Review by amlabella
"Fasten your seatbelts. Burnout 3 is one massive thrill ride."
In the world of Burnout 3, people cringe at the thought of using car insurance. Imagine a virtual reality where speeding doesn't get you a ticket and crashing your car is a goal. This is Burnout 3: Takedown. In a market of street racers and driving simulations, Burnout 3 stands out among the crowd. Through fusing different types of game modes, it finds that middle ground, providing a breath of fresh air. There's no complicated customization or tuning to worry about, just driving wildly. This proves to be some of the most fun you'll have with any game.
Burnout 3's primary message is the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. This means driving recklessly is a smart move. Things like driving on the wrong side of the road and nearly hitting a car reward you with an increase to your boost meter. In a way, this results in some light strategy when racing. It's something that doesn't adhere to the traditional racing game formula, and bestows you with a different gameplay experience.
When you first play Burnout 3, you'll be greeted by very smooth and responsive controls. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll have an easy time. Challenge comes with the aggressive AI and innocent bystanders. That's right, not only will you have to worry about your fellow competitors yearning for your car at the impound lot, but here will be oncoming traffic that you must weave through in order to win the race. The mix of these two things leaves little room for error. With just one minor mishap, you'll be hearing crunching metal.
The bulk of the game is focused on the world tour mode. Here you'll partake in a wide array of game modes, ranging from your standard race to crash mode. Imagine a montage of car crashes and explosions. Now what could be better than getting in a car trying to cause as much damage as possible? Getting paid to cause as much carnage as possible. The intent is to soar your car into the air in hopes of racking up money in the form of damages. Scattered around are various power-ups, such as extra money and score multipliers to make things a bit interesting. Also, a new aftertouch feature has been added to the game, where everything will go into slow motion. After you've crashed, you can catch one of your opponents in the wreck, resulting in even more havoc. This also comes in handy when racing, so it's a nice addition. Once everything seems at rest, that's when it's time for things to go BOOM. If you've wrecked enough cars, you can activate crashbreaker. This explodes the car, adding to your score. But when you're not busy reeking havoc among the unsuspecting roads, you'll be putting the pedal to the metal.
Ironically, Burnout 3 delivers on the promise of speed better than any of EA's Need for Speed games do. Rarely has any game been so fast-paced. You'll be screeching tires as you tear down the road at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Pretty fast, eh? Wait until you use your boost. With just the push of a button, you trigger some extra fuel in that tank, flying by your opponents as you look at them in your rear view mirror. The game laughs in the face of street racers, proving that tricked out rides aren't everything.
Burnout 3 is all about speed, and the graphics encapsulate this perfectly. Having the environments whiz by you in a blurry haze is quite a sight to behold. And somehow the game manages to keep detail in the car models and courses. But nothing can top the crashes. Flying chunks of metal and sparks cascading off your car are a few of the touches that ooze authenticity. You'd think a Hollywood production company came into to make it look like the real deal. If a visual feast is what you need, then Burnout 3 will definitely do the job.
The game has a radio station entitled Crash FM, featuring the talents of a DJ named Striker. He helps familiarize you with the ins and outs of the game. At first this seems alright, but hearing that surfer dude' voice again and again will rot your brain. Hopefully you'll do the right thing and just turn him off. Also, the soundtrack is solid, but leaves more to be desired. The indie rock/punk approach certainly fits the game's presentation, but unknown bands overshadow the likes of Franz Ferdinand and the Ramones. Luckily the sound effects really pick up the game's audio. From the roar of the engine to the sound of metal against metal, the sound effects should satisfy most. As long as you get rid of that annoying Striker, you'll be in for a good listen.
The game keeps track of how many takedowns you have, how much money you've racked up in terms of damage, and so on, which earns you cars at each specific plateau. These statistics carry over to the online play, which is excellent. You can have up to six drivers on one course competing with each other, transpiring a lot of replay value. This combined with the sizable world tour mode will provide hours of racing fun.
You'll realize that racing at rapid speeds is more fun than you thought after playing Burnout 3: Takedown. With a lengthy world tour mode, online play, and plenty of game modes, resisting the temptation of Burnout 3 will be a difficult task. Anyone who wants an adrenaline-pumping experience need look no further. This is the game for you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/31/06
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