E3 '07: Burnout Paradise Hands-On

They built this city. They built this city for crashing cars.

The fast-moving Burnout series is crashing its way around a much larger area in Burnout Paradise. And the resulting product, which is still in a pre-alpha state, is already looking like it could end up being a pretty amazing game.

The game takes place in Paradise City, and it’s an open world that you can explore. The main idea is that, unlike many other open world racing games, the world of Burnout Paradise is actually worth driving. That means you’ll always be finding races, which you start by rolling up to a stop light and burning your tires to attract other racers. You’ll also find crash junctions, ramps to jump off of, fences or other obstacles to bash through, as well as, of course, lots and lots of traffic. Traffic checking, the system from the previous game that lets you slam into traffic as long as it’s heading in the same direction as you, is also in place in Paradise.

Click to enlarge!

Because the game now allows you to change directions, the game has a very grabby E-brake that lets you change direction very quickly. Along with seeking out jumps and other little things in the world, another recent addition to the series is a little side game called power parking, which sounds like it will pop up any time you find two cars parked close together on the side of the road. The idea is that you need to whip your car around using the E-brake and slide right into the parking space between the two cars.

Crashing is actually quite a bit different in this game. If you crash, but not so badly as to end up on your roof or lose your wheels, it’ll get you back into the game and racing again pretty quickly. But any serious crash cuts to a different camera angle that gives you a slow-motion look at a devastating crash. The cars crumple up and blast apart in unique and exciting ways that look extremely impressive.

In addition to the single-player mode, the game has some unique-looking online features for up to eight players. Players can join your game completely seamlessly after receiving an invite. Rather than cut to a menu or a loading screen, the game simply informs you that a player has joined, the player drops into the world, and you go on driving. While you can treat the world as a lobby and just jump into set races or other multiplayer events, driving around the city without starting a game lets you just sort of mess around, crashing into stuff together. Crashing is where the game’s camera support comes into play. When a player is taken out, a window pops up and gives you a couple of seconds to quickly pose for a snapshot that’s then sent to the player that took you out. The game will save many of these mug shots as you rack them up in online play. It’s a crazy feature that appears to add a lot of personality to the proceedings because quickly mugging for the camera seems like it’ll lead to some funny moments.

As you race around online, the game keeps track of things like how long you can drive in oncoming traffic, your longest drift, and so on. This data is also stored for each different road in the game. This allows for a different set of multiplayer challenges called road rules. For each road in the game, different statistics are kept, such as the fastest time, longest drift, and so on. These stats form a friends-only leaderboard for that road, and you can continually fight against your friends for dominance of each road, even if you aren’t online at the same time.

While the PlayStation 3 version being shown at E3 was marked as a pre-alpha version of the game, it already had a lot of the interesting nuances and features that you’d expect from a final product. The design choices that brought the game to an open city seem to be paying off quite well. With plenty of time left for Criterion to work on adding new features and refining existing ones, it’s easy to be excited about Burnout’s new direction. Both versions of the game are scheduled to hit stores later this year.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Want the latest news about Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box?

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

Follow

Discussion

60 comments
valttu
valttu

Burnout games are always fun. Playing Burnout is actually the same than laughing. ;-D

LostLegacy54
LostLegacy54

Ummm...it says that it is online right in the article...

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

This game will be great, hope it is online so you can beat the s**t out of other people's cars. Haha

jack_sparrow_28
jack_sparrow_28

I've only got Burnout 3, but I loved it, and I got a Need For Speed game (Underground), and well... It was boring. I didn't like it. I did like the free roaming feature in NFS: Underground 2, so putting that into a Burnout game is awesome.

IonescoF
IonescoF

Sounds very amazing, I tired many times in NFS: Carbon to do the traffic checking from Burnout, but the physical model of that game simply slows down a lot the car. I pretty much don't have doubts that Burnout Paradise will be another huge chunk of fun just like Burnout 3 and Burnout Revenge. Awe-inspiring indeed!

x_kenney_x
x_kenney_x

for the people that say that NFS can't compete it really depends on what you like if you want dynamical and fun and open ended, you take burnout. if you like a game that is like what you would like to do in real life and want your custimizable parts to change the way you play the game or the racing tour. you ll pick need for speed. i'll pick both, they're both really great games that are totally diffrent from each other. so please dont compare to unlike things. burnout it has crashes that are the best in its class, and it way fun. NFS gives you a grand tourismo/forza racing game.

darkchaostitan
darkchaostitan

Awsome a racing game series that never dissapoints. II don't know if it will but, I hope it comes out to the 360,.

KomboChameleon
KomboChameleon

at the begining of the e3 microsoft press confrence didnt moore say that every game they were showing going to be launched before the new year?

Testament
Testament

nfs dont have sh+t on burnout, THANK YOU for producing fun racing games this will be the best i'm sure of it.

LOWJ000
LOWJ000

I can't wait for this game. Burnout is part of my top 3 game series of all time. I've got to say I was worried that they might follow the NFS path and keep the status quo with minimal tweaks or even worst drop crash mode like in dominator. But it seems they keep innovating both online and off while retaining the core elements that made the game so addictive. I never though of buying a cam for my console but that new Mug Shot feat is just too awesome. I'm just hoping they can implement a feature where u can share, edit and playback ur crashes a la Halo 3. Just imagine being able to save and review your best Revenge Crash over and over with ur choice of the camera angle, than send it to the buddy that u sent flying into the marina. Uh! This game has just got me pumped. Between this and Halo 3, I'm probably not gonna get too much sleep next year.

icytower
icytower

Burnout has to be one of the best things to happen to the video game world in the past few years, lets hope this game continues that factor.

shankarrr
shankarrr

wait a sec... does this have crash mode, and/or road rage, cuz those 2 things made the previous burnouts

shankarrr
shankarrr

bo paradise will smother nfs, its too awesome... i cant wait

Breackneckboy
Breackneckboy

Whoa!! It looks awesome! NFS Pro street will ultimately fall to Burnout Paradise in fun and rating

msudude211
msudude211

Could NFS Pro Street compete with this?

Ad-2cool4u
Ad-2cool4u

This game isnt even made yet and i know that im gonna get it as soon as it comes out lol :)

Rush_For_Life
Rush_For_Life

I liked the traffic checks as much as the next person, but i was hoping that this time they would do something different. If anything make it harder to traffic check, it always seemed to easy to me to just plow through other cars. I understand that they want it to be an accessible game considering its an absolute arcade racer, but I wish there was more difficulty there. Either way though, the sand box looks like a great idea, and the fact that you just stop at a stop light with a friend thats playing with you and you start your own race is a great idea. The parking mini-game-type-thing looks interesting as well.

red-orc
red-orc

No explosions AT ALL?! I mean: not even in the heaviest crashes?! But other than that: ooo-haah, can't wait!

sens_rocks_40
sens_rocks_40

i love how the big crashes look. i cant wait for this game, it'll be so sweet to just free-roam the city with friends

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

This game looks fantastic!!! This, will be a must-have title, no matter what hardware you own!!! EA's on the money w/ this 1!!!

gamingwarrior95
gamingwarrior95

I'm very excited about Burnout Paradise. Can't wait!

Hell-Fire21
Hell-Fire21

Okay, now I've got faith again. This one just might top Burnout 3 takedown. Give us an awesome score with it! Better yet, let us create our on tracks!!

wenbin09
wenbin09

the online mode sounds really exciting

-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

Me want now!!! Btw I still havent been able to finish viewing all previews of games I want, there's just too much :P

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

This is one of the coolest games at E3 this year, I can't wait to see more!

vip_embryo
vip_embryo

yeah! cant wait neither...*turns on PS2 and plays BO revenge for 3 hours* XD

Pablo620
Pablo620

Im not too fond of open world racing games but this is Burnout and that means its gonna be fast and awesome

Dark_Nexus3367
Dark_Nexus3367

OMG,I want this game!Burnout is my favorite racign franchise,and this one looks so to be a lot better than previous burnouts.I want a demo of it on XBL please!Seriously though,this game is going to be so awesome I can't wait for it.The crashes look like they are going to be super destructive,which is a very welcome refinement for the game.Also the menu style looks pretty sweet,just jump in and play.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

Yes, more crashing games, I love burnout. I just wish they'll have motorcycles as well. Then again, you can't crash into anything or it'll be bye bye.

e1337prodigy
e1337prodigy

Loved the other burnout games. This should be good on the new generation consoles.

wolfboy20
wolfboy20

sounds awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pete5506
Pete5506

sounds like its going to be good

Pete5506
Pete5506

sweet can't wait to try it out

cubeman
cubeman

Looks good, hope it turns out good. I have Burnout Revenge and I really like it.

Paul_06
Paul_06

Looking good. Can't wait for this one.

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

this game is gonna be awesome i am looking forward to it

SonicTH
SonicTH

And people hated the idea of an open-world Burnout. I've always thought of it as a welcome and natural evolution of the series.

Jerell_rast
Jerell_rast moderator

Definitely looking forward to the online features.