Burnout cruising to Paradise

EA names, dates the PS3 debut of its demolition racing series; 360 version will arrive alongside it this winter.

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At first glance, the term "burnout paradise" conjures up images of a coffee shop in Amsterdam--or a plush drug-rehab clinic in the Carribean. However, it's also the title of the next installment in Electronic Arts' destructive racing series, which will mark its PlayStation 3 debut. Burnout Paradise will arrive on the Xbox 360 and PS3 "this winter," which typically means a December or January release.

As evidenced by its first trailer, Burnout Paradise will feature the same sort of urban racing as previous Burnouts. However, its developer, UK-based Criterion games, has greatly improved the game's graphics. In the trailer, they are noticeably more detailed than those of Burnout Revenge for the Xbox 360, the only next-gen Burnout to date.

Though none of the series' trademark car crashes are present in the trailer, the accompanying press release promised the game would have more of them than ever before. That's because instead of the series' traditional event-based gameplay, Burnout Paradise will sport an open-world environment where players can "explore the city and discover events," according to EA. They can also run amok, committing random acts of wanton destruction with their cars, earning points that can eventually be used to acquire newer, faster cars.

"We have been working towards Burnout Paradise for quite some time," said the game's executive producer, Pete Hawley, in a statement. "Next generation consoles have opened up a raft of new gameplay opportunities and the Criterion team has leapt at the chance to innovate." Hawley boasted that EA had some "big surprises" in terms of new features and online capabilities," but promised the title's gameplay would remain true to the series."

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