Criterion Games' demolition-driven Burnout Paradise maintained a healthy following throughout 2008 thanks in large part to the developer's commitment to delivering substantive in-game content at the best possible price--free. Although the developer's magnanimous nature has waned for 2009, Criterion has a number of premium content packs in the pipe. The first of these updates is the Burnout Paradise Party Pack, which features an offline party-game mode for up to eight.
Today, Criterion said that the add-on will arrive in the US bundled with Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box for the PC on February 5. On the same date, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able to pick up the Party Pack through the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, respectively, though no console boxed version will be released. However, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box will be released in European and Asian stores for all three systems on February 6.
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box includes all previously released game updates, as well as the aforementioned Party Pack. In addition to a variety of multiplayer-centric minigame challenges, the Party Pack updates the game with brighter, more colorful visuals and adds a race restart option. The PS3 edition of the Party Pack also includes the Burnout Paradise Network, which acts as an in-game news-delivery feed and friend-tracker.
Criterion was also quick to remind current game owners that it isn't done with the freebies. Along with Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box for the PC and the premium Party Pack, February 5 will see the release of what the developer calls a "massive" free update. Criterion did not delineate the specifics of the upcoming patch but did say that it will introduce an in-game Web site and store, as well as tweak a variety of game modes, graphics, and vehicle dynamics.
Check out GameSpot's review of Burnout Paradise for more.