects to clean up the visuals. Don't get you hopes up though; all the 3D models are staying with their last-gen detail and as such look a little on the sparse side by todasstandard. Like I've mentioned before though; the backwards compatible program to Microsoft makes you wonder how the original vanilla Burnout Paradise release on 360 would have looked compared to this if they gave it the 4K treatment. Fairly alike I would guess, once again though, this is released as a lower priced title and the textures are redone at least, so I can't really complain.

What quickly becomes apparent as I dive into Paradise City, ten years later, is how accessible and satisfying the gameplay is. Races are found at each traffic junction, just pull a burnout with your car and the race begins. There are standard races, time trails, crash races, stunts and survival type events scattered across the map. Although I admit I still miss that there are no lap races in Paradise, everything is strictly point to point based racing. The start and end points are located at a small number of places on the map, as to make the player familiar with learning routes through the city by heart.

By today's standard the map isn't on a huge scale, but it's just the right size to memorise and it helps the game from being too overwhelming. It's a fantastic game for beginners or casuals to the racing genre to begin with, as well as being a great opportunity for younger players to relive some of that old-school arcade racing madness that was so prominent back the 90's. Controlling the car is super easy to get into, while mastering the corners for great drifts requires practice. Controlling similar to timeless 90's arcade classics like Daytona USA, Sega Rally and Ridge Racer; the gameplay is about reaching out to most players regardless of skill, but also having and underlying depth to hone your skills and become great at playing the game.

There's little else to report about this remaster really. If you haven't played it before it's an easy introduction to a fantastic arcade racer, in a genre with far too few titles the last ten years since it's release. Sure, some of the nuisances are still present, but this is such a great package for those wanting to have som fun racing without getting serious. The lightning fast 60 frames per second and super sharp 4K picture on Xbox One X makes this classic shine again. Recommended as a great substitute for serious and realistic styled racing games of today and newcomers to racing games alike.

I just wish they'd gone a little further in remaking it more rather than remastering, especially since it's already backwards compatible on the Xbox One. All DLC is included from the original though, that includes a huge new island added to the game, that's a lot of value for money if you've never played the game before. Add an extra star if you're a newcomer to my score!



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