Review by sheep_go_meep
"Wait... if we're in England, shouldn't the cars be on the LEFT side...?"
Burnout is an arcade-style racer, which claims to have the best crashes in a video game. Though this is true, the rest of the game is pretty cookie-cutter. Let's have a look, shall we?
It's an arcade racer, it doesn't need story, thus this does not affect to total score.
Graphics & Animation: 9.5
I'm not sure how you could rate this any differently, the graphics are so much better than you'd expect from a hastily done PS2 port. The terrain looks very nice, the tire treads look realistic, and your car has this look to it that just makes it eye candy. A nice touch was that there is a reflection all over your car of the things going by, making your car look freshly waxed and shiny. Although this "reflection" isn't actually what's going by, (it's merely a pattern of a couple buildings and trees, as far as I can tell) it resembles what you'll be going past enough to not take from the overall game.
The animation is smooth, and the game gives a great sense of speed. The aforementioned reflections give part of this feeling, as well as the great framerate. No matter how much dust you kick up on a dirt shortcut, or how many cars are on screen, the framerate never drops, even in multiplayer.
The hit detection is perfect, and will never trigger a crash when it shouldn't, and will never slow you down as if you're scraping against the wall unless you actually are scraping against the wall.
Now, the part you've all been waiting for, the crashes. First of all, yes, the crashes are the best I've ever seen in a video game, and yes, if you like destruction replayed 3 times every time you crash, this is for you. Secondly, the crashes look marvelous and are just plain fun to watch. To conclude, the game has a very good physics system as well, and the generic traffic cars will react differently depending on where you hit them, and how hard you do. I, personally, will never get bored or triple-replayed car violence.
Gameplay & Control: 8
Even if the game is cookie-cutter, it does everything cookie-cutter games strive to do very well. The races are fun, and the tracks are long enough to not feel like a race is over before it really started. The game will also adapt to your skill level in the way of different things occurring depending on what position you're in. The traffic will become better or worse depending on your position (better if you're in last, worse if you're in first), and the CPU opponents behind you will receive turbo boosts.
This brings us to the one non-cookie cutter element, other than the crashes: the turbo meter. The Turbo meter fills up depending on how dangerously you drive (without crashing, of course). if you nearly miss a car, you get a bit of turbo. If you drive on the wrong side of the road, you get turbo (the longer you manege to stay on that side, the faster the bar goes up). If you drift through corners, you get boost. Also, if you expend all of your boost bar, it will refill halfway. This means that if you drove on the wrong side of the road until your boost bar filled up, then boosted all of your bar away, all on the wrong side of the road, the boost bar will fill all the way back up to full. So, theoretically, if there was always an oncoming lane, and you were a good enough driver, you could be constantly boosting throughout the whole race. This adds a huge amount of depth to the game.
Crashes can also be strategically... erm.. crash-ed. If you know you're going to crash, the you should probably try to crash in a way that would obstruct the whole road so that your opponents will also crash, and you'll have a fair respawn, instead of being in dead last.
The control is very tight, and you'll never be banging your head on the wall because of horrible control. 'nuff said.
To be frank, the sound effects are great, and the music sucks.
The SFX are some of the best crashy noises I've heard, and are timed well with the action. The engine noises are good enough; they will sound different for each car, and you'll never have a whisper-quiet pickup truck, or a blaring loud compact car.
The music is something to turn down to zero, though. It's repetitive, it all sounds the same, and it's just not all that good...
Replay Value: 7
The game doesn't take long to beat (it'll only take you about 8-10 hours; I did it in 3 days) There are records to beat in Single Race mode, even after you've beaten the Championship and Face Off modes (the two main single player modes). The multiplayer is lots of fun, and forcing your friends into oncoming traffic is even more fun than you'd think.
Miss, Rent or Buy?
I advise that you either rent it for a week, since after a week the single player gets slightly boring, or that you buy it because you'll come back to it in a month and think "Hey, this was a great game!" and get addicted to it for another week. Also, the multiplayer is decent, to boot, so you really can't go wrong if you buy it, especially since it's now gone Player's Choice, and that means that it now has a 20$ MSRP.
Overall score (taking into account that gameplay & control and replay value are more important that sound and graphics): 8.3
GameFAQs rounded score: 8
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/05/06
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