Burnout Crash Hands-On Preview

Burnout's familiar Crash mode takes a hard left turn in this downloadable spin-off.

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Ignoring for a moment the fact that last year's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit felt very much like that other big driving series Criterion Games is known for, it's been a good long while since we've seen the release of a proper Burnout game. Well, the wait is about to end...sort of. EA and Criterion have just announced Burnout Crash, a downloadable game that takes the points-based showcase of wanton destruction that is Crash mode and shows it from a retro top-down perspective. We recently went hands-on with the game at EA's Summer Showcase to see what's up with this new twist on the Burnout franchise.

First of all, let's issue a slight correction here. We didn't actually go hands-on with anything, having played Burnout Crash on the Xbox 360 using the game's optional Kinect control mode. Using Kinect, you steer your car into an intersection, crash into whatever looks appealing, and then move your body around to control the direction of your recently exploded car. Anyone who's spent time with Crash mode in a previous Burnout game should be well familiar with how this works; the only difference here is that with Kinect controls, you need to jump into the air to trigger another explosion and step in various directions around you to control the "after touch" direction of your demolished but still very much moving car.

The way you accrue points varies, depending on the game mode you're playing. We got to see two of the game's three modes in action: Rush Hour and Road Trip. Rush Hour is a pretty straightforward timed mode where you're trying to rack up as many points (depicted in dollar value damage) as you can within 90 seconds. Then, there's Road Trip, where you're going through every location in the game in a, well, road trip of destruction. Along the way, you'll encounter various methods of boosting your score. For example, smashing into a pizza truck triggers a minigame where you spin a pizza wheel and unlock a bonus vehicle (which looks more than a little like Wheel of Fortune) and the ability to create a massive pit in the road that grants you bonuses for knocking other cars into it.

It's worth pointing out that Burnout Crash probably has the most pronounced personality of any Burnout game to date. Besides just the bright, cartoonlike graphics and the game show-style narrator, Burnout Crash isn't afraid to throw in a few gags here and there. Besides the aforementioned out-of-nowhere appearance of a pizza bonus wheel, some of the cars you spawn come with jaunty theme songs as they enter the fold. As one example, when you manage to spawn a bulldozer to come in and ram into a bunch of cars for you, it occurs to the tune of Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It." Word play!

Carrying on what Criterion did with last year's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Burnout Crash will also support the Autolog system of asynchronous multiplayer competition. Like a leaderboard that exists purely to rub your nose in defeat or glorify your triumphs, depending on the situation, Autolog keeps a watchful eye on when your friends have beat your high score on a given level and notifies you accordingly. Then, it's up to you to take back your crown or sulk offline in defeat.

It probably goes without saying that Burnout Crash proved a very surprising take on Criterion's familiar driving franchise. The top-down perspective feels like something from the 16-bit era, while the visuals and style are a lot brighter and more jokey than we were expecting. But this is a Criterion-developed game, and that's a studio that's pumped out hit after hit over the years, so we're perfectly willing to believe that Burnout Crash--unexpected as it may be--can carry on the traditions of this series. We'll wait and see how the whole thing turns out when it's released on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade this fall.

Discussion

88 comments
SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

I will still buy it, But EA/Criterion are clearly insulting any gamer.

MattVans
MattVans

Mmmmm... When I heard a new "Burnout" was coming out on SentUAMessage I did a little "Woohoo" but was suddenly a bit disappointed when I saw this. I LOVED Paradise and it's multiplayer freeroam. Still... we can all say what we like (me included) about this xbla version but I bet we will all download the trial on the day with fingers crossed it hasn't lost that Burnout feel. Then, when it pops up "You have earned yourself an Acheivement" Purchase the full game to unlock it. We will all go "Go on then!"

lrsp
lrsp

It better impress! I really enjoyed turning an awesome looking car in Burnout Paradise into the metallic equivalent of a crumpled piece of paper in showtime.

Vrygar777
Vrygar777

Wheres all the high-speed thrills and epic crashes that I came to love Burnout at?

Atladica
Atladica

this doesn't deserv to be called burnout.

UniqueName2
UniqueName2

Because what I wanted from the next burnout game was to see my crashes from really, really far away!

tmnbhat
tmnbhat

hmmm...something doesn't look right..

DWalker131
DWalker131

looks like GTA2 overhead view LOL thought it was a full price, but its actually XBLA so i got no expectations for it but hurry up and make a new BURNOUT game, NFS has already got one in the making, street racing is back (thank god its not another circuit/track race) so we want something from BURNOUT again but not this overhead view cheapy arcade GTA2 lookalike XBLA game lol

MN121MN
MN121MN

That's it? After two-three years, this is the one they came up with? What a joke... Still... I LIKE IT...

dachase
dachase

So whens this on the app store? it is an iPhone game right?........right? Lazy Criterion is lazy

prsman
prsman

@weedman1985 That's not true. Burnout got better when EA got Criterion. Takedown was amazing and Paradise was great. So was Revenge. This is just... not Burnout.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I'm differently not a fan of burnout and this download doesn't look interesting enough for me to buy so I'll pass thanks but no thanks...

glitch2424
glitch2424

Game Tested this at EA burnaby (bc canada). It was REALLY fun, but apparently, according to other gameplay testers, the game becomes easy when you just build up cars in the middle of the map to create a road block. Either way this game was really fun, it's 15$ or less it's definitely worth the look.

VXXXJesterXXXV
VXXXJesterXXXV

First of all to the people whining about Kinect, please read the article.... "having played Burnout Crash on Xbox 360 using the game's optional Kinect control mode" please note the word OPTIONAL, not only or mandatory, but OPTIONAL. The game supports normal controllers, so what's the effing issue there? As for the game itself, this looks like crap. I know this was rumored some time ago and I was hoping it would be a proper burnout style game, but only include crash mode and be an XBLA/PSN game. The fact it's going to this style is disappointing and really does nothing for me.

hstrip4
hstrip4

Man..... I've been waiting for "crash mode" to come back for years. Heard about this game and got excited. Now I see the pics... what a disappointment. I should just buy the ps2 game and play that.

vi_munaro
vi_munaro

why are all the agressive comments being disliked? did somebody actually like this game?!

Gvsty
Gvsty

... Criterion...this is not Burnout. This is just lazy...

hystavito
hystavito

@YummyMango They prob do know that the good old controller is better for many games, but that's not the point. The point is they want to drive people into platform exclusive stuff. Even if loads of people say they don't want it, the console makers will try to push it on us and hope we eventually come around.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dalua360
dalua360

Why I'm reading a Kinect - Xbox 360 hands on news on a PS3 section page?

ramey85
ramey85

Geez you guys complain about everything, Give the company some credit. If they were to stick to the original formula then you guys would complain about getting more of the same. Kinect is an optional controller, you don't have to use it so quit whining about it. Speak for yourself when you say "This is not what burnout fans want." I'm a huge burnout fan and i'm really looking forward to this game, and willing to bet that when it comes out you'll love it and act like you never had any doubts. You gamespot members are the worst, leaving 1-3 word comments of negativity, just move on to the next story and comment when you have something useful to say.

Steel_Rain777
Steel_Rain777

Sorry but this looks like utter S$%#t. Way to kill a great series. I'd rather have a remake of Takedown

POPEYE1716
POPEYE1716

Kinect and MS destroying one game at a time

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

Shameful... absolutely shameful.

YummyMango
YummyMango

Though I don't own a Xbox I think Kinect is a good device for some special type of games made specially for Kinect but I dont like the idea of pushing Kinect into everything. Same goes for PS move. I would love to play games with these things but make special games and please don't break the already good franchise. I think this would be a good PSP or DS game rather than a console game where I have to act as if I am driving and crash into people, seriously! When will they realize that there is nothing that can replace (at present) good old controllers specially for shooting, rpg, racing games etc.

HCL2
HCL2

GTA 2 !!!!

endorbr
endorbr

Seriously. Who asked for this to be made as a game? This is not a Burnout game, it just has the Burnout name on it. Not saying this game will be horrible or anything but why try and present this as a Burnout game? This is NOT what fans of Burnout want in a new title in the series.

penpusher
penpusher

Right Criterion Games I think you should know this is NOT what we want ok? We liked what we got in revenge and paradise city...we want MORE! When exactly did anyone demand a retro style burnout?!?!?!

JackFlakk
JackFlakk

Top-down perspective? Why stop there, Criterion? If you wanted to really show your commitment to recreating the look-and-feel of games from bygone eras, you could have used black-and-white vector graphics. I suspect that this is a casual game with the Burnout name slapped onto it. From that (ahem) perspective, it's probably not a horrible idea. There's just nothing about this game that appeals to me. Shame, really. Since "Burnout 3", the franchise has been pretty solid.

Raxyman
Raxyman

The game looks alright but... Isn't this a move to delay more the next true Burnout?

fanirama
fanirama

They're trying to make cheap cash without much development and yet capitalizing on a moniker. Shame on them for this appalling effort.

Ovirew
Ovirew

I don't care if Burnout fans dislike it, I think it sounds like it could be a hilarious, fun game.

gamekingpin
gamekingpin

I think it would be more interesting if they called it Sims elderly driving or something instead of trying to use the burnout name.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Sim City + Pain does not equal Burnout. E- See me Criterion.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

This isn't burnout, or even crash mode at all, burnout is all about the visceral, raw sensation of speed and agression, and the crash mode is all about propelling your vehicular missile into the right spot at the right time to get the biggest and most epic LOOKING pile up possible. You can't do any of that with this. Please be making Burnout 6 and not be talking about it, please.

Danituga
Danituga

ahhhhhhh.....hmmmmmm......ermmmmm......ohhhhh....daaammmnnnn......it looks really crappy (or you might say "carappy")

dovonob
dovonob

erm.....i think it looks alright, it's an xbox live arcade game not a big budget burnout bonanza. Then again I'm quite old so I like retro looking graphics, kinda looks like a next level micro machines with destruction. Admittingly the kinect bit sounded like a tacky add on but still, I'd give it a razz.

da2g
da2g

to hell with kinect! give me proper burnout - this looks worse than games on my cellphone - crap

dartmanoncaws
dartmanoncaws

Wow... I doubt this will deserve the 'Burnout' name. :/ doesn't look very good At least the kinect part is optional...

madi1234
madi1234

what the hell is this, f*cking kinect game lol

slippship
slippship

EA committing the usual man love act on bought out developers!

grenadedodger
grenadedodger

Cool, Burnout for the Iphone.....what.....this is the next console version *leaves shaking head and cursing Kinect and the casual crowd*.

ProdjectAUSM
ProdjectAUSM

I remember yelling "BUUUUUUUS!!" while playing Paradise. Oh, and no hope for this title.