Burnout: Revenge Review
With the dust now settled on the Xbox 360’s launch and games now flooding in, it was only a matter of time before Project Gotham Racing 3 lost its top spot as the 360’s best racing title. It took just over 4 months for what was classed as “the racing game” of the 360 to get tipped… not by another Simulation racer, but by an Arcade racer!
The only decent console arcade racer that comes to the mind of most gamers is Burnout. I remember picking up my first ever Burnout game, and just being blown away by how cool the crashes were! Five (yes five!) years on, and Burnout just seems to be going form strength to strength. It’s not often I start a review making such a big claim as I have in this one. So I guess I’ve got some justification to do.
Let’s get the negatives out the way first. Burnout: Revenge on the 360 is pretty much a sexed up version of the current-generation version, with a few additions to multi-player. The layout is pretty much the same, the game plays the same and the same game-modes are all in there. That being said, the game looks 100 times better than the current-gen consoles — but I guess that’s to be expected. Every time I crashed, I found myself cringing and smiling at the same time, as I watch my car go from a pile of polygon excellence, to a pile of crumpled metal — all in a split second. If you clip your right side at 180MPH, you’ll find the entire front-right end of your car smash into a million pieces. The crashes just look so realistic and with the graphical power of the Xbox 360, they look even better than before!
Ok so it’s the same game as before — So what?! Burnout: Revenge on the current-gen consoles is fantastic, so why not let 360 owners enjoy that same superiority. Why change something that is already great? Granted, it would have been nice to see maybe a few new single-player elements appear on the 360 version, but I guess it was more a matter of releasing a next-gen game now, and getting a newer version ready for next year.
If you’ve never played Burnout, then you’re obviously dead. If that is the case, let me explain how it all works. You get in a car, race around, and take out your opponents — smashing them into on-coming traffic or walls…Ok well that’s the simple version anyway! Burnout Revenge 360 follows the same pattern as its current-gen sister, starting you off in “world tour”, with a ranking of ‘harmless’. As you progress, take out your opponents and win races, you’ll be rewarded ranking stars depending on how much destruction and skilled driving you did. Collect a certain amount of these stars and you’ll go up a level, unlocking new cars, tracks and events.
The main problem with Burnout: Revenge will come to those who are already Burnout veterans. When you start the World Tour, the first 20 or 30 races are extremely easy. Although the cars you race will still feel fast, they just don’t compare to the super fast cars that you unlock later in the tour. It can become a bit of a bore to start with, as you fly through the first set of races with no problems at all. Once you’ve passed the easy races however, Burnout Revenge then comes into its own! The races become more challenging, the cars get faster (and sexier!) and the tracks get narrower/busier. There is tons of fun to be had with Burnout Revenge 360, even if you’ve already played the current-gen version.
So what is actually new to the 360 version? Well for a start, Criterion have taken advantage of the ever popular achievements, with 36 different tasks to work towards. Some of them are obviously easier to get than others, ranging from getting 5 stars on every race on a certain level, right up to getting revenge takedowns.
Another element that has vastly improved on Burnout: Revenge 360 is the online LIVE play. Criterion have realised that LIVE is what keeps the 360 going, and is by far the most popular aspect. In light of that, the online play is even more complex than before. Whenever you take down an opponent, in any game mode, Burnout will save that users gamertag in its system, recording your takedown. You are now that person’s takedown rival. Burnout isn’t called “revenge” for nothing! That guy you took down now has a mission to get you back for the takedown. This works the same on the flipside, if you get taken down, that person becomes your revenge rival, meaning it’s time to return the favour! You’re also able to download and share Burnout replays with your mates – but if i’m 100% honest, you won’t spend long doing that as you’ll want to just get back into the car crashing action!
Another major change to the 360 version of Burnout: Revenge is the sound. All the cars seem to have been re-recorded (Is that a word?) to give them an even stronger and hardcore engine sound. Nothing beats a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound system on full blast with Burnout: Revenge, as you’ll find yourself turning the music down in the options to get the full effect of the car engines – you can even hear the paint scratch off your car as you grind a wall or an opponent.
Although this is basically a graphically improved Current-Gen Burnout: Revenge, I just can’t help but praise the game. I own Burnout: Revenge on my PS2, and I can honestly say this game is still worth the money, simply for the happiness of being able to play one of my all-time favourite games in High-Definition. If you’ve never played this game before, then you have to get it. If you already have, and you loved the original version, than you’re bound to love the 360 version, simply for the high-definition online crash action! Eat your heart out PGR3, Burnout: Revenge is back!