Burnout Paradise Updated Hands-On

We get a load of Criterion's ripping new installment in the Burnout series, as well as check out offline and online gameplay.

Criterion was on hand at EA's press event today to show off the latest and greatest version of the upcoming Burnout Paradise for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game made a splashy showing at this year's E3 Media & Business Summit, and our positive impressions of the speedy, gorgeous racer haven't really changed. At today's event, we had a chance to check out the online and offline challenges. Not surprisingly, these challenges involved much fun and crashing.

The big hook to the game are the options open to players as they go online. When hopping online, you'll be able to jump into a challenge match that scales according to how many people are in a game, ranging from two to eight. The challenges are fast, fun cooperative experiences that have you performing stunts, catching a set amount of air, or other quick and easy tasks. Though the game isn't done, Criterion reps on hand said the plan is to have well over 100 challenges for players to try, ensuring a hefty and varied amount of challenge. Besides actively playing with friends, you can send out passive challenges as you play via the "road rules" feature, which gives you different timed challenges to try on every street. As you complete them, your accomplishment is noted and sent out to friends via a ticker that appears at the bottom of the screen as you play.

Besides the gameplay features, Criterion reps also touched on some other enhancements since we saw the game last. The camera support in the game has been tweaked a bit to offer more functionality. Whereas the game would initially use the PlayStation Eye or Xbox Live Vision camera to snap a victory picture when you'd take a player out, the support has been beefed up to include taking a picture of you for your in-game license. As you progress through the game, you'll be able to take new ones to reflect your growing prowess--or ego. Another unique feature discussed that was unique to the PlayStation 3 version of the game is the EZ Drive feature, which lets you hop online with three quick presses of the D pad.

The visuals in both versions of the game were pretty much what you'd expect from a Burnout title: gorgeous, detailed, and fast. The massive open world and destructible cars are a wicked evolution of the Burnout experience, revving up the hefty amount of fun already offered by the game. There really is nothing quite as satisfying as the seeing the graceful and painful crunch of your car making like an accordion when you hit a wall. The same holds true of the shower of debris that kicks up as you have close shaves with walls and other cars or slam head on into them. However, the most impressive aspect of the game's visuals is the blistering sense of speed that feels, at higher levels, like you're just barely in control. That impressive rush is helped by motion blur and other special effects that help sell the insane rates of speed you tear off at in the game. For those looking for any performance differences between the two platforms, it looks as though you'll be hard pressed to find anything glaring. The game pops on both systems and runs very smoothly, with the standard odd hitch that's to be expected in work-in-progress software.

Audio in the game deserves a special call out because it offers a satisfying mix of engine roars and painful crashes. The visceral crunches and screeches coupled with the robust engine revs do a great job of sucking you into the experience, especially during the epic crashes.

Based on this brief taste of Burnout Paradise's offerings, we're anxious to get our hands on a fuller version of the game. Everything we want out of a Burnout game is included, as well as a bunch of smart, fun enhancements to the experience that only add to its appeal. Fans of the series, as well as anyone looking for a tight online experience that supports smack talk and bragging with photos, would do well to keep an eye out for Burnout Paradise. It ships this winter for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Discussion

59 comments
punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

why is it that the Burnout Paradise demo on XBL is only downloadable for gold members? I'm a silver member, and every single other demo on that list is available to me, I've had an xbox360 for a year now, and i've downloaded tons of demos before and never had this problem, this is the first time i encountered one i couldn't download and i'd really like to try this one out. i don't know if this is also accurate anymore, last time i checked was about 2 weeks ago so i dunno if they made it available to silver members yet or not, but yeah can anyway answer my Q?

lociefer
lociefer

ya , like cono said , i hope unlocking new cars dsnt require havin a gazillion point or smthin ,

READTHIS101
READTHIS101

THS IS A GAME THATS ON MY MUST HAVE LIST FOLLWED BY Metal Gear Solid 4:Guns Of The Patriots Haze Assains creed Little Big Planet Uncharted: Drakes fortune Destroy All Humans 3:Path Of The Furon God of War 3 Ratchet and Clank 5 and a hell lot of othes DAMN!!!!

TreyTable
TreyTable

What "car games" are coming out soon? Midnight Club LA, PGR4, SEGA Rally, Need For Speed: Ruining the Franchise, and what else? Four "car games" isn't enough.

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

Ha ha, can't wait till this game, do you have too unlock the car's like the old 1, like when you get something like 100,000 cash do you unlock a new car?

valttu
valttu

confucioussayyo "This isn't just a car game. You don't just race people. You blow up stuff, wreck other cars, do insane stunts, totally not like some racing sim out there that goes for strict realism. 3/4 of the fun of a racing game is the crash" I couldn't agree more! I hate games like F1 or Granturismo, where you shake all the time and whisper... "Come on... Come on..." And on the last lap, in the last curve, you slide off the track, and that's it. Then you curse and start all over again. Burnout is so different! You have no worries, you just drive and crash and laugh all the time! =D That's the right spirit!

confucioussayyo
confucioussayyo

This isn't just a car game. You don't just race people. You blow up stuff, wreck other cars, do insane stunts, totally not like some racing sim out there that goes for strict realism. 3/4 of the fun of a racing game is the crash.

jacob-goodlich
jacob-goodlich

they hav been working on this for a few months and its nearly done, car games are too easy to make,they hav been working on gta 4 for wat seems like 2yrs and only two hands ons. besides there are enough car games coming out soon, not that i dont love them!

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

The free roam looks awsome! can't wait for this game too come out, it will be alot of fun online...

_Samsung_
_Samsung_

they didn't metion the free roam and that more aspects adding to it such as (i think -) licensed cars. Burnout Revenge - best arcade racer to grace gaming EVER not for long...

termadoyle
termadoyle

this make will pretty much take up all winter for me. how the hell am I going to get to play other games and then play them on LIVE?!! this is not fair I'm being buried in games. T-T

carlopret
carlopret

Why not have a comparision feature about all the diff next gen car racers out there - Burnout, Ridge Race, GT, NFS

ajmaster696
ajmaster696

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

beckit_beck
beckit_beck

this game is gonna be great can't wait burnouts evolved alot since the first "down to earth" realistic burout

dibbitson
dibbitson

this game is gonna be sooo good!! played the other burnouts and they were awesome -cant wait!!!!!!!!

herohunter
herohunter

why is PS3 the leading platform? It stands that they look very much alike...

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

PS3 is the lead platform.

sancezz
sancezz

too.many.good.games.this.year.can't.afford.them.all.damnit.

centrix1985
centrix1985

lookin forward to this one on the ps3 gonna be insane

Space-Q
Space-Q

my pants just got a little tighter

rosscero
rosscero

Another great game in my x360!

Breackneckboy
Breackneckboy

rynmis the PS2 can't handle the intense graphics of next gen.besides,it would eat up all the memory

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

One of the best aspects of Burnout Revenge was that there wasn't any wasted time between events -- you literally just clicked on the next event (or back to another category), and the race started. All this "open world" dreck is best left for games based on that. The last thing we need is wasted time between REAL Burnout action. "...like you're just barely in control. "

AngelCage
AngelCage

BURNOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what the hell is EZ Drive and why is unique (for now) for the PS3????

rynmls
rynmls

what!!! no ps2 version?

Pete5506
Pete5506

This game is going to rock

bigmick07
bigmick07

im looking foward to this game, but i may have to pass utill next year due to all the great games coming out

gamingwarrior95
gamingwarrior95

Burnout Paradise looks so dam awesome. I can't wait!

hbnmrsmiley
hbnmrsmiley

holy crap. that new video is mind-blowing! O_o

SoulKillah
SoulKillah

So...does this mean the PS3 version will score higher?

ocdog45
ocdog45

man i cna't wait to play this game.

agg4000
agg4000

I really can't wait for this one, I just hope it features your car actually tearing in half when hit by trains and/or semi's. Oh and I see a spelling mistake :P "Fns of the series"

ChancreScolex
ChancreScolex

I was hoping that this would be Test Drive Unlimited with Burnout mechanics, it seems that hope is fading :(

wolfboy20
wolfboy20

looks awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jake21
jake21

anyone know if there will be any traffic chacking in this one? i liked that feature

Rothgarr
Rothgarr

Anyone know if you'll be able to take screenshots like in PGR, Forza, Gran Turismo, etc.? I love that feature.

red-orc
red-orc

Again: No explosions at all??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dQuarters
dQuarters

Burnout is the king of arcade racing and Criterion is my personal favourite sequal makers. Paradise is looking to make me a couch potato for quite some time. The crashes look as spectacular as they hyped them up to be way back in the GI article. Cannot wait.

Falfuren
Falfuren

Woah i love burnout so this is gunna be mean