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Review: Burnout Paradise (PS3)
by Matthew Meadows
16.3.08

This is how it should be done. Cross-console development for the PS3 has traditionally been shoddy, however, this game sets a bench-mark for how these games are ported from console to console. Anyway, let's get down to business.

The first thing that strikes you in the game is the quality of the graphics. Cars look detailed compared to their real-life counterparts (car models/brands are not licensed), without taking themselves too seriously; a caricature of the original you might say. The streets look nice, with a moody tint on the textures, but nothing too special.

Gameplay is fun, with ultra-tight controls and fun drifting that makes the game easy to pick up and play. An interesting mechanic brought in involves there only being 6 finishing lines, with about 100 starting lines. The effect of this idea is that while the game's streets are that bit easier to get to know, some races start to become a tad repetitive towards the end of the game. The free-roaming element adds a lot to the game, but it feels like it lends a lot to Need for Speed 1+2 in terms of this.

Longevity wise, to complete the game up until the credits you will probably get 20 hours worth of play. To get the Elite/Criterion Elite will probably take another 30 and then if you add on all of the co-op (2-8 player) online challenges then you probably get another 30 hours.

The online system has a few innovative features to talk of. First things first, the online is VERY easy to go into. A simple click of the right d-pad 3 times will have you speeding around the same 1-player map, but with your friends (or strangers if you wish). Playstation Eye owners will be pleased to find out about 'Mugshots'. This feature allows the player to make a pose/get nude/swear after being taken down by another car and while this was a good idea, sometimes I'd rather not crash into flashers that will leave me mentally scarred.

As often in racing games (Gran Turismo withstanding) the soundtrack is mixed. Some brilliant songs from 'Guns n Roses' and 'The Pigeon Detectives' are overshadowed by songs like 'Girlfriend' from Avril Lavigne. Car noises are as good as you would expect and a 'Picture Paradise' mode lets you escape, even momentarily, from the hustle of the large world.

Overall, this game is technically sound. This well ported game provides a base for future editions of the series to excel over their predecessor, and while this game does not have any big 'set-pieces' as seen in most modern games, you could still do a lot worse than doshing out £40 for a trip to paradise.

9/10

(Footnote: DLC has been confirmed with new cars and a new island)

Matt

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- Matthew Meadows

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