Remembering 2008: The Biggest Games Turning 10 This Year
Created by Alessandro Fillari on
Burnout Paradise (January 22, 2008)
Vehicular free-roaming games had existed long before 2008, but none had so eloquently blended urban racing with automotive slaughter like Burnout Paradise. In a time when quest-loaded open-world adventures on consoles were about to hit their stride, Burnout Paradise was a rare 40-hour non-RPG that warranted the time and attention of completionists like myself.
Today's racing market--dominated by Need for Speed, Forza, and Codemasters games--skew toward realistic car performance regardless if you prefer arcade or sim controls. Upon firing up Burnout Paradise today, I'm reminded of how its car handling has more in common with Sega arcade games of yore than with more recent racers--titles that are tied to their respective franchise goals of realism and authenticity. Burnout Paradise never had to worry about that, especially when your audience expects quarter-mile-long leaps over cliffs and destructive car chases that can stretch halfway around its 26 square-mile map.
The game's density of goals ensures that the moment you tick off a mission box, you're just blocks away from starting another. The next quest might even come to you, whether a high-value target happens to drive by or someone challenges you to an online match. And the fact that the online servers are still up--rare for a 10-year-old racing game--is a testament to its following and resiliency. Much larger drivable worlds have sprouted up in the last ten years, but none have managed to replicate the happy and balanced marriage of speed and ruination quite like Burnout Paradise, much to the dismay of fans who long for a successor. -- Miguel Concepcion