It’s been 10 years since Burnout Paradise first released. 10 whole years! Now it’s back, offering up the experience of the original including all of the add-on content, and 4K support on Xbox One X. I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with the open world racer all those years ago, infact some of my fondest gaming memories are from this very game. There’s nothing like racing your friends online and taking them out in spectacular style, only for them to flip you the bird via their Xbox Live Vision camera (if they had one). A feature which seems to be missing in the remaster, although to be fair, Kinect support has now been dropped.
Loading up for the first time I couldn’t help but smile as Guns N’ Roses Paradise City started playing. I just couldn’t wait to get back on to the streets of Paradise City once again. I played so much of the original that it was almost like revisiting a place from my childhood, the game is exactly as I remembered just cleaner looking visuals and a solid 60fps, there are some areas that show its age just a little bit, wheel arches can seem a little angular, along with some of the scenery, but nevertheless it’s an absolute joy to play again.
One of the main factors that made Burnout Paradise so good was the freedom, not only because it’s an open world affair, but also the fact you choose the route to take from start to finish of a race. it made the whole thing feel even bigger than it was, and to an extent it still does. for a game that is a decade old it still stands up today as a solid arcade racer. Burnout has always been about the spectacular crashes and BP is no exception, it was pretty decent in the original, now the game has been remastered they’re almost painful to watch (in a good way) with bodywork creasing, bending and obliterating every which way possible. it’s glorious stuff.
The inclusion of all the add-on content that was released for the original is a bit of a double edged sword, while it does include all of the content ever released for Burnout Paradise, some of the DLC cars do nerf the game somewhat if you use them from the get go. As tempting as it is to jump straight in to the GT Nighthawk, doing so will make all of the cars you unlock from playing obsolete as they’re pretty underwhelming in the stats department in comparison.
On to a bit more about the game for those that have yet to play it. There’s five events to take part in, those being Burning Route (Burning Ride for bikes) Burning Routes are timed events for specific vehicles, beat the time and you’ll be rewarded with a modified version of that vehicle. Marked Man, players must get from point A to point B while being hunted down by A.I. who try to wreck you before you can finish. Road Rage, here you must take out a set number of vehicles before the time runs out. Stunt Run, here you must perform tricks such as barrel rolls, jumps, drifts etc to beat the required score within the time limit. Finally there’s the standard race mode in which you have to get from point A to point B first.
There’s also Road Rules, every single road has it’s own Road Rules, Time and Showtime. In Time you simply have to drive from one end of the road to the other in the fastest possible time. In Showtime, players must cause as much damage as possible along a road. To activate Road Rules you have to first cycle through them using up on the D-pad, these also have online leaderboards attached to them. Taking the game online is the most fun, especially with the included Cops and Robbers game mode.
Big Surf Island also adds some change to the game, having a different feel, being hillier and more geared towards stunts with massive jumps to boot. Visuals are great, the remaster treatment works wonders on Paradise Island, it does however show its age in one or two places but can be forgiven for that. The audio is what you would expect from an arcade racer with generic engine sounds for the vehicles. the soundtrack is spot on though, no complaints here.