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Burnout Revenge

Developer: Criterion Games | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Genre: Driving

Release Date: 03/07/06

I would consider myself a Burnout junkie. I really loved the first Burnout because it was like somebody finally made the racing game I had always wanted. Now, I still can't get enough of Burnout 3: Takedown. However, when Burnout 4 (now officially Burnout Revenge) was first announced, I wasn't very excited. I was a little worried that EA was trying to force out a quick sequel or something. I should have known better. After learning more about Criterion's racer and actually getting my hands on it, I'm more excited than ever. It's one of my most anticipated games this year.

The two biggest additions to gameplay in Burnout 3 were the Takedowns and Aftertouch. Takedowns rewards players with boost power for forcing opponents to crash, and using Aftertouch a player can steer their wreck after it has crashed to try and crash into other opponents. These two features turned out to be huge hits for Burnout fans. Criterion realized one of the most enjoyable aspects of Burnout was all of the destruction and mayhem that goes on while you're trying to win a high speed race. So for Burnout Revenge, they turned up the mayhem several notches higher.

Where as Burnout 3 tracks were designed purely for racing (though adding the regular traffic in there certainly set the game apart), the tracks in Burnout Revenge are designed both for racing and for all of the destruction that players have in mind. Burnout has always been about taking big risks to be rewarded with the boost power to speed to first place. Trying to take a rival down is one of those risks in Burnout, and now the tracks have several features designed to enhance and encourage a lot of car battling. There are objects jutting out into the road, walls, and other obstacles that you can use to slam opponents into. There are also a lot more ramps and multi-leveled areas so that you can get the drop on rival cars. That's great because now Burnout Revenge features vertical Takedowns. It's not easy, but jumping off of a ramp and landing on top of another car is really satisfying. The courses now have shortcuts and multiple paths too.

You see, Burnout Revenge is all about aggression. In fact, progress is now based on how aggressive you are. You can't just win races. You need to take down opponents and cause tons of destruction to unlock new tracks and cars. Revenge takedowns are crucial for unlocking new content. When you take an opponent down, they become your rival. That AI racer will actively try to take you down. Likewise, if you are taken down by an opponent, getting a revenge taken down against that rival is how you can earn aggression points needed to unlock tracks and cars.

Another new feature in Burnout Revenge is the ability to check traffic. In previous games, touching any regular traffic car was death. Now you can check cars traveling in your same direction. This is a lot of fun because you can cause pile-ups to block the road for opponents behind you. You'll still crash if you hit oncoming or cross-traffic vehicles, or large trucks and buses. However, if you do crash, you've got another new option to stop the competition. Provided you have enough boost power, you can use it to perform a Crashbreaker during Aftertouch. If you haven't played Burnout 3, Crashbreaker causes your car to explode. It the previous game, it was only used in the Crash mode to score additional damage. Now you can use it during a race to prevent opponents from passing you.

Crash mode is still part of Burnout Revenge, but now it's even better. The main goal is the same. Fly towards an intersection and try to cause as many cars to crash as possible. However, there are no more point multiplier icons to aim for. Instead, there is a specific target car. It's not easy to hit, but it will net you a lot of bonus points. Of course, you still want to cause as many other cars to crash as you possibly can. Another fun new mode is Traffic Attack. Taking advantage of traffic checking, you must try to cause as many cars to crash as possible while continuously making laps around the track. The catch is that you have a limited amount of time. For each car you crash, you'll add precious seconds to the clock. That means the round could theoretically last forever. Running out of time isn't your only concern. As in the normal race mode, hitting very large vehicles, oncoming, or cross traffic will cause you to crash and the round will be over.

Criterion is also hard at work on Xbox Live and PS2 online multiplayer modes, but they aren't ready to talk about them yet. They say that they've got some fun stuff lined up for both online and offline multiplayer.

After playing the E3 demo, I can't wait for Burnout Revenge to release this fall. If you like any of the previous Burnout games, I'm sure you'll love this. I just love all of the crazy destruction and mayhem. Considering that Burnout Revenge is also one of the fastest racing games around, the game can get pretty intense. You'll definitely be able to find me on Live playing Burnout Revenge this fall.

By Andrew Thivyanathan - 05/30/05

Screenshots for Burnout Revenge


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