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Registered Anime Hater
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Intro:

Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: Criterion Games
Genre: Racing

BurnOut Paradise, also known as BurnOut 5, is the latest release of the popular BurnOut series. Like all other great racing games, it delivers an adrenaline-filled driving experience which few can rival. The much craved PC version of this game was released in January and its incredible sensation of speed has quickly thrown it into the top spot for arcade-style PC racing games. Starting from the level of a new, lowly driver, you progress through the ranks by defeating other rivals and asserting your dominance over them.

System Tested On:

Minimum System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP/Vista
Processor: Pentium 4 @ 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista)
Memory: 1 GB (1.5 GB for Vista)
Hard Drive: 4 GB Free
Video Memory: 128 MB (Shader Model 3.0+)
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
DirectX: 9.0c or 10

My System:
OS: Windows XP Professional SP3
Processor: Intel E2160 @ 2.18GHz
Memory: 2GB DDR2 667MHz
Video Card: ATI HD2400 Pro 512MB (SM 3.0)

Gameplay (9/10):

BurnOut 5, unlike its predecessors, features an open city called "Paradise City". Gamers aren't merely confined to a racing track, but have a vast, open city in front of them to explore and conquer. You start off the game in an open city, not compelled or forced to attempt races after hardly getting the petrol coursing through your ride. You are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, which ever way you want! There are various types or events, each offering a different experience. There are, normal races with other drivers, one-on-one races, 'road rages', where you have to annihialate a certain number of opponents within a time limit, 'marked man', in which you have to make it to the required destination, the winning factor being merely that you arrive in one piece and that the other drivers don't wreck your car before you get there (no time limit either), there are also 'burning routes' in which you have to make it to the destination spot within a certain time limit (each route can only be attempted by one car due to their varying level of performance), and lastly, there are stunt runs: Attempt wild stunts and jumps to get a certain number of points before the time runs out!

All these events will be available at the 120 traffic signals throughout the city. Note that not all events will be visible when you start the game. The city is a thrilling and seemingly never-ending place with tonnes of inquisitive features to keep players entertained throughout the course of the game. There are a variety of places, ranging from thin country-side roads winding their way up into the mountains, to the major expressway that encompasses the city, and downtown, with its tight turns and narrow alleyways. Each road has a fastest time set by another driver, so even when you're cruising, you can still put your driving skills to the test. There are number of hidden spots just waiting to be uncovered, such as the vast limestone quarry which is fascinating place. Super jumps are littered all throughout the city, there are numerous smaller ramps as well, including some which allow you to do barrel rolls (very difficult to do, but greatly helpful in stunt runs). There is a railway track which spans the entire length of the city with a number of entry points. The Eastern section of the city is very dense, downtown has a labyrinth of small tunnels, alleyways, construction projects you can drive through and exciting stunts. The Western side features mountain scenery, a few roads wind and curl their way into this part of city. This area also feature some amazing jumps and drops at various spots. All these 'off-road' areas are vital if you are to succeed in the game. Stunt runs just cannot be completed unless to do some breath-taking jumps, and they also serve as short-cuts in races. Drivers have a free will in all events. The game merely specifies your destination, and you're off! Choose whatever route you want to take. Many a times, a longer route with fewer turns can prove quicker then a shorter one with more twists, so choose your route carefully. Another interesting factor is that the other drivers NEVER use short-cuts or jumps, they ALWAYS stick to the main road. This gives you a great edge in races as you can easily turn the tables from being last place to 1st place in no time! And if you just want to pick up speed, then, as mentioned earlier, there is a wide, fairly stright expressway that is free from cross-over points, so you can easily burn some rubber here if you feel like it. All in all, there are over 240 events which you must complete to get your elite license.

However, there are certain down-sides to the game-play as well. Once you start an event, you cannot simply restart it at any point when you feel like it. Events normally require you to go far away from the starting point, so if you fail at successfully completing it, you'll have to drive all the way back to the start point to restart the event. This can be a major annoyance, but can be solved in the initial stages of the game by applying a simple tactic: Say you start a race, but loose it. Don't bother going back to the starting point again, just look for a nearby event and get going on it. This can actually reduce the frustration caused by not being able to win a particular event. But towards the end of the game, you will, inevitably have to drive all the way back as the number of events left have reduced.

As for how you'll actually progress through the game, you'll start off with a Learning License, but in just 5 races, you'll get your Class D license. But now, the number of races required to get a license upgrade increases. In order to ger from Class D to C, you'll have to win 15 events, from C to B, 25 events, from B to A, 40 events. After getting your Class A license, you'll be required to win a further 60 events to get your BurnOut license. Once you get this, the credits will start rolling, but you're far from complete! Next, you'll be required to get a BurnOut Elite license, which required....wait for it....119 event wins! Remember to give equal time to all types of events, don't leave out one type of event because you find it hard or boring, I neglected stunt runs for most of the game, but it came back to haunt me at the end since difficulty obviously increases as you progress further, and consequently, I was required to make ridiculously high scores and had to spend hours trying to complete them.

Moving on to the wheels, there are 75 rides in all, and the way to get them is also interesting. After each license upgrade, you'll be rewarded with a new car, but since there are only 6 upgrades, you'll be getting most of your cars from other ways. Once you complete a few races, you'll be informed that a new car is "roaming the streets of Paradise City". It means that you'll have to poke around the city to look for it, once you find it, you'll have to destroy the car to add it to your collection, it'll get delivered to one of 5 junkyards in the city from where you switch cars. Though you'll have to get them repaired before using them since they're obviously wrecked. The third way to get cars is by completing the burning routes. Each car has its own route which can only be attempted with that specific car. One you successfully complete it, you'll be rewarded with a modded version of that car, usually it only has a wacky paint job, but sometimes, it also has a slight performance edge over its original version. Anyway, cars are of 3 types, speed, aggression and stunt. Aggression cars are normally heavy, bulky hunks of steel with high durability. They're of little use in races because of their slow acceleration and inability to go around corners, but prove very helpful in road rages and marked man events. Speed cars are thoroughbreds designated only to give blazing speeds, and will most normally be used in races, their cornering ability is great but they're a feather-weight, and you have to wait for the boost meter to reach full in order to use NOS. This makes them almost useless for stunt runs and aggressive events. Stunt cars are somewhat of a gross between the two extremes, and are, as the name suggests, the cars of choice for stunt runs since the boost meter doesn't necessarilty have to be full for a boost, this helps A LOT in stunt runs since you can always give a short tap on the boost to keep your combo going. Another interesting aspect of car behavior is how they crash, unlike other games, they don't run into the wall and you carry on. Crash moments are moreheart-throbbing then that, a few seconds prior to impact, the game goes into slow-motion and the camera angle changes to give the best view of the crash. You see the bonnet or whatever surface impacts crumble in front of you, shards of glass fly out in all directions, and then the car makes a few rolls and flips before coming to rest (the intensity of the crash obiously depends on the speed of that car and the impact surface). The driving mechanics which Criterion has delivered are also perfect. Your car behaves exactly like you want to (provided you have the right skill obviously) not to mention the fantasctic sensation of object zooming by your side as you blaze through the streets at super speeds.

Another great feature of this game is that you are not only confined to car racing, there is also a separate mode for bike racing. There are, however, only 4 bikes in the game, and the number of events for them is also significantly lesser, but nonetheless, they make the game even more awesome by offering players a different sort of thrill which cannot be achieved through car racing. Most of the bike events are similar to burning routes, where you have to go from point A to point B in a time limit. But there are also some which have checkpoints, and you have to pass through all of them in sequence. However, sadly, there aren't any racing events where you take on other drivers.

All in all, gameplay is definitely a real thriller in this game, its exciting, gets the adrenaline coursing and the driving experience is fabulous!

Sound (8.5/10):

Sound quality was pretty good, better then most games out there. The grunt of the rides varies from car to car, and from type to type e.g engine noise from aggression cars is usually louder while that from a speed type car resembled what you hear during an F1 race. Even on my cheap Chinese speakers, I could syill enjoy the sound during gameplay. Some of the background tracks which play on the radio station "Crash FM" are pretty decent. Sound quality definitely made a positive impact on the overall gaming experience, despite my poor sound system.

Graphics (9/10):

On my PC, they were better then most other games like NFS Pro Street. I was running it on "medium" quality on 1024x768 resolution, and it was great! Distance view was pretty good too, but there are an aweful lot of jaggies ingame unless so you'll have to beef up the AA to avoid it. The speeds which I was getting were acceptable, at least for me (~30fps). All graphics options such as textures were on "Standard". SSAO and motion blur was obviously off (I hate motion blut anyway) since enabling both literally halves the framerate and makes the game totally unplayable. I checked some of the screen shots from various websites, and they were certainly better then NFS Undercover in my opinion.

Replay Value (8/10):

Like all racing games, there isn't much of an incentive in replaying the game. All the events can be redone after you've completed them once, but the result has no positive outcome, you can just redo it to see how much you can improve over your previous performance in the events. However, there are some extras which reinvigorate your interest after you earn your elite license. For example, you have to smash all the billboards in town, find and successfully execute all the super-jumps, and also break the best road-time set by other drivers for all the roads in the city. There is also a 'showtime' mode. Simply press the two shoulder buttons on any street at any time and shotimw mode will start. The idea is pretty absurd to be honest. Keep the combo going by crashing your car. Crashing into buses gives the most yield, but can also be frsutrating since you can roam around the city for quite a while until you find one. Anyway, it is, as I said, a side-line task which might keep some players glued to their screens even after the main events are completed.

Overall (9/10):

BurnOut Paradise is, without a doubt, a fine racing game which must-buy for all those who love arcade-style racing. Presenting an open city environment has really nailed the target. However, tts worth pointing out that gamers who prefer racing sims may not find this game as interesting as there is basically no real skill required for driving a car. Sure, you need to have anticipation for on-coming vehicles and cornering, but little more. As for me, I'm an arcade-style racing game lover, so I found this game to be marvelous!
 

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The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Sweet review man, easy on the eyes and a great description of the game! I agree with you here about the game. I burnt out pretty quickly on it, and went back to Test Drive Unlimited. This game was fun while it lasted since it was just about crashing. My problem with it was that it's just about crashing:
- It doesn't offer the arcade racing challenge Outrun 2k6 offers me
- It doesn't offer me vehicles that respond even moderately realistically, there's no "mastering" the cars feeling, no satisfaction when I do a great drift like in TDU.

I'll wait for TDU2, but that's just me. It's not a bad game, just not for me :)
 

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Registered Anime Hater
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15,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does it have something to do with online play and/or purchasing? If so, then I'm just as clueless about it as you are :p
 

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UnCool
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59 Posts
Yeah I'd liked to try it myself but I don't know if my PC is up to the task.
Great review by the way, still waiting for those screen shots though.
 

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troubleshooter
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8,978 Posts
I only liked the crashing part in this game, rest is really pointless. PS Its the first cheapest game that I bought, only Rs999. should have got a free copy cause the game gave me a lot of technical problems. Its really not worth so much money :mad:
 

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Registered
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107 Posts
In terms of optimization, this game is really good, I got a low-end E2140 oc'ed to 2.4ghz, and a Geforce 8400gs and I can run it in medium, with high textures, motion blur, and all other efects without any problem at 1024 x 768, it was 55 fps aprox, almost perfect to me.
 

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The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Just don't use the SSAO stuff, which brings even my 4870 to its knees by halving the framerate. It's certainly not worth it.
 

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The Hunter
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17,202 Posts

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Is it a dream...
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616 Posts
great review! I got burnout paradise on PC a while ago and still play it a fair amount. online is where its at. i love the freeburn challenges. its fun to be working with other drivers doing certain goals than just racing over and over again.

but if you want to race, the cool thing is you can either use premade routes, or setup your own checkpoints and make your own route to race on.

oh yeah, the added the ability to restart a race a while ago. just go into your easydrive menu and choose restart after you lose an event.

as for paying money for cars, you can use the burnout store to either buy a pack that gives you all the cars that are in the game right from the start, so you don't have to work for them, or buy some exclusive cars that you can only get from the burnout store, like the legendary car pack that has a ghostbusters, back to the future, nightrider and dukes of hazard knockoffs.

i got some screenies i took at 1080p i'll post after i find em.

*edit* screenies! some got shrunk cause of filesize limits.
 

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The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
1079p, cool.

Nice shots man!
 

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Banned
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35,081 Posts
anyone playing this game out of the box is crazy :p Crack that mofo!!!! securom will rape your systems >.<
 
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