This high speed game series debuts on the PC with a collection of Burnout Paradise variations, additions and enhancements with great offline and online multiplayer action. The structured or unstructured gameplay can satisfy any needs for speed. Unstructured play won’t advance your stature much, but can give you a sneak peek of the structured play as you learn your way around great locations like the airport and other venues.
The amazing graphics support the game’s main appeal — the fantastic crashes. The booming sound and vibrant visuals really stand out. Cameras can be used for pictures and use of a controller is definitely recommended, but not required.
As in the previous installments, boost helps go faster and can be increased with stunts like near misses or driving in front of oncoming traffic. You can also make dangerous moves focusing on aggression and speed. Once you’re an expert you can even chain boosts together for even more extra power. Stops at the drive thru stations are a fast way to replenish boost in your car. Paint and auto repair shops can be convenient pit stops as well.
You mainly need updates on your license to advance in the game. As you race various cars (and 4 motorcycles, though they have ability omissions like no super jumps, etc.) and complete special missions and unlock more cars, shortcuts and the game and opportunities expand. Replay previous events to earn more points. Some challenge missions require specific cars, so be mindful of your choices.
Car events (cars only) include races, road rage, marked man, stunt runs and burning routes. Marked man switches the usual takedown missions as you bob and weave to avoid hits. Stunt runs concentrate on your high score in a time limit format. Burning routes are special races where you earn new cars. Bike events include burning ride, during the day (8 A.M. to 8 P.M.), and midnight ride, available on the opposite hour slots.
In the navigations category, the heads up display (HUD) helps you navigate and prepare for turns. You can always get a rush with a crash through billboards and other obstacles (look for yellow color) or hit some big jumps (blue). If you’re into conquering territory, then rules of the road rewards you with the fastest times and the best crashes.
The party mode is a great skills showcase featuring stunts, skills (high score) and speed. Online play includes co-operative and competitive experiences in freeburn, which includes road rules, road rage, marked man and stunt runs for a maximum of eight drivers.
The music jukebox (a.k.a. EA Trax) has the standard fast paced tracks to get you going while the clear and colorful icons/indicators (in the field and on the map) and optional radio DJ really help you find your way around — your biggest challenge in the game. Day/night transformations, leader boards and strong AI enhance the excitement. The only missing element compared to previous installments is the aftertouch, which you couldn’t always see and really appreciate anyway. This solid collection is the best racing experience on the PC and an affordable suggested retail price of $39.99!
The games series shows no signs of slowing down with Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island expansion pack coming next on PS3 and Xbox360 consoles later this year…can’t wait!
Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for violence and language.