Having driven past the under-construction bridge for months just hoping to get a glimpse of what lies beyond, Criterion Games have released Big Surf Island – a holiday destination full of high jumps, ferocious ramps and spectacular sights – the perfect setting for a Burnout title.
Starting out with a Dust Storm Buggy, players are introduced to the island and their new license before they can start venturing. Unfortunately, one of the first things players will notice when free roaming the island is its size. In comparison to the Paradise City we’ve all come to know and love, Big Surf Island is pretty small with only twelve new roads available to race down. In saying that, this downloadable content is almost-definitely quality over quantity.
Possibly one of the most enticing features of Burnout: Paradise was Super Jumps. Seeing your car fly over cliff edges and god-smacking drops was just one of the many highlights of the game. Thankfully they’ve made a welcome return in Big Surf Island being bigger and better than they were before; more so, that they are now called ‘Mega Jumps.’ Not only are they bigger and better, but they also require that little bit more preparation. Whether it be driving up a fairly long-winded route through a car park or even having to build up that extra bit of speed, preparing your jump proves to be that little bit more satisfying, especially when you land it to perfection. With fifteen Mega Jumps on offer, all offering the same thrilling experience, Big Surf Island will go down well with stunt fanatics.
Billboards and Smashes have also made a return for those who like their collectibles, and remain pretty much the same as previously witnessed in the main game. Some Billboards and Smashes are fairly visible requiring little effort to obtain, whilst some are tucked away nicely within a small corner or require that extra bit of thinking in order to break through. Nevertheless, despite the rather small island, there are quite a few of each to acquire, which is great for those who enjoy a good scout, however not-so-good for those who would rather get down to some good old fashion events.
This is where quality is certainly more evident than quantity, with only fifteen events and ten Freeburn Challenges included. Despite this disappointment, the downloadable content redeems itself with the availability of some incredible events. Possibly the pick of the bunch is the Tour Island race, which has players driving across the whole of the island before finishing at the highest point, and believe me, it’s a long way down. This is closely followed by some of the stunt runs, which with the incredible amount of Mega Jumps and ramps on hand, are more varied and certainly more entertaining.
Probably the major flaw with Big Surf Island is its length, with the downloadable content only taking a matter of hours to complete. At 1000 Microsoft Points, players would have been hoping for a bit more than what Criterion Games have given us. Another aspect players would also have been hoping for is an array of new cars, though unfortunately, this is limited to nine throughout.
With no graphical, audio or gameplay updates included, Burnout: Paradise Big Surf Island is a pretty simple add-on to the game, which boasts an incredibly designed landscape and some fantastic features. If you’ve already obtained your Elite license and are looking for some more challenges to overcome, this downloadable content is definitely for you, in spite of its short length. Otherwise this may be one to miss out on.