Burnout Revenge ReviewCain Dornan
Debuting as Criterion’s star series, which has garnered a strong following from gamers around the world, the Burnout series has established itself as one of the leading arcade racing series currently available. Allowing players to go beyond racing through traffic-ridden streets, the series has given gamers an increasing level of unique abilities through the introduction of various unique metal-crunching modes and an overwhelming sense of speed and fast paced action. Now in its fourth iteration, the series has introduced a number of new elements that will please gamers, with the Xbox 360 version offering a small handful of new additions and enhancements, although, these new additions don’t quite warrant a purchase for those who have already enjoyed the game on the PlayStation 2 or Xbox.
For those unfamiliar with the latest title, Burnout Revenge sees the return of various familiar game modes from the previous games, with the inclusion of a few additions and enhancements of previous modes. The game’s single player component is encased entirely in the World Tour mode, which sees you progressing through an extensive series of events that take you from the US to Europe and the far East. The aim here is to complete events with good ratings to further increase your ranking within the game, which sees you beginning with the rating of Harmless, but gradually progresses to more interesting and intimidating titles such as Maniac or Dominator. The game’s newest and most focused gameplay feature sees you aiming to smash your competitors into buildings, obstacles and other traffic. If a competitor causes you to crash, they will be marked as a rival, which then encourages you to track the racer down and gain revenge by causing them to crash.
This revenge gameplay feature comes into play with most of the different game types available, which are essentially split into two different categories; racing events or crash events. The race events usually have the aim of reaching the finishing line first, or completing a track within a specified time limit, although, these still involve the trademark crashes and dirty racing that the series has become known for. There are also special events that are unlocked if you prove your racing skill, which allow you to test drive powerful and unique vehicles. The crash events are essentially aimed at causing utter destruction with both competitors and civilian vehicles, with one specific mode requiring you to cause the largest multi-vehicle pile up as possible.
One of the main features of the Burnout series is the sense of speed, with an increasing number of ways to achieve it through the use of a boost meter. In addition to performing such stunts as racing on the wrong side of the road to increase the meter, you can now perform a maneuver known as Traffic Checking, which allows you to receive boost power by crashing into smaller vehicles that are traveling in the same direction as you. To prevent the game from becoming too easy, you will still crash if you run into a vehicle that is traveling in a different direction, which then sees you having to determine which way the vehicle is actually traveling within a split second to decide on whether to hit it or avoid it, which further increases the stakes and adrenaline boost that the game often provides.
Accompanying the single player mode is the offline and online multiplayer components, with both allowing you play each of the different key game types that are available in the single player experience. The online mode offers some great, fast paced and usually painless online gaming, with the inclusion of worldwide scoreboards to climb.
While Burnout Revenge on the Xbox 360 isn’t a straight port of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, the game remains to be largely the same. The World Tour mode still offers the same number of events to compete in, the Xbox 360 version does see the return of the full race replays, allowing to view, record and then upload your replay videos to Xbox Live to share with gamers across the globe. This adds a further level of online functionality, as there is a wealth of awesome videos available for viewing or download online. Some slight changes have also been made to the Crash Mode, which now starts you everytime with a full boost, without the need of pressing a sequential line-up of buttons to achieve it.
The more noticeable and significant changes that have been made is the game’s presentation, which sees both and graphics and sound departments receiving a significant overhaul. The game, when played on a high definition television, looks very impressive, providing a further sense of speed and acceleration that feels significantly superior to the previous generation versions. Crashes now offer more detail and more parts to break and fly around, with the scraping of point from off your vehicle being evident whenever you scrape it along barriers or competitor’s vehicles. The sound department has also received a significant improvement, with the inclusion of more noises that provide a much more hard hitting and satisfying experience.
While those who already own either the Xbox or PS2 versions may not find enough new elements in the Xbox 360 version to warrant a purchase, the game remains to be a exhilarating and enjoyable experience that feels even better with the updated visuals and sound. If your looking for a destructive, fast-paced and action packed arcade racer for the Xbox 360, Burnout Revenge is certainly well worth a look.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.