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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Criterion

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

March 7, 2006

 

 

- Great audio and visual presentation

- Intense fun

- Crash Mode is still a huge draw

- One of the fastest racing games available

- Ability to upload and download replay clips

 

 

- No camera control to create some really cool video clips

- Some strange after-collision jittering displayed occasionally

- Though it's not so bad, loading times should be banned!

 

 

Review: Burnout Revenge (XB)

Review: Burnout 3: Takedown (XB)

Review: Project Gotham Racing 3 (360)

Review: Need for Speed: Most Wanted (360)

 

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Burnout Revenge

Score: 8.9 /10

 

I think I've figured out why the Burnout series appeals to me.  When playing with toys cars (or driving around in my cardboard box) as a small child , the kind of carnage that Burnout features was the kind of smoky death I imagined every time there was a pile-up.  You know, flaming-hot scraps splintering all over the place accompanied by nightmare-inducing sound effects of metal twisting and snapping.  Fortunately, just like in my childhood, there's no thought of human victims -- though the physics are good, there are no rag doll humans that come flying out or run around on fire, all the while screaming in agony.  If that were the case, I'm pretty sure the ESRB might have handed out a tougher rating.  At it's core, Burnout Revenge is Hot Wheels taken to the extreme; it's all about fun.

 

burnout revenge review          burnout revenge

 

Not much has changed from the previous Burnout games, or for that matter from the PS2 and Xbox versions of Burnout Revenge, other than a extremely nice paintjob.  The basic modes return but once again that Crash events hold the most entertainment value.  For the uninitiated, Crash events task you with causing a massive pile-up for points, and it's never been as spectacular as it is in Burnout Revenge.  There's some technical stuff going on in the background -- "vehicle deformation, highlighted with localized scratch, crumple and scorch maps" -- but it's not likely you'll pay much attention to those points as you will to scoring a "Crash Breaker."  The Crash Breaker explodes your vehicle, sending out a shockwave that causes even more damage and more often than not re-launches you into the air to cause even more mayhem.  Many of of the Crash events have a specific path to hit to cause the most damage. On most "courses" it's actually fun to repeatedly find the path to true destruction and score a gold medal.

 

Like previous installments, Burnout Revenge also features a fair amount of racing, too on a very good selection of tracks.  Besides the usual "Win the Race" objectives, modes such as Eliminator (which blows up the last place car every 30 seconds until there's a winner) and Road Rage (perform as many opponent takedowns as possible before you run out of time) keep the racing fun.  And because earning boost -- your key to speed and winning -- is done driving 

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recklessly (heading into oncoming traffic, ramming vehicles from behind, catching air, sliding through corners, etc.) there's a constant sense of urgency to the races.

 

The AI racers have a tendency to closely clump around your car.  They'll either be riding your bumper or just out of your sightline, which means you really have to battle your opponents to ensure they get scraped off on walls, poles or on-coming traffic.  While 

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they don't pose a big problem in the early going, as you progress up the ranks of the World Tour they become downright nasty. (They pale in comparison to the kind of opponents you'll race against online.)

 

None of the cars are licensed properties (though a burger van features a Carl Jr.'s logo) but that's not a downside.  Many other games revel in their "exclusive" licenses, like Gran Turismo 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Forza Motorsport, but Burnout Revenge is mostly bereft of any kind of in-game advertising.  It's not difficult to imagine why.  How would Ford executives react to a game that features cars blowing up and shattering?  What if the Pinto was a special unlockable car?

 

The Playstation 2 and Xbox versions shipped several months ago so Burnout Revenge could be considered a port.  It wasn't built from scratch (even if there is "exclusive" content, like the voiceover work before the game even starts extolling the virtues of playing Burnout in high-definition) but the graphics border on spectacular at times.  The car models aren't on-par with Project Gotham Racing 3, but they are good and the sense of speed is so damn good, it's not like you'll have time to notice.  A couple other differences that separates the 360 version from its PS2 and Xbox counterparts, are the relatively faster load times and the ability to save and upload 30-second video clips (up to 20) taken from your replays.  It's a feature that really seems to be popular with those playing online.  I really liked the opportunity to view/create these mini-movies, but because there's no option to manually move the camera around to get the action just right before saving them -- the predetermined camera cuts don't capture the action that well.

 

burnout revenge          burnout revenge

 

The online arena features the usual suspect head-to-head races and events, but Burnout Revenge also keeps track of your enemies, or so-called Revenge Rivals.  Basically it keeps track of who you've scrubbed and who has scrubbed you.  This means that you can develop meaningful rivalries to some extent.

 

One of the biggest complaints I've had about EA's trademarked EA Trax© is that most of the tunes are utter crap.  Not so much the music itself, but it's arbitrariness, as if the selection was completely random.  This has been remedied with Burnout Revenge.  The mix of 40 tunes fits the action and they made a good decision by not changing the title music.  Too often game series change-up the intro music from game to game.  When Burnout Revenge starts there's absolutely no doubt that you're playing a Burnout game.

 

The Xbox 360 isn't without racing games but Burnout Revenge is definitely the most fun.  Whatever event you're racing in, there's more fun per mile than any other (current) 360 game.  The graphics are great, the soundtracks fit the action, the sense of speed is incredible, the online modes add some depth, and the destruction is awesome.

 

- Omni

(March 14, 2005)

 

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