Let me make this clear: I've never played any of the Burnout games despite owning a PS2 and Xbox 360 so with a little hesitation after a extended hiatus, I decided to purchase Burnout Paradise in it's digital form courtesy of XBLA's Games on Demand service. And boy am I glad I did.
The best game in the series, Burnout Paradise introduces a never before seen "open world racing" mode, one of the game's true stars. This lets you drive virtually anywhere in order to gain ground against your opponents with a variety of terrain; several of which are modeled or pay homage to famous cities and landmarks around the world with various shortcuts and alternate routes to discover. And with a sh*tload of challenges and multi-player options, you'll be playing this for weeks. And the addition of down-loadable content makes this game an already mind-blowing stellar package.
The visuals are great but sadly not fully high definition which would make it even more better. But it moves at a silky smooth-as-a-babes's bottom 60 frames per second. It also has a rocking soundtrack though thankfully you can put your own tunes in by downloading a future update if you have an Xbox Live account with Internet access. The games music is not bad, but nothing home to write about although there are a few that I like from artists like Avril Lavigne and Filter. It sounds good too with a wide variety of engine sounds that's just like the real thing. Last but not least are the spectacular damage modeling when you careen into a car, wall or guardrail when racing at really high speeds in the more powerful cars as you progress throughout the game.
My only gripe with the game is that there's no drivers in the cars or pedestrians in BP. What's up with that, man? I know the game is rated E but c'mon. It would've been great if there were drivers in the cars but unfortunately they;re not and this made me a little disappointed. Well, it's still a fun game to play though. Hopefully, the next game will have drivers in the cars which will no doubt up the game's rating but it is still a necessity for logic's sake.
With all the racing games I have played throughout the years on various systems, I say Burnout Paradise is the best of them all and the more exciting of the bunch. As a newcomer to the franchise, the game's fictional Paradise Island was daunting at first due to so much you can do in the game, but it really grew on me. Heck, when I first played it, I was simply cruising around crashin' my car just for the fun of it. Not many racing games give you the amount of freedom that Burnout Paradise provides and with it's additional content both offline and online, you can bet that this game gives you more bang for your buck than what's out there now. Easily the best racing game out there in the market.
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