When I gave up my original XBox for that shiny new 360, it was a difficult time in my life mainly because with that, I had to also lose one of my favorite games of all time. A game that allows me to fulfill my pent up road rage that I dare not try in real life, for obvious reasons. That game of course is Burnout Revenge, but thanks to EA and Criterion I only had to wait a few months to once again barrel down the highway at oncoming traffic with little regard for life in general. Deep down inside I knew that this was simply the same game with a fresh next-gen coat of paint, but I didn’t care, I had my Burnout back and surprisingly this is more than your average port, and I don’t say that too often.
If you have never played Burnout before, where have you been? This is one of the most visceral and intense driving games ever created. It is also the fourth incarnation of a long standing franchise so if you haven’t been privileged enough to experience it before this is the perfect time. Criterion has added a new graphical overhaul, added nice next-gen effects such as monstrous explosions and better damage modeling, and even thrown in one of the most robust online modes ever conceived. Needless to say even those with the original Revenge owe it to themselves to check out this seriously revamped version.
You can download an exclusive car via memory card at retail kiosks.
For the most part, the game play is the same, which is not a bad thing mind you I mean who doesn’t love T-boning their ride into a busy intersection during rush hour traffic? All the modes from the previous iteration have made it over, however the loading time does seem a touch longer. Kinda weird, huh? But that is the only feature that has been downsized for this incredible port, so we can overlook that for now.
Upon completing each event the game automatically goes into replay mode. During this time you can record up to thirty seconds of the event. If you deem your replay good enough, you can upload it on Xbox live and recommend it to your friends so they can download and watch it. This will warrant you two new achievement points as well as a third if you can manage to get your replay into the Top 20 Downloads. The reaction time has also been increased making those split second decisions even more vital when racing a timed event. For veterans of the series like myself this was frustrating at first, but once I got the hang of it there was no going back to the original game.
Visually the game is just beautiful, although without the aid of a high-definition TV you might not realize the game’s full graphical potential. The detail modeling on the cars is spectacular; when you start out your car is all nice, shiny, and new, but as you race, grind cars and wreck, your paint will chip off and pieces of your car will fly all over the course, which is truly an amazing sight to see, especially on the proper television. Now I know that most of this happened in the other versions, but not to this extent. My car was almost completely white from all the paint that was chipped off during one race. You didn’t get that much detail in the PS2 and XBox versions, and did I mention the explosions? Simply breathtaking. It’s the minor details like these that make this game worthy of its $60 price tag.
Clean up on Highway 45 stat!
The online features have also been fully revamped from the ground up. You still have the same modes you did with the previous versions but now the game tracks all of your online rivals and takedowns. For instance if you are in a room with someone who has taken you down in a previous match-up the game will single them out and let you know that your rival is in the race. It also keeps track of how many times you have exacted revenge on any opponent. The stat tracking and online rivals are worth the upgrade alone, but add this to the super smooth play, we experienced practically zero lag, and you have the definitive online arcade racing experience for the Xbox 360.
After the agonizing months of not being able to play Burnout, I can honestly say it was well worth the wait. Sure, I would have loved some new levels, modes, or even a course builder, but I can deal with this port. All you developers out there who are just going to port over your games on the 360, take a note form Criterion. This how it’s supposed to be done, but don’t let the idea of this game being a port discourage you from buying this game. If you have a 360 and have played Burnout before, go pick it up again. For a port, it’s more than worth $60, if only until a truly next-gen Burnout hits the shelves which should be sometime this fall.