Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
on 16 January 2006
Burnout Revenge is the second game in the crashing series to be under the EA corporate umbrella. Like it's predecessor Burnout 3: Takedown, Revenge features a punk-lite soundtrack and enough adverts to drill the brand names into your mind for life. Corporate dealings aside, it's very much a different game.
For those not in the know, Burnout was one of the first game s to include extensive car damage. Unlike other games which featured lights smashed or windscreens cracked, Burnout went all the way - bumpers were torn off, tyres squealed and the cars were quite simply destroyed. The second game, Point of Impact, introduced a new Crash mode where players simply drove into a traffic-packed junction and caused the biggest pile-up they could. The third in the series, Takedown, allowed players to make their rivals crash and should players crash themselves, they could steer their wreck into rivals using the Aftertouch feature. Crash mode was redone as well - if players wrecked enough cars they could detonate their car using the Crashbreaker feature. Following on from this is Revenge.
Perhaps the most radical change is the ability to 'check' the traffic. Anything relatively small - like cars or vans - driving in the same direction as you can be pushed away from you, to get them out of the way. The moment you make contact with a car it bends and crumples with a satisfying smash and spins away, perhaps rolling over into another car, or even a rival racer to get a Traffic Takedown.
This newfound ability allows for tactics to come into the world of Burnout, - depending on where you hit the car, it will go in another direction, perhaps into more traffic constructing a blockade for rivals to win Takedowns. Traffic checking also introduces the new Traffic Attack mode, which simply revolves around checking as much traffic as you can to get cash. With each lap a multiplier increases, and the amount of destruction and cash you can create is incredible - cars spiralling everywhere, perhaps onto a road below or rolling into a bus and exploding. What would appear to wreck Burnout - a game about driving dangerously and dodging the traffic - has in fact made it far more enjoyable.
The second most radical change a lot of people will notice is that takedowns are far easier to get than they were in Burnout 3: Takedown. The tracks have been radically designed for takedowns - only one track was designed for takedowns in Burnout 3 as this element did not go into the game until the last minute - with more walls and barriers sticking out from the track edges and even ramps in the tracks to score another new type of takedown - a Vertical Takedown: land on the roof of a rival for points.
Rivalry is an intense part of Revenge, and carries the game forward. The single-player World Tour mode progresses forward via the means of an Aggression Meter - if you drive aggressively you will progress faster. This means taking dangerous manoeuvres, scoring takedowns and getting revenge on those who took you out before - hence the game's subtitle.
Aside from World Tour, there are - disappointingly - no other single player modes. The Single Race mode present in all 3 past Burnouts has been removed, which means you can't quite dive in as fast as you could previously. This can be an annoyance at first to past players, but very quickly you adjust to this new style of play and simply choose your favoured event from the structured event menu system.
Many of the modes present in previous games are all in Revenge, from Road Rage to Crash. The modes have all been revamped slightly too, to give the game a fresher feel. Some races now include the Crashbreaker - an explosive in the car, previously Crash mode exclusive - which means you can explode your rivals too should you wish to.
Crash has been massively overhauled. A meter now appears at the start and hitting the 'sweet spots' in the meter gives you a faster start; miss the spots by too much and you'll either stall or blow the engine. After you start, you can choose where to drive into to launch yourself - checking traffic to start a pile-up early - and using Aftertouch to get more cars after you crash. Wrecking enough cars activates the Crashbreaker, and with repeated hammering of R2 you can create a bigger explosion. Even after it's been detonated, the Crashbreaker can be used again and again if you keep wrecking more cars - which makes for devastating fun.
Graphics are extremely impressive; it holds its own on each format with each car - from shiny sports machine to banged up 4x4 - intricately detailed, even when it's just a sharp piece of scorched metal. Damage is enough to make people cringe for the worry of their driver - of which there are none, to avoid a higher rating - with the car's body being able to bend in 3 different places and bumpers and wheels and even doors can be torn off and flung aside.
The sound effects are your screeches, bangs and booms - typical Burnout fare. The music is not so good - less bearable than Takedown's - and unless you're a massive fan of college rock the chances are you wont have heard of anyone except Maximo Park, Bloc Party and the Chemical Brothers. Some songs can be listened to, but the playlist is also shorter than the one in Takedown which means you'll probably hear some songs more than once in a single sitting - but that we can blame on EA's corporate blarging.
Online is still featured and is managed very well - any buddies you have can all play a game as a single party with a few presses of buttons and the game is fast and slick as it is offline. The only criticisms that can be made of the online is the rather large presence of shrieking ten-year-olds.
Multiplayer mode is fine - Race makes it with Crashbreakers on some courses, Road Rage and Traffic Attack feature and there are 3 variations on Crash mode too. The lack of a Single Race mode is still a slight annoyance, but Criterion can be forgiven for that.
In the end, Burnout Revenge is a great package. Nudging traffic about and sending rivals into the nearest oncoming bus is great fun and playing with friends makes it even better - and makes it last even longer. It's like a snuff film for Gran Turismo fans; beautiful cars being bent and destroyed in every way imaginable - even off of huge cliffs - but who cares when it's this much fun?
Graphics - 5/5
Gameplay - 4.5/5
Sound - 4/5
Lifespan - 5/5
Overall - 5/5