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Thursday September 15, 2005 8:40 pm

Burnout 3 > Burnout Revenge (Or, My Burnout Revenge Impressions)

Burnout RevengeNot trying to start any riots or anything, but what the hell did EA do to the Burnout series? Burnout 3 was a nice, solid 10. It was a game that I could pick up and play with friends, and something that even my wife enjoyed - trust me, that is an accomplishment. That being said, I have been looking forward to the release of Burnout Revenge, but it seems that the series has digressed a bit from what made it great in the first place.

My biggest gripe is with the Crash Mode. EA has removed the distinct goals and obstacles which made the game fun and strategic. Gone are the multipliers, cash icons, and ever-so-frustrating (but in a good way) heartbreakers. In their place is a clunky “golf swing” mechanism used to boost your car from the get go. You need to hit the A button twice on this meter, and if you do it wrong, you stall or end up with a busted engine. It certainly takes the casual gamer a bit of getting used to, whereas with Burnout 3 you simply needed to press on the accelerator to move. Go figure!

The real goals are now gone, because you have no idea really what kind of traffic to expect. Even worse, the preview takes forever. Burnout is supposed to be about speed - so why the hell do I need a preview of the track, and then a reversed preview that I can’t hit A to skip through? I don’t! Adding to the frustration is the fact that if you are doing a multiplayer Crash Party, you no longer have the option of picking one car and having no choice but to stick with it for the entire time. You now get to preview the track, then choose a car before each crash trial.

Now, the actual racing tracks have been improved, but the edge-of-your-seat feel has been obliterated. In Burnout 3 you had to avoid every obstacle if you wanted to win. That meant you had to watch out for cars in all lanes and in cross traffic, along with other barriers like walls and such. Now, you can just boost away. If there is same-direction traffic ahead of you, you can literally hit it as hard as you want, and you won’t see a hint of destruction on your car. Half of the traffic that would have caused a ruckus on you in the previous game is now all of a sudden your friend. This is due to EA’s new “traffic checking” feature. Basically, you can now use same-direction traffic as a weapon to dish out punishment on rival racers. To me, it just makes the game a bit too easy.

Am I crazy? What do you think of the new Burnout?

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