A bewildering combination of utterly compelling car-smashing gameplay and infuriating design decisions, which means that playing it is simultaneously fun and irritating, like eating a delicious cake with the occasional drawing pin in it.
Yes (thanks, Gil, for the pointer).
I too, have been spending more time than I have on this game on Xbox 360, courtesy of EA (they send me review copies). On this occasion, they sent me a PS3 version as well, which Patrick will guest-review soon and I’ll add to the blog.
It is an absolutely beautiful and very entertaining game; the Xbox Live action is smooth, seamless and instantaneous (but won’t work if you don’t have a hard drive in your 360), the graphics amazing and the race modes as fun as they’ve ever been in Burnout. But…
…there’s no splitscreen option, that I can find. Which is half the way I enjoyed the game in the past, so its an annoying design decision, as Charlie points out.
…there’s no way to immediately ‘restart’ a race.
…free-roaming is all well and good, but it makes ‘instant action’ of the kind you might be inclined to have hard to come by (I used to spend more time than was healthy on ‘crash’ modes, or whatever it was called, when you had to cause lots of damage to passing vehicles).
Other than those – significant issues – this game is flawlessly executed. If you were ever a fan of Burnout, you’ll enjoy the visit. If you thought Burnout was a bit to linear and formulaic, you’ll love it. If you need split screen action… you’ll be disappointed.
Update: My Xbox copy crashes frequently and has caused red-rings (but the Xbox then works fine with Halo3). All a bit weird. Don’t know if this is a bug in the game, or anyone else has seen this? “Burnout Paradise Red Rings of Death” to help people looking up the problem find me… SEOtastic.
Update 2: This wasn’t a problem with Burnout Paradise. I was just experiencing the same hardware faults that plague so many Xbox owners. Second replacement Xbox (or repaired Xbox, rather), here I come. C’mon Microsoft! Sort it out!
There are times when it rocks to be Armo’s mate – getting a free copy of Burnout on PS3 is definitely one of them. I’ve chatted with Armo about the game and can understand his annoyance at lack of split-screen, but IMO this is simply the best racing game out there. It’s so good I actually question whether I need to buy another ever again (probably a good thing) – and I’d be suprised if a slew of Paradise City-alike copycat games didn’t appear over the next 12 months.
Some don’t like it but I think the free-roaming aspect of the game, which once you’ve started doesn’t have any loading times or menus screens at all, is awesome. Do any event whenever you want, nomatter whether you’ve managed to complete earlier events. Yes, there’s no crash mode, but instead you have the similarly crazy Showtime mode available at any time, with records to be broken on every road in the city. Got to mention the online mode as well. I’m not a big online gamer at all, and generally can’t really be bothered to leave games to go through lobbies and find a decent (and non-abusive) opponent – it just takes too long and I don’t know that many people with a PS3 to make it worthwhile. But the online in Burnout is a revelation – totally integrated into the main game and available at the touch of a button. The first time you play eight-player Burnout is an insane experience. So basically it’s great. A shame about the lack of restarts and no split-screen, but in its place you can lure an unsuspecting newbie to the roof of a car park and then push him off, which for me, more than makes up for it.