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Review: Burnout - Revenge 192

Posted by Zonk
from the going-farther-flying-faster dept.
In a genre filled with lookalikes and ripoffs, the Burnout series stands as a very different kind of racer. Burnout 3: Takedown was a significant departure from previous games in the series. The sense of speed and impact that made Burnout 3 a landmark game of 2004 have returned in the next game in the series, Burnout: Revenge. By maintaining the good things about the last game, losing some of the annoying stuff, and adding new twists to the gameplay Criterion has given us another chance to make things go fast and fly far. Read on for my impressions of Burnout: Revenge.
  • Title: Burnout: Revenge
  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • System: Xbox (PS2, 360)
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 9/10
In Burnout 3 the main attraction was the sense of energy and speed that was injected into racing, and the sense of destruction imparted in Crash Mode. Burnout: Revenge runs with the destruction and speed, and refines the entire experience with UI improvements and gameplay streamlining. Revenge carries the series forward by taking everything up a notch. Every mode has had something added, there are new things to do and see, and the entire game is polished until you can see yourself in the hood.

Gameplay is basically the same as last year's offering. You race a vehicle in a series of events, trying to come in first, destroy other cars, and do as much damage as possible to others (roughly in that order). Most of the event modes from the previous game make a repeat performance, with crash mode and race mode being the two headlining events. In race mode, you fight it out with the other vehicles to reach the finish line first. Along the way you gain Boost by slamming the other vehicles into obstacles, earning Takedowns. Boost is the go-fast juice of Burnout, and slamming on Boost has a dramatic effect on your speed.

Boost is used in a different way in Crash mode, which has seen some significant overhauls. The purpose is still the same: throw yourself into a well-trafficked area with the purpose of destroying as many cars as possible. Upon starting a Crash event the changes are immediately obvious. There is now an acceleration bar that allows you to gain a fast start. A gauge on the bar rises and falls, waiting for you to hit a button. There are two green zones on the bar, and the idea is to hit the button in the middle of the top green zone and again as the gauge falls through the lower of the green zones. If you time it right you'll get a huge burst of speed, and consequently will be able to do that much more damage. While it takes a few tries to get the hang of it, the bar adds some thought to the mindless destruction. Another improvement is the removal of the iconography from Crash mode. While there were once (x3) and ($) symbols hanging in the air, there is now nothing between you and the cars. Scoring big in Crash mode now requires that you use your Crashbreaker on as many cars as possible. The Crashbreaker is an explosive device that goes off after you've passed a set amount of destruction. After a crash your score accrues while your Boost bar fills. Once you've maxed out your Boost bar, a quick tapping mini-game ensues until your Boost overflows. Then the shockwave hits. While before you received multipliers from the icons you hit during the crash, now you gain multipliers for each car affected by the blast. This can result in ludicrously high scores if you detonate in the middle of a large car pile. All these changes add up to a smarter, more entertaining Crash mode.

The other event modes have a lot going for them, too. Road Rage is a modified race that requires you to take down a certain number of cars. Eliminator is an exciting mode that starts like a normal race, with a 30 second timer running on the screen. At the end of the 30 second timer, the lowest ranked car is eliminated. The goal is to be the first place rank at the end of two and half minutes, leaving you the last car standing. Traffic Attack is a fast paced event where you utilize the new traffic check ability to rack up money and carnage. Burning Laps and Preview Races pit you against the clock, and ask you to beat certain times. All of the event modes present interesting challenges, and coupled with interesting track designs results in some extremely entertaining gameplay.

Track design in Burnout 3 tended towards atmosphere over innovation. Revenge tracks have all the atmosphere of previous title, but with more thought put into their layout. Tracks now have shortcuts laid running through them, allowing you the chance to cut off some curves and turns by diving between the convenient blue lights marking their entrances. These shave a lot of time off of your laps, and usually go through some interesting places you wouldn't otherwise be able to see from the main track. Courses have verticality to them now as well, with jumps and ramps being a part of the Burnout experience. There's even a new Vertical Takedown reward for managing to slam into someone from above.

Gameplay on the tracks has some new twists as well. Traffic checking is an entertaining activity that allows you to slam into NPC cars from behind and send them flying. Besides getting barriers out of the way, a checked car that flies into an opponent might net you a Takedown. Takedowns lead to the reason behind the word Revenge in the title of the game, as well. In a heated match if an opponent manages to take you out he earns the rival designation, and his marker indicator turns red. Taking out your new rival nets you more Boost than a normal Takedown otherwise would, and after a few Revenge Takedowns you'll start getting more recognition. The additional elements added to the basic gameplay make for a simple element of strategy, as you try to hit your opponents with checked vehicles and specifically target Takedowns at your rival NPCs. Which is more difficult than it used to be, because NPCs have gotten a mental facelift in the past year. They're smarter, and extremely aggressive. At the same time, they've also been given lessons in fairness. One of the frustrations of Burnout 3 was the occasional dead race, where you'd find yourself behind for the entire event because of one mistake early in the first lap. In a title like Burnout, which emphasizes collisions and entertainment over simulation, that was extremely frustrating. The opponents in Revenge are aggressive racers, but you'll never find yourself completely out of the pack. Races are always hard won, with the other racers making you earn every event you conquer.

All of these event modes come together in the World Tour, which is a trimmed down version of the three-map interface in Burnout 3. All events are gathered together under a certain rank designator. Your rank starts at 1, and as you complete events with varying medals you accrue stars towards higher ranks. Collect enough stars, and you move up to the next rank. Within each rank is a group of locations, and at each location is a series of events. Events can be run backwards or forwards, so you may find yourself running on a particular track several times over the course of a rank, each time doing a different event or going a different direction. As events are successfully completed, you earn higher ranks and unlock content within the game. New events are unlocked through your success, as are new vehicles, trophies, and mementoes of spectacular moves you've made. The feeling of movement and accomplishment on the track is transferred to the game's framework, as you move up in ranks and add notches in your belt.

The feeling of movement on the track is intense, and largely thanks to the graphical presentation of the title. Burnout is all about speed, and the game is very convincing in that department. Blurring, tumbling cars, streaking scenery, and violent explosions all convey the rate of movement the game is aiming for. The sense of speed most racers want to get across sometimes falls flat, and the success of Burnout: Revenge is a high mark to shoot for. The cars themselves are beautifully rendered, with reflections sliding around and off of the vehicle's lines. The signature bullet-time like effect called Impact Time utilized during a crash has been enhanced to provide a movie quality effect when you screw up. Burnout: Revenge is a gorgeous looking game, and pushes the limits of this generation of consoles. There are surprisingly few slowdowns, and I didn't have any problems with interrupted play because of a technical glitch. The only issue I ran across seemed to be related to loading objects into the gamespace. There is a crash mode event that puts you at the top of a hill on a two lane road with traffic in both directions. Once or twice I managed to slam into an invisible truck that had yet to be visible within the game, but whose collision detection caused me to lose before I'd barely begun. Aside from that quirk, the game is a smooth, beautiful experience to behold.

Revenge is also pleasant to listen to. The game's sound effects backup the sense of speed that the visuals portray, with revving engines, squealing tires, and grinding metal placing you squarely in the moment. The soundtrack has shared elements with Burnout 3, the popular music of today headlining with a slightly more metal edge than the pop-flavoured tunes of the previous game. To be honest, after an hour or two listening to the game's default soundtrack I started using the custom soundtrack feature. E.S. Posthumus's "Unearthed" is surprisingly appropriate for epic racing and car crashes. Thankfully, the most annoying aspect of Burnout 3's soundscape has been removed. There is no DJ radio announcer in the game. A woman's voice welcoming you to the game and giving you instructions during tutorials is the only voice-over work you'll have to deal with.

Burnout: Revenge is the fourth chapter in the series, and looks to be shaping up as another yearly EA release alongside Madden. While this game may not be innovative or indie, it's hard to argue with the sheer amount of fun you can have playing this game. The latest title in the Burnout line manages to capture the best parts of the previous games while adding on new elements, polishing the gameplay to a razor sharpness. The speed, the energy, and the variety of different ways to play will ensure that you'll have a hard time putting this title down. Multiplayer capability, in the form of split-screen and Xbox Live competition, is solid and engaging as well. In all truth, this game can hardly be called a racing game. It's a beautifully fun excuse to go fast and blow things up, and if you enjoy either of those activities you'll be hard pressed to pass this title by.
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Review: Burnout - Revenge

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  • Sounds like a game about my co-workers.
    I work at the post office.
  • Screenshots (Score:5, Funny)

    by op12 (830015) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:24PM (#13667729) Homepage
    Those are some fantastic screenshots in the review. (Look for breaks in the text) Maybe they should have turned down the brightness.
    • Yea, and I'm sure blind people appreciate the alt attributes on the img tags.
    • Indeed. But I keep wondering, are they actual in-game screenshots? I mean, they look beautiful and all, but what's with the Batman camera tilt?
      • Re:Screenshots (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I've put about 10+ hours into this game so far. Those are in-game screenshots (albeit at 480p). Some of the crash cutscenes have an artificial amateur quality to them (shaky zoom and focus) which adds to the realism. There are also blur and tinting effects to some of the other cutscenes.
      • The crazy angles happen during "Crash Time", when your car has wrecked. You can hold down a button to slow time down and guide your car into others for more bonus points. The angles are a pain in the ass, as you need to adjust your controls to keep your car moving in the same direction. E.g. If you enter Crash Time when viewing from behind, you guide left to take out that other car--but the camera switches to view from the front, you have to flip the control to the right. It's kind of dumb, but you get used
        • E.g. If you enter Crash Time when viewing from behind, you guide left to take out that other car--but the camera switches to view from the front, you have to flip the control to the right. It's kind of dumb, but you get used to it.

          You actually have to think about switching control perspectives? I didn't even realize that it worked that way until you just described it. Back to remedial Mario 64 for you! :-)
      • Burnout 3 did screens like that, so I'm sure they're in-game snaps.
    • Re:Screenshots (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zonk (12082)
      I know this will come as a shock, but there aren't a lot of non-Mozz browsers over here. The inline images I use for reviews are an edge case on Slashdot, and they weren't checked in every browser. A very helpful person on the backend of things has resolved the problem, so images show now be visible all around. Sorry about the confusion.
      • Ah, then I wouldn't have noticed if I were at home using FF rather than at work dealing with IE. Which begs the question: how are there enough people on Slashdot still using IE to find this thread funny?!? Oh, the humanity!

        BTW, the screenshots look good!
  • Load times? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jeblucas (560748) <jeblucas@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:25PM (#13667738) Homepage Journal
    What are the load times like? They are looooooooong in Burnout 3 on the PS2. You wait to load the level (even a small "Crash" Level), you wait to see your replay, you wait to get your bonus car, &c. The game was fun, but I really hoped they managed to tone those intervals down. It's difficult to maintain that heightened energy level when there 15 seconds of waiting between each interesting part.
    • I think the load time was about the same as BO3. It took just as long to load the level as you spend in actual crashing. As long as you stay in that same map and do it over and over you're OK. We like to pass the controller around the room and see who can get the highest score with a particular vehicle, so we tend to stay in a single map for a while.
      • Played in on a PS2 over the weekend, with two others in a turn-based Crash level. Despite being the exact same map, with the same car, for over half an hour (we really sucked at first), it still took over 15 seconds to reset the level for the next player's attempt.

        Bar none, it was the solitary (but big) complaint in an othewise awesome game.
    • They seem a bit shorter this time around.
      The main irritant is the incessant saving of progress which takes forever after each race.
      I haven't tried to install it to the hdd tho, that might speed things up a bit, although the save/load progress is still hampered by the memory card.
      • Re:Load times? (Score:2, Informative)

        by orderb13 (792382)
        Turn off autosave. The annoying save times really got to me too and after turning off autosave I only save when I want to now, which is much better. The save times still takes the same length, but it doesn't happen as often.
    • What are the load times like? They are looooooooong in Burnout 3 on the PS2. You wait to load the level (even a small "Crash" Level), you wait to see your replay, you wait to get your bonus car, &c.

      Played on the XBox, the level load times seem a tad longer to load than BO3 but once you're in it's quick. The only complaint I have is the "rewind" camera view in crash mode. When you pan forward through the track, it gives you the same picture only flying in reverse. As far as I can tell there's no way

  • This game is better than the previous version, but I don't know if it's worthwhile owning both of them (as I do). And I can't stand the new career mode interface and the car selection.

    If you own neither, I'd pick up Burnout 3. I've seen it at best buy/circuit city for $19.99.
  • by notbob (73229)
    Why do such great sexy games not come out on PC?

    I know piracy is a big concern, but as a PC only gamer I really do hate missing out on a few great titles.

    By a great margin do I prefer PC gaming mainly because of not having a pile of generations of hardware to replace constantly and the ability to download / update games with patches & fixes etc... and adding content

    I don't care how great a console gets, I got over a grand into my computer why do i need another grand sitting under the tv??
    • "By a great margin do I prefer PC gaming mainly because of not having a pile of generations of hardware to replace constantly and the ability to download / update games with patches & fixes etc... and adding content"

      I bought my Xbox around the same time I bought my PC. The PC cost 3 times as much. I can't play the latest crop of PC games at a decent framerate, however, I can play the above mentioned game. Also, I played the previous title for this game. I was able to download new content and patches
      • I bought my Xbox around the same time I bought my PC. The PC cost 3 times as much.

        There's the main catch. You bought your PC. For people who have plenty of spare PC hardware around, upgrading a PC to act as a console can easily cost less than a new console + accessories. A new GeForce 6x00 with S-Video/TV-out can be bought for less than $150 (5x00 series for less than $100) and a new wireless keyboard/mouse combo can be bought for $50-60. That's still less than the cost of a new console + controllers
        • Well. I guess the problem is that PC gamers simply do not buy this kind of games. Most Racing games for the PC are about simulation. Sega's port of Daytona USA, did not sell well. EA's NFS Underground did not sell as well as on the consoles.

          Whenever there is a port of a console game to the PC, I have read a lot of complains about how these games have not the complexity PC gamers are used to. They want level editors, mods, a lot of replayability, etc. So publishers have learned to not port arcade-ish games o
          • I'll meet you half-way. There are still somewhat brisk sales of PC steering wheels. I just recently saw a PC steering wheel set that ran for over $1,000!! And people buy the damned thing! So, there is a market for racing games, but it's one of the smaller segments. You're correct on that.

            The main mistake that I see most ported games run into is that they're often full-price. Most PC gamers will scoff at that, myself included. I'm not going to pay $40-50 for what is nothing more than a console port
            • I'd like to argue with you, but you used up all my arguments!

              You want games for the PC, but you don't want to pay full price! EVEN if there are some people will buy a steering wheel for more than US$1000, for playing those very games.

              AND

              You recognize that there are few people who buy racing games for the PC

              AND

              You recognize, that it is easier for you to rent a console and the game.

              AND

              You accept that a lot of gamers, even if they have a PC, have a console for their gaming.

              Yes, I take your point that a lot of
        • Right, but mainly I was replying to the grandparent's implication that console gaming leaves a pile of hardware laying around, where your own post confirms that plenty of people have hardware laying around for PC gaming. The fact is that to get a consistantly good experience on a PC you have to upgrade every 2-3 years as opposed to 4-5 for consoles.
          • I disagree with your last statement completely. I went over 4 years before I upgraded my PC. Yes, the only reason why I upgraded was to play the newest games. But as long as the upgrade price is where the price/benefit curve starts to bend upwards, you can still get a good four years or so out of that system. Even then, the cost of upgrading to support new games can still be substantially less than a console + accessories as long as you upgrade the right components.

            Of course, there's the whole side-t
            • I disagree with your last statement completely. I went over 4 years before I upgraded my PC. Yes, the only reason why I upgraded was to play the newest games. But as long as the upgrade price is where the price/benefit curve starts to bend upwards, you can still get a good four years or so out of that system. Even then, the cost of upgrading to support new games can still be substantially less than a console + accessories as long as you upgrade the right components.

              Yes, but, when you buy a new gaming level
  • A Dissenting View (Score:5, Informative)

    by CerebusUS (21051) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:32PM (#13667811)
    Personally, I'm not sure how much I like some of the changes to the game. Specifically:

    Crash mode - In B3, Crash mode was like a puzzle on speed. Finding those x3 and x4 tags and figuring how to hit them while still causing a pileup was the goal. Now the goal is more like Dance Dance Revolution (time that start correctly) followed by Microsoft Olympics (mash that B button like a monkey on meth to make the explosion happen) Driving? not really that important. Placement of wreck? important, but if you fail on the other two "skill" tests, it won't matter.

    Car checking - There's now very little danger in driving on the proper side of the road. Anything you hit that is smaller than you and travelling in the same direction just bounces out of the way, barely slowing you down, adds an interesting play mechanic, but takes some of the skill out driving some of those courses. Also, it's applied a little strangely, as cross traffic still causes crashes... sometimes.

    Finally, it's no longer good enough to just get a gold medal on each event in the game, you also have to get a gold medal while being "stylish" enough doing it.

    It's a good game, certainly, but I prefer B3. I'd only give B4 a 6 or 7 out of 10.
    • Agreed, the challenge is missing from the new one. It's boring and EA-ified. We went back to B3 and got more life out of it, and we played it nonstop last year!
    • Re:A Dissenting View (Score:3, Informative)

      by Miniluv (165290)

      In B3, Crash mode was like a puzzle on speed. Finding those x3 and x4 tags and figuring how to hit them while still causing a pileup was the goal. Now the goal is more like Dance Dance Revolution (time that start correctly) followed by Microsoft Olympics (mash that B button like a monkey on meth to make the explosion happen) Driving? not really that important. Placement of wreck? important, but if you fail on the other two "skill" tests, it won't matter.

      I don't entirely agree. The challenges are definitely

      • I also really like the addition of wind drift, and the weight factor of various vehicles, something I really don't remember from B3.

        Yeah, there was no wind drift in B3, and I do like that as an addition.

        Thats just not true. Winning a gold on an event gives you an automatic five star rating, thats the beauty of it. Just like winning a bronze automatically deducts a star.

        Nope, getting a gold adds a star, getting a bronze removes one, and a silver leaves it alone. All the events have 5 stars possible, but the
        • Nope, getting a gold adds a star, getting a bronze removes one, and a silver leaves it alone. All the events have 5 stars possible, but the only way to get 5 is to get the highest rating _and_ score a gold in the event.
          I'll have to play again tonight, but I'm almost positive this hasn't been my experience with the game.
          • Look at the rating on the right side of the screen. That's the amount of stars you are awarded. Awesome is 4 stars. To get a higher rating, you need to be aggressive (eg, check lots of traffic, pull off HUGE drifts, get lots of air and takedowns).

            If you finish first, or beat the score target, you get gold, which adds one more star for a "Perfect".
          • Well it is the case. I've got gold a number of times and only ended up with 3 stars, because I didn't do enough fancy stuff. Awesome is 4 stars, Gold is +1, Bronze is -1, the only way of getting 5 (=Perfect) is Awesome + Gold. No stars at all for no medal, regardless of rating.
          • No it's as stated by the grandparent.

            You get ranked up to awesome (four stars) by racing well (doing lots of things like oncoming driving, drifting, boosting, checking). The gold medal adds one star to achieve a perfect 5 star rating.

            In my experience, getting a gold means that you almost always have an awesome rating because you have to drive well to win. So in practice, getting a gold almost always means a perfect 5-star rating, but not always.
    • 100% totally agree. It feels like Burnout got "EA'd". They made the game easier and removed challenges? Why? I hope it wasnt for EA's oft-mistaken idea to make the product more accessible.

      B4 is a good game. B3 was better, though.

    • While I haven't played Revenge, I really hated what they did with Crash mode in 3. The stupid x2 and x4 were basically a series of connect the dots. As long as you could make it from point A to B to C, you won without thinking. Childsplay. Even if you wanted to ignore the multipliers, they made the medal scale so steep, there is no way to achieve the gold without them.

      In B2 you actually had to thinking about the physics and car interaction without the shiny little hints littering the road. This also le
  • I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fimbulvetr (598306) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:33PM (#13667823)
    I give this game a 9.5 out of 10, with BO3 getting a 9.2 or thereabouts. BO3 sucked in crash mode, mainly because there were SO many of them, they got incredibly boring after a while. I didn't finish the game because of the boring crashes. Another thing that sucked was how incredibly long it took to go back and do the crash again! I didn't feel like wasting another 30-45 seconds between crashes.
    Revenge seems to fix this, it's crash mode is both more entertaining and faster loading.
    Revenge is a great game, I especially enjoy the "career mode" stuff. Instead of like BO3 where you either hadn't won the game or you had, Revenge gives you 10 different levels, and AI gets smarter and races get harder as you progress.
    This game is a keeper. It's also a good "casual" game to have around so when your non-gamer friends come over, it's easy to pick up the basics (gas, brake, boost).
    • I didn't feel like wasting another 30-45 seconds between crashes. Revenge seems to fix this
      Whaaa? If anything, revenge is much worse. It seems like the slow rewind back to the beginning of crash events is to discourage you from repeating the event ad infinitum to get the highest possible score.
      • I thought about putting something like this, just to let others know I was aware of the slow motion - but to be honest, I find it helpful. The slow motion back lets me look at where other traffic was, so I can get a good idea of how the traffic is moving. Assuming you mess up in the first few seconds - which is me, usually:) - then it's just a short 1-2 second jog back to beginning.
    • Another thing that sucked was how incredibly long it took to go back and do the crash again!

      I played both on the PS2 and on the XBOX, an I suppose you played on the PS2. You're right, the wait betweem crashes was neverending. It's much, much better on the XBOX, though. The interface still sucks a bit, because the default option after you've tried a crash is to 'continue' (ie leave the crash), while it would be better to propose you to do it again. Anyway, great game. Much better load times on the XBOX
      • Nope, I have the xbox, the graphics on the PS2 version are horrible for this game. Although load times on the xbox are much better vs. the ps2, I still think they're too long, seeing as it takes that long to load the same crash you just did! I may have exagerrated on the "-45" seconds part, but it's nothing shorter than 20 seconds when it's a small map. I own two xboxes, so I know it's not hardware specific (I.e. The POS thomson drive).

        p.s. I guess I can't complain, after seeing the load times from Morrowin
    • Calling OSX secure is like calling the 2nd fattest girl in the bar "skinny".

      Nice sig... although the difference is about 350 lbs. And she doesn't have gonorrea. And herpes.

    • BO3 was unplayable on PS2 without hard drive. We used to call it Burnout 3: Loading...

      Now once ya plug in the HDD and use HDLoader, crash mode retry takes just a couple of seconds, and the game becomes muuuuch more fun to play.
  • I'm really glad they didn't call this game Burnout 4, because its more like Burnout 3.5. None the less the game is still pretty amazing and improves on the game play success of its predecessor. If you enjoyed Burnout 3, then Burnout revenge is a more refined version that adopts new elements while improving existing mechanisms.
  • heh funny (Score:5, Funny)

    by CiXeL (56313) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:37PM (#13667861) Homepage
    I originally thought this article had to do with IT worker burnout and the resulting revenge on the company. I was hoping to find tips and techniques. I'm sadly dissappointed.
    • This was also my first thought upon reading the headline. Pitty that it's just about a game.
    • No, you've misunderstood. This is one of those murder simulators and is in fact a valuable tool on extracting revenge on co-orkers. The simulation is obviously a lot more accurate if your coworkers all drive debadged Maseratis, of course.
  • I love the Burnout series, especially with Takedown and Revenge's awesome soundtracks (with the Xbox version ripping your own music is a huge plus), but the one pet peeve I've had about them is the lack of music in multiplayer mode. The game is so much more fun when you have a pulse-pounding high energy track to go along with the speed and intensity that playing two player just feels kinda, well dull.

    Is this a limit of the X-Box/PS2 hardware or what? I know it's rendering two sceens, but could it really be

  • by adamwright (536224) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:42PM (#13667910) Homepage
    Remember, this is an EA published game. All those people who posted that they've never give EA another cent in the "EA are Evil" stories (eg http://games.slashdot.org/games/04/11/11/0031259.s html?tid=98&tid=10 [slashdot.org]) can look, but they can't touch!
    • So it's EA, so what? If it's a good game, I'll play it. If it isn't, I won't.

      If enough people choose to work there, then the games will be good. If enough people don't choose to work there, it won't.

      BTW, it's a Criterion game.
      • Well, right now EA has something like 65-70% of the gaming market. I think the point is that if you give them less money, they won't become "The Microsoft Of Games" in the near future. i.e. you can stop a monopoly before it really has a strong foothold. Of course, probably 30% of that is Madden alone, and that'll only get worse now that they have an exclusive contract with the NFL.

        The problem is that not enough people care about monopolies to bother doing anything about it, and even if everybody reading
    • by KillShill (877105) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @02:13PM (#13668705)
      whenever someone (inevitably) mentions that boycotts don't work , i am reminded of this quote by a relatively unknown person:

      Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

      -Mahatma Gandhi
  • by neafevoc (93684) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:45PM (#13667938) Homepage Journal
    Revenge is both harder and easier than Takedown. Wait... what?

    We have two Xboxes. One of them has Takedown on it that has over 80% completed. The other Xbox didn't have Takedown on it. I started playing Revenge on the latter Xbox. I managed to get to Elite (Rank "11") less than two weeks. Now I'm struggling to complete events in rank 10 and 11.

    We started playing Revenge on the Xbox that has the Takedown save on it. We found out that you get a few extra cars if you have EA saved games on it (Madden 06 and Takedown were our saved games). The extra crash cars made it easier for the Crash mode...

    However, the game is MUCH harder. We're at Rank 4 with this Xbox (the Takedown Xbox) and the AI in those events are equivelant to Rank 9 and 10 on the Xbox that doesn't have Takedown on it.

    Pretty challenging (and frustrating). I was wondering why Revenge was so easy when I first played it. I thought this varied difficulty depending on the gamer's history was pretty clever on Criterion's part. :)
    • I have a comment above, detailing what I like about that game, but I have an idea of why it's so much harder for Takedown. Background: I rented Revenge and had lvl 11 in about 2 days. I'm only about 85% done with Takedown.

      Takedown had much "harder" crashes, and not harder from a "oh, land on this 4x and then explode next to this semi", but harder from a "Why do I have to wait another 30 seconds for this same crash to load again?" and "Why are there 30 races, 5gps, 15 Eliminations and 15 roadrages and 100 cr
  • "There is no DJ radio announcer in the game."

    Stryker is off the game finally. Now if we could only get him off the airwaves here in L.A.

  • I played the Burnout: Takedown game a lot, and I could never get sick of the crash mode... I just wish they would add pedestrians into the mix. *evil laugh*
  • I've wanted to play the Burnout series for a while now, but I'm not going to buy a console to do it.

    Why does this series not come out on PC?
  • Soundtrack (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by ewhac (5844)
    B3's soundtrack sucked. Not a single good tune, with the possible exception of the music behind the game's opening logo and "Press Start" screen (right after the opening music video). My sweetie's 16-year-old son agrees; none of the music in Burnout 3 was really any good, and certainly not what could be called driving music.

    It appears from the review that EA made the same error with Burnout Revenge: They "did a deal" with some music studio to get some "big name" artists, thereby "adding premium value"

    • Huzzah!
      I am not the only one hating the horrible soundtrack. If EA does not want to spend the dough on real bands (with licensing fees, and pr. copy fees and whatnot), then hire a composer to do a soundtrack instead of this horrible cacophony of crap.
    • FYI, here was the soundtrack list for Burnout 3. I've highlighted what I consider the best of the bunch:

      Apologies for the terrible formatting, /.'s "average characters per line" spam filter had to be worked around

      1208 - "Fall Apart", Amber Pacific - "Always You"
      Ash - "Orpheus", Atretyu - "Right Side of the Bed"
      Autopilot Off - "Make a Sound"
      Bouncing Souls - "Sing Along Forever"
      Burning Brides - "Heart Full of Black"
      Chronic Future - "Time and Time Again"
      Donots - "Saccharine Smile"
      Eighteen Visions - "I Let Go"
      F
      • My favourite track would have to be Futureheads - "Decent Days and Nights"..

        But yes I agree, B3's soundtrack was dreadful, and from my perspective the biggest problem with the game.

        There's only so much pop-punk a grown man can take.
      • I always thought the big problem with Burnout's soundtracks were that it was CONSTANTLY restarting the songs. It might have 300+ songs for all I know, but I knew the first 30 seconds of every damn one of them and never heard a single one all the way through.

        PGR was muach better about that, partly because the races were longer but also because every menu selection didn't start a whole new song.
    • I don't see the appeal of racing to rock music. Thank god the X-box allows for custom soundtracks, so I can insert my more appropriately themed music instead. You defininely need some fast thumping bass for this game.
    • Way to review the music before you even know what it is...brilliant!
  • by OneFix at Work (684397) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:51PM (#13667980)
    It's pretty much just Burnout 3 + Destructable Traffic. Not that this is bad, but it's not a huge change from Burnout 3. The "Traffic Checking" mode is ok. The new addition to Crash Mode makes playing it more like playing a game of golf (knock traffic into other cars to avoid crashing your own).

    If the Burnout series turns out to be like the Need for Speed series, then we will probably see a new game every 1-2 years (many based on an older engine). EA tends to recycle old engines into at least 1 sequel. This is of course as opposed to what Acclaim did which was pretty much a complete redesign for every sequel...
  • The screen shots shown in the article look like in-game between-level movie snapshots.

    I don't want to see those. I want to see the ones the player sees during the game. The HUD, the 3rd person(or 1st) perspective. What is it with game reviewers rarely showing real in-game shots, instead going for glamorous movie shots, which are not representive of the actual game?

    I have Burnout:revenge for the PSP, and it's more or less Burnout 3, stripped down a bit, and not as frustrating. I was even able to get a bronze
    • In the PS2 Burnout 3, the load times were frustrating

      I don't know how long the load times were on the PS2, but the PSP load times are definitely *worse* than the load times on the xbox version.
    • The screen shots shown in the article look like in-game between-level movie snapshots.

      Actually, those are in-game takedown shots. The first one is basically driver view, the rest are the slo-mo shots you see when you takedown a car.

      Make no mistake; the graphics in this game are phenominal.

    • As others have pointed out, those are ingame screens (xbox anyway, I haven't seen it on other consoles). I agree it would be nice to include some from the regular race mode with HUD etc, but they're not that different.

      As for the PSP, you don't have Burnout: Revenge for the PSP, because it doesn't exist. You have Burnout: Legends. Legends is billed as a combination of the best bits of Burnout 1, 2 and 3. It doesn't include the new stuff from Revenge (Burnout 4).
      • As for the PSP, you don't have Burnout: Revenge for the PSP, because it doesn't exist. You have Burnout: Legends. Legends is billed as a combination of the best bits of Burnout 1, 2 and 3. It doesn't include the new stuff from Revenge (Burnout 4).

        Now it makes sense. The near-simultaneous released made me think they were one and the same. guess I should read the fine print better. Either way, Legends seems to be nicer than 3. I guess I'll rent Revenge and see how it goes from there.
  • I really liked Burnout 3. With burnout 4, they've managed to improve most aspects (traffic checking is nice-- you don't crash from every little nick in traffic). Load times are down too (especially in crash mode) but there are a few things that stood out for us when playing:

    - The loading screen is annoying with the three blocks that keep slamming together.
    - The 'rewind' when restarting a crash is awfully annoying, especially on some of the longer courses. You can't skip it! Reminds me of the limit break
  • by m487396 (807861) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @01:18PM (#13668230)
    You could play this game between readings of J.G. Ballard's "Crash" and watch Cronenburg's movie on DVD.

    Vaughan died yesterday in his last car crash. During our friendship he had rehearsed his death in many crashes, but this was his only true accident. Driven on a collision course towards the limousine of the film actress, his car jumped the rails of the London Airport flyover and plunged through the roof of a bus filled with airline passengers. The crushed bodies of package tourists, like a hemorrhage of the sun, still lay across the vinyl seats when I pushed my way through the police engineers an hour later. Holding the arm of her chauffeur, the film actress Elizabeth Taylor, with whom Vaughan had dreamed of dying for so many months, stood alone under the revolving ambulance lights. As I knelt over Vaughan's body she placed a gloved hand to her throat.

    - J. G. Ballard. Crash. (1984)
        http://www.researchpubs.com/books/ballexc2.shtml [researchpubs.com]
  • But then, my tastes can easily be described as open-minded :-)
  • I'm a little confused as to why neither Burnout 3 or Revenge came out on gamecube. Is it a power issue, or a rights issue?
  • In Burnout 3, the F1 style racers were very difficult to drive. In Revenge, they're very easy to drive.

    It seems that most of the difficulties have been removed from the game in order to reach a broader spectrum audience. Burnout 3 made people frustrated and many would just stop playing it at a certain point while with Revenge it just keeps going and going...

    Don't get me wrong, I like the game, but it seems like a much easier game than the last one.

    I have to disagree with Zonk about the gameplay being t
  • by TapestryDude (631153) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @01:28PM (#13668330) Homepage
    Switching from Burnout 3 to Burnout Revenge was, well, interesting. They've changed a few things that were broke, introduced a few new things that are partially broken, and created a different but not better game.

    The revamp of crash mode is fun but also broken. First off, the launch is stupid ... you quickly master this and you won't get gold unless you get a perfect start. Games should be rewarding, not frustrating and missing a perfect start (and then having to reset) is just frustrating. Likewise, the rapid-tap of the B button to provoke a crashbreaker is nasty, and penalizes my wife who can't hit the button as quickly.

    The new environments for crash mode partially upset this, as well as the wider selection of vehicles. The fun part of crash mode now is finding both the right path and the right vehicle ... Burnout 3 crash mode was just about the one, single path.

    What's dissapointing is that there's no longer a crash replay! That makes it harder to determine how to "improve" your rating since you see just the aftermath of your run, rather than the run itself. And the target car is silly, since it is almost guaranteed to be involved in any reasonably sized crash. Additionally, it would be nice if two vital statistics were displayed at the end of the crash in addition to dollar damage: number of cars wrecked and explosion multiplier. These can be dug out with a few button presees, but they are critical to levelling up and should simply be displayed.

    A side note: you can see the hand of the developers clearly in crash mode; not only do cars NOT try to avoid crashes, but you can see cars hit a "radius of control" at which point they accelerate into the crash. Despite this, the physics of crash mode is improved in many subtle ways. Cars tend to twist and roll in a much more realistic manner.

    In terms of new things that are broke, being able to rear-end cars is a total mistake. It randomizes the races, since you just plow through traffic, with your vision obscured by the vehicles you've slammed ahead of you, until eventually you hit a bus or wall. It's very common, because of this (and shortcuts) to see you position shift constantly between first and last. When I first heard about this feature, I assumed you'd be able to side-check, not rear-end, vehicles ... and I think that would have been a more tactical, more controlled, less random approach.

    Opponents do not avoid you as well during aftertouch; it's much easier to score an aftertouch takedown in Burnout Revenge than in Burnout 3, but it's much harder to score an ordinary takedown. "Psyche-out" takedown are even more rare.

    The new race crashbreakers (the ability to explode when taken out) are generally a good idea; you have to be tactical about them, since detonating without taking out an opponent leaves you with no boost at all. However, your opponents do NOT have this ability ... only you! This is an example of how they've made the game easier, but not necessarily better.

    The "stars" system is another broken change. Despite the fun feedback you get during a race for reaching new levels ("OK", "Good", "Awesome") ... you are unlikely to finish the race before getting the maximum of four stars and I can't see you ever getting gold without earning four stars. So the stars are just window dressing on top of the ordinary medals you receive anyway. If stars were harder to earn, so that you could finish with a Gold but only two stars, for example, it would be a different story.

    The 10 levels of unlocking progression is more confusing and less satisfying than Burnout 3's approach of unlocking classes of cars. You unlock a huge number of cars, sometimes it feels like one per race. The cars are all fast (many blindingly fast) but run together as well, the names are less memorable than Burnout 3's, and all seem to handle the same. The differentiation between cars (outside of top speed) is even less in Burnout Rev
  • ..... A hot coffee mod.
  • Burnout revenge freaking rocked this year, it's not more of the same.. well it is, but that's ALL you need. More crashes, more areas, and more cars. That alone made this game a 10/10 in my book, the fact it's agressive high octane driving just gets my juices flowing every time I play a game in the series.

    If it does go yearly the big improvements might get cut down but if the amount of tracks and type of tracks stay at this level it won't be bad.

    The only problem it has is difficulty being low. but overall
  • I will continue to be bored by this genre until they give the cars guns, mines, and possibly other weapons ala "James Bond". They had this figured out, to some degree, in the 1990's, as I remember playing several games in the arcades and on game systems (Rock 'n' Roll Racing, one of my all-time favorites) that fit this bill. What's wrong with game developers that they don't do that now? Anyone know of such games?

    NFS + missile launchers, oil slicks, and mines would rock my face clean off its bone. C'mon, peo
  • I saw this [filerush.com] a few days ago. It sure seems like it'd be a lot of fun to play, but as a Mac user I'll never know. Back to UT2004 vehicle maps, I guess. "Road Rage!"

  • I played it (xbox version) last week when I was over at a friends. Direct compared to Burnout 3 it has a lot of plus and almost no minus. You don't crash with you bump into traffic on your side, they made the crash courses so much better and more fun. The courses have shortcuts and its fund to find them and use them. They have some new parts, like the "crash cars on your side and get the money limit before the time runs out and the time goes down if you don't crash any car".
    I love it and I can't wait until
  • Thankfully, the most annoying aspect of Burnout 3's soundscape has been removed. There is no DJ radio announcer in the game.

    I'm pretty sure that you can turn off the radio announcer in Burnout 3 (at least in the PS2 version).

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