Pros Improved Gameplay and design... Jameson Thottam
Cons Irritants on game perspective/music... Jameson Thottam
Summary Jameson Thottam definately flaming out on this game
I wasn't a big fan of the original Burnout game.
It was too buggy, the car handling was lousy, the graphics were terrible and the sound was astonishingly bad. Because of that, I've skipped all the Burnout titles since then until I got hold of a copy of Burnout Legends for my PSP. Seeing the gameplay in there coerced me into getting hold of a copy of Burnout Revenge.
Changes... James Thottam
Some things have changed, some have stayed the same. The car handling is still lousy, but now it doesn't really matter. The brunt of the game is still the same as it ever was - drive badly to earn boost, use boost to win races, and win races to advance your skill level.
There are a few different types of event to compete in. The first is a straight race to the finish. Next up is road rage, where your objective is to ram your opponents off the road for points. Then there's Eliminator, where the last car in the race is eliminated at fixed time intervals. There's a new mode called Traffic Attack where the objective is to do as much damage as possible to all the other traffic. And finally there is crash mode, where the aim is to dump a car into a carefully crafted traffic scenario to do as much damage as possible.
In race, road rage and eliminator modes, you can earn boost by getting rid of opponents - forcing them into scenery or oncoming traffic for example (a takedown). But if they perform a takedown on you, their marker turns red and you have a revenge target (new to this game). Get your revenge on them with another takedown and you're awarded more boost and an after-race trophy. And here's where Burnout:Revenge has another nice feature. Each track has a "to-do" list associated with it. For example, three revenge takedowns in a race, or a vertical takedown from a specific ramp. Some of these you'll acquire during normal race time, but its a good way of adding longevity to the game. Suppose you've got gold in all the events. In most race games, your interest would likely wane after that point. Here though you can go back through the to-do lists and spend time at each track trying to fill in the blanks. It's worth noting that some of the initial events you can enter will be events you cannot win until you've worked your way through the game far enough to get a bigger or faster vehicle. When that happens, then you can go back and try those earlier events again.
The Need for Speed...Jameson Thottam
EA have done a great job of conveying speed in Burnout:Revenge. There's no popup in the distance and all the track details and other vehicles are beatifully rendered. You really do get a real sense of speed. The best change they've made to the game since earlier versions is to do with your continued ability to speed in-game. They've now made it so that any traffic going the same way as you is no longer an instant crash, but instead can be deflected and destroyed. This leads to a far smoother feeling of gameplay. Whilst it does remove the skill of dodging traffic (which a true race game would force you to do a lot of), the whole point of the Burnout games is mindless destruction. Allowing you to hit same-way traffic is a great way to enhance that part of the gameplay.
Some Nice Features... Jameson L Thottam
As with the previous title (which I didn't own but did play once), Burnout:Revenge has aftertouch and crashbreaker facilities. This came about in a post-Matrix world of wanting everything to use bullet-time. In Burnout, it's used well. Once you've crashed, you can steer your wreckage to a certain degree to inflict even more damage. And in the crash modes (as well as certain race modes later), if you do enough damage, you can then hit the crashbreaker which basically destroys what's left of your car with an explosion to do even more damage. The power of the crashbreaker is either dependant on the boost you had before crashing (in a race) or on your ability to mash the R2 button (in crash mode). Either way you get even more aftertouch once you've exploded and can go on to do even more damage.
The Established Mainstream... Jameson L Thottam
I think for that reason alone, mainstream manufacturers have been loathe to allow their vehicles to be used in Burnout games and the same is true here. You get generic EA-created vehicles with no brand name that don't even look like any car you might recognise on the street. This is a minus point for me. All the cars handle exactly the same apart from their top speed, and not having any brand names makes it difficult to distinguish one car from another. What's the difference between a Consolidated M185 and an Associated R23?
Design for the Go... Jameson Thottam
The track design in Burnout:Revenge is pretty good. The draw distance is amazing for a PS2 with the all-pervading fog not coming in for at least a mile. This gives a far more "wide-open" feeling to some of the tracks, especially White Mountain. Most of the tracks have shortcuts now, indicated by flashing blue lights at the entry point, as well as hidden ramps that you can use to jump over opponents. (If you use a ramp and land on an opponent, you get a vertical takedown award).
The track designers have done a good job of figuring the points on each circuit where you'll be likely to run wide in a corner if you're mashing around on full boost. Typically, at those spots, there'll be a concrete pillar or some other immovable piece of scenery to bring an end to your shenanigans. It'll take a while to learn these gotchas and master the tracks.
The track locations are varied from a neon-lit metropolis to a leafy country backwater. The generic italian city is fun to race in with its narrow streets and towering old stone buildings.
Some Irritating things... James Thottam
There's a couple of irritants about the game which are worth mentioning. The first is the camera. You can't default it to be in-car - it always starts in the above-and-behind position. Honestly I don't know why any software house still uses this camera point in racing games. It was a fun, novelty piece of eye-candy when it first came out, but it's absolutely useless for driving. You have no concept of speed or direction, or proximity to other traffic or objects. So in Burnout Revenge, you have to hit the triangle button at the start of every event to get the proper view. This gets very tiresome after the first couple of times.
The second irritant is the changed perspective that is used to signify driving on boost. When you stab the boost button, the car speeds up but the game lengthens the perspective of your view which results in this weird zoom effect. It's not too bad going on boost, but when you run out and the car slows back down to regular speed, the view zooms back in and you will inevitably crash because from your perspective, it looks like you've suddenly shot violently out of control towards everything in front of you. I'm not sure why they've done this - the game conveys the feeling of speed just fine without it.
And finally there's the choice of music in the EA Trax (now a staple of all EA games?). It is terrible. No - that's not a bad enough word. It's dire. It's about 37 tracks of thrash metal, heavy metal, grunge metal, death metal, metal, rap metal, and every other type of metal music mixed in with 3 trance/dance/techno type tracks. Fortunately EA have had the presence of mind to allow you to choose which music you hear in the game so the first stop for me was to turn it all off and just make do with the sound effects.
Seriously - driving games to heavy metal music just aren't my thing. I don't like the music, I don't like the style and having to listen to it whilst trying to concentrate on a game is just mind-numbingly distracting.
For those three things, I knocked a star off my rating.
Pros The sheer speed;easy to dive in;fantastic destruction
Cons No single race mode
Summary Burnout Revenge is the second game in the crashing series to be under the EA corporate umbrella. Like it's predecessor Burnout 3: Takedown, Revenge features a punk-lite soundtrack and enough adverts to drill the brand names into your mind for life. Corporate dealings aside, it's very much a different game.
For those not in the know, Burnout was one of the first game s to include extensive car damage. Unlike other games which featured lights smashed or windscreens cracked, Burnout went all the way - bumpers were torn off, tyres squealed and the cars were quite simply destroyed. The second game, Point of Impact, introduced a new Crash mode where players simply drove into a traffic-packed junction and caused the biggest pile-up they could. The third in the series, Takedown, allowed players to make their rivals crash and should players crash themselves, they could steer their wreck into rivals using the Aftertouch feature. Crash mode was redone as well - if players wrecked enough cars they could detonate their car using the Crashbreaker feature. Following on from this is Revenge.
Perhaps the most radical change is the ability to 'check' the traffic. Anything relatively small - like cars or vans - driving in the same direction as you can be pushed away from you, to get them out of the way. The moment you make contact with a car it bends and crumples with a satisfying smash and spins away, perhaps rolling over into another car, or even a rival racer to get a Traffic Takedown.
This newfound ability allows for tactics to come into the world of Burnout, - depending on where you hit the car, it will go in another direction, perhaps into more traffic constructing a blockade for rivals to win Takedowns. Traffic checking also introduces the new Traffic Attack mode, which simply revolves around checking as much traffic as you can to get cash. With each lap a multiplier increases, and the amount of destruction and cash you can create is incredible - cars spiralling everywhere, perhaps onto a road below or rolling into a bus and exploding. What would appear to wreck Burnout - a game about driving dangerously and dodging the traffic - has in fact made it far more enjoyable.
The second most radical change a lot of people will notice is that takedowns are far easier to get than they were in Burnout 3: Takedown. The tracks have been radically designed for takedowns - only one track was designed for takedowns in Burnout 3 as this element did not go into the game until the last minute - with more walls and barriers sticking out from the track edges and even ramps in the tracks to score another new type of takedown - a Vertical Takedown: land on the roof of a rival for points.
Rivalry is an intense part of Revenge, and carries the game forward. The single-player World Tour mode progresses forward via the means of an Aggression Meter - if you drive aggressively you will progress faster. This means taking dangerous manoeuvres, scoring takedowns and getting revenge on those who took you out before - hence the game's subtitle.
Aside from World Tour, there are - disappointingly - no other single player modes. The Single Race mode present in all 3 past Burnouts has been removed, which means you can't quite dive in as fast as you could previously. This can be an annoyance at first to past players, but very quickly you adjust to this new style of play and simply choose your favoured event from the structured event menu system.
Many of the modes present in previous games are all in Revenge, from Road Rage to Crash. The modes have all been revamped slightly too, to give the game a fresher feel. Some races now include the Crashbreaker - an explosive in the car, previously Crash mode exclusive - which means you can explode your rivals too should you wish to.
Crash has been massively overhauled. A meter now appears at the start and hitting the 'sweet spots' in the meter gives you a faster start; miss the spots by too much and you'll either stall or blow the engine. After you start, you can choose where to drive into to launch yourself - checking traffic to start a pile-up early - and using Aftertouch to get more cars after you crash. Wrecking enough cars activates the Crashbreaker, and with repeated hammering of R2 you can create a bigger explosion. Even after it's been detonated, the Crashbreaker can be used again and again if you keep wrecking more cars - which makes for devastating fun.
Graphics are extremely impressive; it holds its own on each format with each car - from shiny sports machine to banged up 4x4 - intricately detailed, even when it's just a sharp piece of scorched metal. Damage is enough to make people cringe for the worry of their driver - of which there are none, to avoid a higher rating - with the car's body being able to bend in 3 different places and bumpers and wheels and even doors can be torn off and flung aside.
The sound effects are your screeches, bangs and booms - typical Burnout fare. The music is not so good - less bearable than Takedown's - and unless you're a massive fan of college rock the chances are you wont have heard of anyone except Maximo Park, Bloc Party and the Chemical Brothers. Some songs can be listened to, but the playlist is also shorter than the one in Takedown which means you'll probably hear some songs more than once in a single sitting - but that we can blame on EA's corporate blarging.
Online is still featured and is managed very well - any buddies you have can all play a game as a single party with a few presses of buttons and the game is fast and slick as it is offline. The only criticisms that can be made of the online is the rather large presence of shrieking ten-year-olds.
Multiplayer mode is fine - Race makes it with Crashbreakers on some courses, Road Rage and Traffic Attack feature and there are 3 variations on Crash mode too. The lack of a Single Race mode is still a slight annoyance, but Criterion can be forgiven for that.
In the end, Burnout Revenge is a great package. Nudging traffic about and sending rivals into the nearest oncoming bus is great fun and playing with friends makes it even better - and makes it last even longer. It's like a snuff film for Gran Turismo fans; beautiful cars being bent and destroyed in every way imaginable - even off of huge cliffs - but who cares when it's this much fun?
Graphics - 5/5
Gameplay - 4.5/5
Sound - 4/5
Lifespan - 5/5
Overall - 4.5/5
Pros Graphics & Cars
Cons Crashmode, General Navigation.
Summary This is a review I first wrote for a school newspaper, I thought I'd submit it here too.
Early last month electronic arts (EA Games) released the forth installment of the multi platinum burnout serious which was first available on play station one. The game was released on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, It has now been released in all main western countries and is sold at $99 aus.
The burnout series is one of the most exiting and successful series to ever be made for the play station, and it’s still kept it’s reputation with the latest installment of the series.
Gamers will have the ability to small destroy an blow up almost anything in there path, Players will find themselves in three very distanced locations around the world Europe, United States & East Asia.
Some of the main changes of this installment are most definetly the most niticable aspects of the game overall, Having the new ability of being able to hit same way traffic to gain points of boost, money value (used in traffic checking mode). You are now able to use same way traffic as long as the vehicle you are hiting is in small or medium class, So you can’t go around hitting 20 tone trucks into rivals although that would be usfull in most situations, When you hit a same way car it simply becomes a large fast moving object shooting towards your rival even though when you hot the car it’s like hitting a near weightless aluminum can, It will most certainly do them a fair amount of damage as you can imagine. Vertical takedown is the new ability to use well placed jumps and ramps around the track to launch your one of a kind exotic sports car and land it directly on top of a rival car is one of the most exiting abilities in the game. The new track designs are bliss to look at with the improved graphics burnout now has and there detail and practicality for racing is the jewel in burnout revenge because after all it is a racing game.
There are also a few noticeable changes in the game that have been found to be a downside to Burnout Revenge.
The cars are not combined in groups according to there power and weight and type as they were in the previous installments of the burnout series, they are now all in one list with the least powerful car in the list at the beginning with the best car opposed at the end of the list, many players dislike this change and would agree that it should not have remained in the final release as it makes it allot harder to find the car you may wish to use or your best car. There is only one last down side to the new installment, The crash breaker mode is much harder to play opposed to the last installments such as Burnout 3: Takedown which crash mode was fast load and extremely fun to play. I belive crash mode has lost it’s quick fast paced pick up and play feel which it had in B3. The player now has to hit ‘the sweet spot’ in a random bar that moves up & down according to the cars revving. There is also a wind shear factor in the crash breaker mode which most players as well as myself also found very irritating and should have been left out of the final release but some changes had to be made otherwise it would have been to similar to the last burnout game, Burnout 3: Takedown. Other than these few factors that are a bother to players more than they are fun. The game is greatly improved, Graphics car models NPC and surroundings have all been improved noticeably since Burnout 3, taking all of this into account I’ve given Burnout: Revenge 8/10.