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PS3 Review – Burnout Paradise

September 9, 2009 Written by Jonathan Leack

The title Burnout Paradise came out in January 2008 and was quickly accepted as one of the best racers so far this generation. Not only did it provide the intense 60FPS racing experience that Burnout fans have come to love, but it also provided some new direction as well. It’s been over a year now, and the game has not only gotten new DLC, but it has also become a downloadable game on the PlayStation Store at the price of only $19.99.

At its core, Burnout Paradise is a traditional arcade racing game. You can expect to drive your car at insanely fast speeds, launch off dozens of jumps, and crash frequently. It’s from there though that the similarities quickly vanish. Burnout Paradise is one of the few racing games to feature a fully rendered sandbox environment. From the very beginning, you are allowed to drive up to any of the game’s hundreds of intersections and hold down both the throttle and brake buttons simultaneously to enter an event. There is a traditional race mode, a stunt mode, several crash related modes as well as an individual race designated to every car. Unfortunately, the crash related modes become boring quite quickly, but the trick and racing modes seem to never get old.

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The sandbox environment and intersection concept are very interesting and create a dynamic and non-linear racing experience. The first thing worth pointing out is that all races end at one of 8 points of the map. Due to this you’ll find yourself driving on a few of the roads in every race, and unless you miss a turn, you will likely avoid many of the game’s roads. However, the city is very large and varied, so this never really poses a problem. One very noticeable thing about the game is that it sports full damage modeling. When your car crashes in Burnout Paradise, the car reacts very similarly to how a car really would. After a crash, as long as your chassis is still intact, you are able to drive away from the crash. The high-speed racing and damage modeling make for a terrific fast-paced racer.

Inputs in Burnout Paradise are very responsive, and each car has a unique handling model. Some of the heavier cars are very slow to turn, but on the plus side are very durable. However, some of the faster cars with low durability contain some of the best handling in any racing game to date. Racing is as simple as using R2 to accelerate and L2 to brake/reverse, but learning to drift around corners takes some practice. This is a Burnout game, so expect to spend a lot of time navigating tight turns while racing at ludicrous speeds. Thankfully, the controls are spot-on, so with a bit of practice you’ll be flying around corners like never seen before.

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