Preview: Burnout Paradise

Preview: Burnout Paradise
Preview: Burnout Paradise

The world is your oyster to do as you please in Burnout Paradise, the hot new game from Electronic Arts that takes the formula from the Burnout series and steps it up a notch by letting you choose where and when the matches take place.

Burnout Paradise takes place in Paradise City, a place that takes elements from some of America's more known cities like Hollywood, Miami, and many more. By blending the various types of city into one map, you're treated to a different sort of scenery as well as assorted races depending on where you go.

What really makes the game brilliant is the direction of the game. Because Paradise City is a massive place that you can drive all over, there are no set directions for you. You don't need a track. You don't need a reason. You just need to drive and that's it. You can choose to crash into whatever you want, pull off stunts, or stick yourself in a race. To get yourself into a race, pull yourself up at a set of stop lights and hit both the gas and the brakes. Before you know it, you'll be pushed into a world where everyone's out to get you on the way to the win.

The crashes are insane and probably blow parts of the cars out at ways I'm not even sure if physics would allow. Every time it happens, the camera stops to show you just how brutal it got and if you're anything like me, you'll be laughing for how much fun it is.

The graphics are all shaping up to be pretty good too. The graphics are shiny and pretty with blurry cameras and while it's not realistic in the way that games like Forza and Gran Turismo are, you really won't care. It's one of those games that immerses you in adrenaline racing, oil burning, grease spilling game play that just doesn't stop.

We can already see the soundtrack's quality featuring bands like Soundgarden, Depeche Mode, and NERD as well as a whole bunch of lesser known artists like Innerpartysystem and the aptly titled Never Heard Of It. Most of the music we heard was rock & alternative with some electronic thrown in for good measure, but the quality of selections that the music team at EA have done here really goes a long way to push the feeling that you're a part of a high impact race movie like The Fast & The Furious.

Being a development game, we didn't get to play it online but if the gameplay is as good online as it is offline, I already know that Burnout Paradise is going to be one of those games that is just way too hard to put down.

Truth be told, Burnout Paradise is shaping up to be one of the most fun games we've played in ages. The mixture of open ended racing and fast paced gameplay really goes a long way to push the Burnout formula to a place where it can't fail.

Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Classification: M
Formats: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: February 14, 2008
URL: Burnout Paradise

Previewed by Leigh D. Stark

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