b urnout par­adise re­mast ered

Ri­otous re­dux pulls a fast one

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Dave Meik­le­ham

In real life, driv­ing isn’t that glam­orous. I re­cently passed my test at the grand old age of 32, and let me tell you, re­peat­edly per­form­ing par­al­lel park­ing ma­noeu­vres or re­vers­ing into a bay is more Fussy & Fas­tid­i­ous than Fast & Fu­ri­ous. Thank­fully, Cri­te­rion’s take on driv­ing is a hell of a lot more fun than the real thing.

The orig­i­nal Burnout Par­adise first hit Xbox 360 over ten years ago. I now feel so dis­gust­ingly an­cient, I can feel the car­ti­lage in my knees dis­in­te­grat­ing with sad­ness. Not that you’ll feel like you’re play­ing a decade-old ti­tle when you boot up this sur­pris­ingly spry re­mas­ter. With its breezy open world, ad­dic­tive event struc­ture, cute on­line chal­lenges, and plethora of hor­ri­bly mor­eish short­cut gates and bill­boards to smash,

Par­adise feels like ev­ery inch the mod­ern racer.

While the car-wreck­ing, blis­ter­ingly quick 60fps ac­tion is still fresh, vis­ually you won’t mis­take Cri­te­rion’s ri­otous road trip for a 2018 ti­tle. Even though Stel­lar En­ter­tain­ment has done a fine job re­work­ing road and build­ing tex­tures, as well as no­tably im­prov­ing smoke and spark ef­fects, this clearly re­mains a last-gen game with an ex­tra shiny paint job. If you own an Xbox One X, the bump to 4K makes the sear­ing sights and sounds sump­tu­ous, but if you’re play­ing on an S or the launch model, the 1080p re­sults aren’t nearly as im­pres­sive.

Take­down and out

Not that you should be stop­ping to ad­mire the road­side tex­tures down at Har­bour Town. Burnout Par­adise isn’t a game where you pause to smell the ni­trous-boosted roses; it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence of con­stantly es­ca­lat­ing speed and car-crum­pling car­nage. Whether you’re fend­ing off at­tack­ing mo­tors in des­per­ate dashes in Marked Man, or rack­ing up slo-mo, fen­der-bend­ing Take­downs in Road Rage, the sen­sa­tion of speed is never less than star­tling.

Par­adise has been con­structed so ex­pertly, it’s damn dif­fi­cult to put the pad down once this open-ended racer sticks its spokes into you. Almost ev­ery junc­tion spread across Par­adise City of­fers up an event to tackle. Some may see you bomb­ing through the wa­ter­side prom­e­nades of Palm Bay Heights in vanilla races, oth­ers will ask you to get from lu­di­crously quick A to pre­pos­ter­ously speedy B in Burn­ing Route events, while you’ll never find your­self far from a sus­pen­sion-ru­in­ing Stunt Run – re­mem­ber, the E-brake is your best friend! Hold­ing down both trig­gers to in­stantly slip into these chal­lenges make progress in Par­adise both su­per wel­com­ing and grace­fully in­tu­itive. Con­sid­er­ing it first launched in 2008, this gid­dily daft racer was struc­turally way ahead of its time.

Sadly, some de­sign choices haven’t aged nearly as well as these quick­fire chal­lenges. For one thing, chang­ing cars is a need­lessly pon­der­ous has­sle. Rather than be­ing able to switch ve­hi­cles on-the-fly

through a menu, you in­stead have to man­u­ally drive to one of the game’s an­noy­ingly spo­radic junk­yards. This process is made even more ir­ri­tat­ing be­cause Par­adise doesn’t let you lay down cus­tom way­point mark­ers; in­stead you’re forced to con­stantly pause the ac­tion to check your map. It’s a finicky de­sign de­ci­sion that re­ally does go against the spirit of sear­ing speed that lies at the heart of Par­adise.

Map of hon­our

Dur­ing Burn­ing Routes, you’ll also find your­self con­stantly check­ing the map be­cause there’s no pre­de­ter­mined ‘right’ way to go. While an on­screen com­pass tries to keep you on the best route, it’s easy to take a wrong turn and end up slip­ping from first to eighth in an in­stant. Turns out, nav­i­ga­tion is a teensy bit dif­fi­cult when you’re trav­el­ling at around 180mph. Where’s a speed-of-sound Sat Nav when you need one? Is it easy to get dis­ori­en­tated be­cause the game makes you plot your own im­promptu routes? Sure. But un­like the la­bo­ri­ous junk­yard trips, be­ing forced to make split-sec­ond nav­i­ga­tional de­ci­sions adds a wel­come tac­ti­cal layer to the ac­tion. As a pack­age, Burnout Par­adise

Re­mas­tered ul­ti­mately feels a little un­bal­anced. At £30, it’s not quite cheap enough to fall into im­pulse­buy ter­ri­tory, es­pe­cially when you can pick up a copy of the orig­i­nal 360 game – which will work just fine on your Xbox One thanks to the con­sole’s back-com­pat fea­tures – for as little as £6 on­line (I checked). Yes, the re­mas­ter in­cludes the Big Surf Is­land DLC and all toy and legendary ve­hi­cles un­locked from the off, but de­spite this con­tent be­ing wel­come, it does make pro­gres­sion a little hollow when you know you al­ready have killer cars wait­ing back at a junk­yard.

De­spite the fact it re­mains an ex­cel­lent game, if you’re us­ing the base Xbox One and a 1080p TV,

Burnout Par­adise is un­likely to knock your speed­ster socks off. But if you’re lucky enough to have an X and a 4K set, the ramped up res­o­lu­tion makes this sunkissed play­ground a fab­u­lously fast treat. Start buck­ling up now.

“The sen­sa­tion of speed in Par­adise is never less than star­tling”

The game looks es­pe­cially stun­ning on an X and a 4K TV . Races against oth­ers are one of the op­tions.

Road Rage of­fers car­crip­pling fun. En­joy writ­ing off your mo­tor!

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