2011-07-08

Burnout Crash – Not Quite What I Was Expecting

by Yo Snyder

I loved Burnout Paradise, but much like many other fans, I
felt the one thing lacking from what otherwise was one of the greatest
racers ever made was the awesome crash mode from previous Burnout games.
The visceral thrill of causing as much mayhem and devastation as
possible by driving into an intersection and strategically hitting
various objects and vehicles was just simply a whole lot of fun. Well
even though we never got a crash mode in Burnout Paradise, it looks like crashing will return to the series soon; but not quite in the way you might expect.

Burnout Crash is a new, downloadable title coming later this
year to Xbox Live and Playstation Network. That’s right, it’s a
downloadable title. Oh, and the perspective for it is top-down and
zoomed out. Confused yet? It doesn’t sound like Burnout at all, does it?
Criterion has described the game as something inspired by pin-ball,
game shows and its own popular crash mode. Now you’re even more
confused, right? Well, although the whole set-up may sound a little odd,
the core of what made crash mode so much fun looks like it’s still
intact in this new, crazy, title.

You’ll still drive into an intersection and then try to cause as much
wreckage as possible. You’ll still have “aftertouch” to control the
direction of your twisted remains of a car, you’ll still be able to
trigger multiple explosions as you rack up points (registered as a
dollar amount for how much damage you’ve caused), and it looks as though
you’ll still have multipliers and other elements to keep things
interesting. All of this comes wrapped with a new look that’s more
cartoony than we’ve seen in previous Burnouts. There are also more
gameshow elements this time around, including an announcer, some theme
music to introduce certain vehicles, and some random ways to earn
bonuses. Yeah, it all sounds a little wacky, but considering Criterion’s
track record, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The game will also feature Autolog. Your high scores will instantly
be compared and contrasted with your friend’s scores, so there will be
plenty of opportunities for bragging and smack talk; essential for any
sort of competitive spirit. Plus, if you have Kinect for your Xbox 360,
you’ll be able to steer with your hands, jump to cause explosions, and
move around the room to control your flaming wreckage as you cause even
more destruction.

I’m sure Burnout Crash isn’t quite what fans were hoping for
when it came to the return of crash mode, but crashing cars (especially
in destructible environments) is generally a pretty fun time, so despite
all the changes, I don’t think this new Burnout will be any less
enjoyable.