It’s not so much the destination but the journey that makes Burnout Paradise Remastered sing like Avril Lavigne in her punk princess pomp. Glittering yellow gates beg to be smashed; crimson coloured billboards linger precariously at the end of ramps, begging to be kissed by your bonnet. And all this while you’re en route to the observatory or the wind farm for the hundred millionth time. Who cares if you’ve seen the same stretch of road umpteen times? There’s a new Showtime to beat.
It’s embarrassing that, four years into the PlayStation 4’s lifecycle, a decade old up-res should become one of the system’s best arcade racing games. Perhaps it’s an indictment of the state of the genre as a whole; maybe it’s testament to the sheer brilliance of noughties Criterion, when the Guildford-based studio was clearly supping the good stuff before owner EA did what it always does and eventually poisoned the well. Who really gives a hoot when you’ve got Road Rules to reset?
The iconic open world racer sure looks tasty on new-gen hardware, where good ol’ spit-and-polish has boosted the image quality and cleaned up the jagged edges. The titular Paradise City still has that piss-soaked tint of an early PlayStation 3 title, when bloom was the chromatic aberration of its day. But it matters little when you’re buzzing through traffic on the way to your next Freeburn Challenge, ramming any and all online competitors who cross your path purely because you can.
Whether you’re online or offline, the same rules apply: go fast and have fun. Rarely does a game make the travel between objectives so entertaining, but here you’ll find a veritable playpen of shortcuts, jumps, and hairpin bends. The structure, which sees an event embedded at every junction, is designed to let you tackle a little bit of what you fancy when you fancy it. Races have no real routes encouraging you to learn the city and its intricacies, while huge crash set-pieces can be triggered absolutely anywhere.
It’s not very “Burnout” – a complaint that’s never been far from critics’ lips since its release. And yet, the game is very much its own crazy concoction – a playground for creativity and crushed carbon fibre. Nowhere is this depiction truer than in multiplayer, when you may be tasked with getting three aerial near-misses in the western woods or accumulating 50 takedowns in the airfield for no reason whatsoever. Just pray to the Platinum Gods you can get seven people in the Wildcats baseball stadium simultaneously.
It’s reckless, ruleless, and ridiculously entertaining – the kind of pure gameplay thrill that you can lose tens of hours to without even realising. And it’s bolstered here by a seemingly never-ending slate of content owing to the much-publicised Year of Paradise – a precursor to the Games as a Service buzzword and proof that it was financially plausible long before anyone had even opened a loot crate. Want to drive a toy car? Hell yes, you do! Gee, the bikes alone bring a bevy of new content to a well-worn world.
And then there’s Big Surf Island, the colourful off-shoot that has leaps of faith so long even Evel Knievel would wince. It’s a miniature manifestation of everything that makes the main game strut, with new billboards to break and plenty of fresh orange gates to obliterate. Cops and robbers augment extra online multiplayer modes, while the Paradise Party pack condenses the core thrills and spills into a series of pass-the-controller minigames.
Our singular quibble, then? EA tax. No, not EA Trax – the title has the best worst soundtrack of all time, after all – but the eye-watering £34.99 price point that the publisher’s attached. When you consider that the PlayStation 3 edition of the Ultimate Box can be obtained for less than a bottle of Becks, the American organisation’s asking a helluva a lot for what is effectively a buffed-up re-release. It’s worth it, of course, but the sticker shock needn’t even exist.
On the title’s tenth anniversary, Burnout Paradise Remastered is a timely reminder that – like Avril Lavigne – this arcade racer can still do it better than all of its contemporaries. Seriously, there’s no other like it, so when’s it going to sink in? The only real downside is that the pricing’s stupid – what the hell is EA thinkin’?
Happy to answer any questions if there are any. (I'm assuming there won't be many?)
I'm debating getting this or waiting for Onrush. I don't buy many racing games but have wanted a good Arcade Style one for a while now.
@Splat Will it be your first time playing Burnout Paradise, or have you done it all before? I ask because if it's your first time, I strongly recommend Burnout.
@get2sammyb Never played it. I normally only buy one or two racing games each gen. It's not a genre I play much.
@Splat I think you should get this. Maybe wait for a small price drop, but you'll have a blast and it'll last you ages, too!
Burnout 2: Point of Impact was incredible on Gamecube but I haven't played one since. Is there a Crash mode?
@get2sammyb I'm sure it will be part of a PSN Flash Sale sooner rather than later.
@nessisonett Yes and no. It's called Showtime here, and you can just trigger it anywhere in the world. In truth it's not really as good, but there's always Danger Zone if you fancy some ol' fashioned Crash Mode fun.
I really hope this sells like crazy!! It's time that EA's eyes are opened and that we just don't need crappy practises on a racegame. Hopefully, a new Burnout game gets produced without stuff that makes NFS a lot less desired these days. Heck, even bring NFS back to its former glory. Been way overdue if you ask me.
@nessisonett Agreed. I'd have much preferred a remake of Burnout 2 but people seem to prefer this just because it's open world...
Certainly recommend this too. There isn't anything on PS4 like it and whilst those on Xbox could argue that the remaster isn't worth it as the game is BC, those on PS only, wanting that old school arcade racing fun with a LOT of content, really ought to buy. Its not just racing from point A to point B and trying to get there first - sometimes its about getting there without being destroyed to many times and there is no fixed route either so how you get to point B is up to you. However there are other things to do, like takedown a number of other cars, complete stunts to get a certain score etc. Good cars - some better for stunts, other built for speed and some for takedowns. All the DLC is included - inc the 'Delorean' and the Ghostbusters car - or at least they are in all but name.Great soundtrack too and should provide you with a lot more fun and hours than many 'new' games will...
Haven't played a burnout since the PS2 days. What is the difference between online and offline modes? Looking for something to play to keep me occupied until far cry comes out.
Edit: that was a vague question. Obviously I know the difference between online and offline. My question is, is it the same game online vs offline, the only difference being that you have to accomplish the same tasks only with other players?
@NYJetsfan123 It's the same world, and your progress on collectibles transfers between online and offline multiplayer. Offline is more traditional campaign stuff, with events to complete. Online allows you to create races and stuff, but you can also complete random challenges like jumping over each other and stuff like that.
I loved the burnout series. Burnout takedown was my favourite. I didn't enjoy paradise as much. I have been following this though and, after a price drop, I'm thinking about trying this again. Hopefully, as mentioned above, EA will contemplate bringing out a new burnout. We live in hope.
I might actually give this a go as I was perhaps overly harsh in my initial judgement when playing on EA Access, it was particularly jarring going to this as I'm currently playing Forza Horizon 3 on the X and seeing how far we've moved on since it's launch.
I've always been a huge fan of the Burnout games but always preferred the more focused earlier games with defined tracks oh and a crash mode, whilst the original is still the most tense racing game I've ever played. This still has much of the same great racing and a great soundtrack so if I find it cheap enough I'll pick it up. Hopefully this'll sell well and encourage EA to drag Criterion from the ashes to create a new game in the series
@get2sammyb is Avril Lavigne in the game or something? She's mentioned twice in the review and I've heard the soundtrack to this is.... divisive.
Still, looks a good laugh this. Might grab it in a sale.
Key Question is this song in the game.
I bought this today. Although I played the original, the ten year gap, the frame rate and retouched graphics make it feel quite fresh.
loving this game seems better this time around
This was my least favourite Burnout.Going open world was a mistake in my opinion but that's not to say I didant have fun with it..
If I see this heavily reduced (because no WAY am I paying that price..)I'll probably pick it up as the only "driving game" I have now is Mariokart on the Switch..
Avril was a hottie back in the day! Mjam!
Oh yeah love the game too!
@Scollurio She's only 33 now!
You can buy it new physically for £30 or digitally for £35
This game is digital crack. Yes the pricing is stupid but I'm having an absolute blast playing this again.
She was cuter pre blonde. Come at me...
I’d be willing to bet this is the only review on the entire internet that compares the game (or any game for that matter) to Avril Lavigne. 😂 Brilliant, as always Sammy.
If Burnout Paradise Remastered is Avril Lavigne, what is GT Sport? Lady Gaga? (If only there as a racing game equivalent to Miss Swift 😉)
I want this game but £34.99? Why do they have to go and make things so complicated?
Are the orange gates tied together this time? Breaking through just one while the others remained made tracking difficult.
@fontainelefunk No, same as on PS3.
@get2sammyb That review is brilliant! Some of the lines you used had me smiling my head off;
Glittering yellow gates beg to be smashed; crimson coloured billboards linger precariously at the end of ramps, begging to be kissed by your bonnet.
I can imagine Brian Blessed reading that out to a packed audience at the Albert Hall. Great writing Sammy.
Loved this game on the PS3 and played it to death. On PS4 Pro it looks great and I am playing the out of it and remembering all the short cuts. Game of the Year for me.
Avril > Taylor, just saying.
Looks like I'll be buying this game. You couldn't've made it any more obvious....
Gran Turismo Sport is Beyonce (Original GT is Destiny's Child)
Lady Gaga is The Crew.
Lorde is Project Cars.
Rihanna is Need for Speed.
Alexandra Burke is Driveclub.
Taylor Swift is Rocket League
@CountFunkula78 Ha, ha! Sounds about right.
To answer your question- EA is thinking dollar signs like they always are! They've quickly become the least respected game publisher out there. [Bungle pulling in a close 2nd] Their greed knows no bounds, and worse it seems player feedback just falls on deaf ears. This leads me to believe consumers are still buying the product. It's like a baby crying because it's bedtime, but then they're sleeping in your arms before you make it to the crib. It leaves a really bad taste in your mouth, especially when it happens over and over, like being tricked or betrayed. It's really too bad..15 years ago I loved EA, I remember starting up a game or seeing a spot on TV, and saying "EA- It's in the game!" Alomg with them. Their name was a sure sign of polish amd entertainment. Honestly I think The Sims strated all this. Releasing 50 million content packs with holy moly new deck chairs! And wow, self-cleaning dish washers...oh for only 19.99 each!? What a steal! Kathy McCrabpants and her book club are going to love this! And it sold. It sold like crazy. So they went even harder with Sims 2, Sims 3, microtansactions, loot boxes, etc etc.
They dug themselves this hole, but consumers keep throwing money in it. They are getting bad press and negative feedback but banking off all of it at the same time.
For all the DLC you get with this one (Brunout) I didn't think it was a bad deal and didn't bat an eye at the price point. COD games that are 8+ years old are still being sold for nearly full price. GTA V is also. That is what gets me. After a full year of release no game should be more than 50% it's original price. No other product on the market holds its value for as long as video games do.
I feel like I'm the only one that thinks this game is reasonably priced.
Last gen 'premium' game, from a notoriously greedy publisher, all DLC included for £30-35 retail.
That isn't THAT bad.
Given it's EA I would have expected patched in loot boxes & a £50/$60 price tag.
I'm not in a rush to play this, but will probably pick it up sometime down the line.
Hope enough people buy this so that we can get a new entry.
I never liked this game the first time around which was a shame considering how much I loved the Burnout series. It was just much better when it was simpler and not sigh open world. Takedown was the best one. Simple. Race round and a track and smash people up. Or do the awesome crash mode. Paradise all seemed a bit meh, and somehow, has an even more appalling soundtrack than Takedown did.
I'm like you in that I only get a racing game every few years. I'm really interested in Onrush as well. I tried this game when it was on ps+ on ps3 and I didn't like it much, the whole open world thing just didn't work for me. Driving around trying to find a race felt really odd. I never felt any sense of progression and it all felt a bit empty.
If this was burnout revenge I would be on it in a flash my favourite bit of the burnout games were the crash junctions which were dialled back a lot in this game. May consider this when the price drops considerably.
Help me out. I really love arcade racers, but I'm no fan of Avril Lavigne. What to do?
I WILL get this...but no way at 40 euro's.
Waiting for discount; at 20 euro, I'll buy it not before.
I'm shocked by how many of you aren't fans of Paradise! I knew there was a few of you out there, but geez!
Still would of preferred BurnOut 3:Takedown Or at least have a 2 player split-screen mode or even better a 4 player split-screen take-down Road-rage mode(OMG that would of been AMAZING) included in this game. PS3 and PS4(so far) split-screen games have been so disappointing really :-/
Hi All, - As for pricing - bit of a conundrum - if it fails to sell at
£ 35.00 will this put the mockers on any future re-releases (ie Dead Space or Mass Effect) -
However, if it does sell well at £ 35.00, then EA will see this as a Green Light for all future Re-release Pricing......?
Have EA Priced this at £ 35.00 to try and recoup the lack of Sales for the Excellent Titanfall 2 and the Original Launch furore surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II .....?
Like many others - £ 35.00 too high, even when packed with DLC - £ 25.00 and I am more than tempted
I loved it (and got the Platinum) on PS3, and it's actually the only Burnout game I've ever bought... but it's just not something I'm interested in playing again.
I thought Paradise the first time round was fun... but quite bland.
I also think £35 here is over the top, I’ll wait for around £20 physical before I buy(so I can sell on)
Haven’t played the original but I’m absolutely loving this so far. This is just the game I needed on the PS4.
Pure Uncut Arcade Euphoria!
does anyone know what resolution the PS4 Pro version runs at?
I do love a bit of Burnout (Burnout is one of the few games I have kept my PS2 for), so imagine my excitement when I heard it was coming out on PS4... but that excitement seems to be quickly dashed on the rocks, in true Burnout Takedown style, as I see that it looks like it is only 1 player.
Yes there is online multi-player, but I am not going to be able to whoop my husbands ass with only one PS4 in the house.
Is it true, 2 player split screen has been done away with?
@get2sammyb As is my RL-girlfriend. But I dated younger. Liked it.
Fun aside I just mean we got to know avril as this loud teen sensation. Obviously too old for that now while still being a treat!
This game on the US PS Store is currently $4.99!
That’s cheaper than your average Starbucks coffee.
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