Friday, July 18, 2008

Game to Buy - Burnout Paradise [PS3]

The Burnout series is the only arcade racer where it's fun to crash. Even from it's quiet entry on the Gamecube, the crashes were always pretty gruesome, especialy when you caused them yourself. Burnout Paradise is different though. The crashes aren't guresome...they're spine-tingling, motion-sickness enducing wrecks.

The graphics in Burnout Paradise are spectacular, like any other PS3 game. Everything's shiny and reflective, and actually realistic. Realistic, of course, until you whip out the boost running through lampposts and cars with no passengers (yours included). I guess it's a good thing there's no people in the cars, less blood and gore be everywhere every minute. At a smooth 60 frames per second, the only time I've experienced a slowdown was during an online match with a huge crash while people were shouting. 1 time, that's it.

The game is imposed in Paradise City, a gigantic multi-layer seamless racetrack with shortcuts galore. The races go from one point in the city to one of 8 finish lines at each point of the compass. This means no more level selection. Greatness. This also makes online play, a key component of the game, seamless as well; with just a couple of pushes on the D-pad, you're dropped into a group of up to 7 other players within the city. Random races, and the newly added Time Challenges serve up a good time, especially when you get the right room with the right people.

The gameplay is fast-paced, yet the controls are spot-on for the many cars that are in the game. Driving a beat-up truck feels like you're driving a beat-up truck, especially when you ram the thing into the side of a puny speedster. Barrel Rolls, T-Bones, and Burnouts are the order of the day. The pickup-and-play style is perfectly done, and I can't reccomend it enough.

Burnout Paradise for the PS3 earns a 5 out of 5. See you in the City.

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