Criterion Games' continuing support of Burnout Paradise for DLC should be a blueprint for how developers can keep a game feeling fresh long after its release. Here we are, more than a year removed from the original release of Burnout Paradise, and the DLC keeps coming. The latest downloadable pack, Cops and Robbers, is rolling out today and, earlier this week, I got a chance to head down to EA's Redwood Shores HQ and check it out for myself.
The setup for Cops and Robbers is as simple as can be. Two teams square off online, with one group playing as the cops (in police-skinned version of popular Burnout model cars), while the other team plays as the robbers. Both team's goal? Grab the stash of gold, which appears at random points in Paradise City and bring it back to their home base as quickly as possible.
Simply driving over the gold stash is enough to grab it and the player carrying the gold will drive at a markedly lower speed than the rest of the cars. This means that his or her teammates will need to protect the car with the gold, either by forming a protective barrier with their own cars, or simply going headhunting and performing takedowns on their rivals. In fact, takedowns are more frequent than ever in Cops and Robbers--even slight contact will wreck your opponent--so that the matches end up being non-stop hectic wreck-fests.
Another interesting component of the DLC will be in the cars selected. You can set options to play a Cops and Robbers match where everyone is driving the same vehicle to even the odds, or let folks choose their ride, which adds an interesting element of strategy. For instance, some players might choose to go for big bruising trucks or vans, which are more impervious to takedowns, while others might go for a sleeker, faster sports car which is perfect for tracking down an opponent who's about to take bring home the gold. One other bit: there's no turbo in Cops and Robbers mode, so speedy cars will have that much more of an advantage.
We had a great time with Cops and Robbers--things get especially hectic when large numbers of both teams collide in a mad rush, with the gold quickly swapping from one car to the next with each collision. Hopefully, Burnout Paradise's long streak of DLC won't be ending here and we look forward to seeing what Criterion has in store for fans next. The Cops and Robbers pack is available today on Xbox 360 (800 MS points) and PlayStation Network ($9.99).