Burnout Revenge is fast, but can make you furious.
At the heart of the game is one of the most impressive graphics engine to ever grace a racing game. The cars and the backgrounds are all rendered in loving detail, and when a racer wrecks, the sight of metal and plastic flying all over the place is a glorious one indeed. However, there are some knocks to the graphics engine. Most notably, the frame rate will sometimes take a dip from its usual 60fps. While it's certainly not often enough to ruin the game, it can jar players for a moment before returning to normal. Also, when boosting, the environments become far shinier than they need to be, making it nearly impossible to drive in certain parts of the tracks.
There are a wealth of events to be played in the World Tour (single player) mode. From time trials to races to zany pile ups, there's plenty to do in single player. However, there isn't really a proper training mode, so players will simply have to learn a track “on the job” as opposed to studying the track at a more leisurely pace. Which leads to one of the biggest complaints about the game. As there's really no way to place people of like skill together, oftentimes new players are thrown to the wolves and beaten senselessly by more experienced players. Those who persevere may become respectable Burnout Revenge players, but many will be turned off by having their heads kicked in every single time they log on. Once the newbie hazing is completed, however, Burnout Revenge is quite fun to play. Most of the World Tour events are available online, though Road Rage has been modified into a team sport in which the blue team must race to the finish without being taken out by the red team. Fun stuff. If you've taken a racer down online (or if an online racer has taken you down), the game remembers the takedown and will remind you of it with an on-screen symbol and a number denoting how many takedowns have happened in a row. Want to erase the takedowns someone has scored on you? Simply take him down once, and the score will be settled, bringing you back to neutral. It's a great way to keep track of who you've been playing with, and multiple online takedowns will unlock some of the many achievement points available in the game.
Audio is as impressive as the graphics. The boost sounds like a fighter jet shooting down the runway, and every crash and skid is spot-on accurate. The music leans too heavily on poorly-sung, generic butt-rock, but with a press of the big X in the center of the controller and some ripped tracks on the hard drive (or an MP3 player hooked up to the system), that problem is solved quite effectively.
While the game delivers an amazing sense race in terms of speed, some things needed to be addressed. The physics of checked traffic is definitely wonky. When you hit a small, same-way car, it'll bounce around like a pinball for a while before vanishing. This ruins some of the immersion and can cause problems for both you and other racers. Also, even heavy cars seem to be a bit easy to knock around. Even if not knocked around, incidental contact followed by a crash can lead to someone being awarded a takedown they didn't earn. Speaking of online, the EA servers are a mess. It's nearly impossible for the sixth person (out of six possible people per game) to stay on when (s)he joins the first time, leading to frustrating second and third attempts.
Complaints aside, it's hard not to recommend Burnout Revenge to 360 owners looking for something a bit different from Project Gotham 3. Looking past the few rough edges, it's a great game to get hooked on. Now get crashing!