Burnout Revenge Review

The Burnout series finally makes its next-gen debut and what a debut it is. Take all of the high-speed racing, traffic checking, monster pile-up wrecking excitement of Burnout, pump it up with the Xbox 360’s graphical and audio power, and the result is the pulse-pounding, adrenaline-packed Burnout Revenge. Unless you harbor a deep hatred of cars, an aversion to racing games, or have a weak heart, then do yourself a favor and add this game to your collection. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

I feel the need for speed
Burnout Revenge’s single player action is centered on its World Tour mode. In this mode events are collected into “ranks” of increasing difficulty. Do well in the events in your current rank and you’ll unlock more events and eventually make events at the next higher rank available as well. There are a variety of events in the game, but they fall into one of two general classifications: races and crash event. Crash events are a unique feature of the Burnout series and are probably the favorite event for many gamers. In these events you begin a short distance from a busy road or intersection and your goal is to cause as large a pile-up as possible as measured by the dollar value of the damage inflicted on all of the vehicles involved. It sounds simple enough, but there is an art and a science to hitting the right car at the right moment, and at the right angle with the right speed to set off as big a chain reaction as possible. Misjudge your timing and you may fly past traffic entirely, only managing to damage your own car and your pride. Hit the traffic just so, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular show. To further increase the mayhem, you’re given a little bit of after-touch control that allows you to exert a small amount of control over the direction of your car after the initial impact. When used well this can allow you to really unleash heck by rolling your wreck into another lane of traffic, taking out an additional line of cars that otherwise would have made it through unscathed. Also, as the wrecks pile-up you’ll fill a special meter that once full can be used to unleash a “crash breaker”. The crash breaker causes your car to literally explode and push debris, twisted metal, and burning vehicle hulks out around you into additional traffic lanes. Crash events are an absolute blast to play, and the excitement is further enhanced by the game’s great physics model. No crash event ever plays out the same way twice. Light cars bounce and roll on impact while big rigs pack a powerful punch of momentum. Vehicles crunch, scrape, roll, launch, and even explode in a fascinating ballet of destruction. This is the stuff of exciting gaming.

When it comes to exciting gaming, the race events also deliver. Burnout Revenge is a game that rewards dangerous driving. Driving on the wrong side of the road, dodging oncoming traffic while nudging vehicles traveling in the same direction as you, and catching air are some of the dangerous things you’re encouraged to do. Your reward for doing this is more “boost”, a turbo charged kick in the pants that pushes your car to incredible speeds. On the other hand, if you crash while doing these things you’ll lose boost … and no boost means having to race through the course at normal speeds. There are several different types of races in the game, both for solo racing and against other vehicles. Burning Lap challenges you to finish a lap through a course as quickly as possible. Traffic Attack has you trying to race for as long as possible, with time added to the clock each time you hit a same-way vehicle. In addition to the standard first to the finish line race against opponents, there are a couple more competition modes. In Road Rage you must eliminate other racers to keep the race going. Eliminator starts a countdown timer and when it reaches zero the car currently in last place is eliminated. The clock is then reset and this continues until only one car remains. All of these modes are thoroughly enjoyable and are made more so by the way that the game so convincingly conveys a sense of speed. If you’re racing down a city street at 200 mph, it really feels like you’re racing down a city street at 200 mph as the buildings fly by and you pass other cars on the road in seconds. You’ll have split seconds to line yourself up for turns or to make sure you that pass through an arch without slamming yourself into one of its supports. Screaming down the wrong side of the road at full boost is full edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding excitement.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · PlayStation 2