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on 9 March 2007
Any real Burnout fan touts Burnout 3: Takedown as the series unquestionable high point. Sure, there were things in the last edition of the series, Burnout Revenge that heightened gameplay in a technical, often graphical sense. But Takedown came together as the best overall blend of the high-intensity racing and vehicle-bending mayhem that Criterion has yet slapped with the Burnout patent.

Now Criterion is giving us many PlayStation 2 owners a timely gift to tide us over until the big daddy Burnout 5 hits the PS3 and Xbox 360. Its name is Burnout Dominator.

Back to Basics

It's easy to see Dominator as a filler to plug the space before the new-generation console release, a logical bastardization of the franchise to rake in more coinage from an already established worldwide user base of PS2 owners. And, after all, Dominator has no online support, and a mysterious absence of Crash mode will be quite suspicious to series returnees, for the multi-car pileups have always been a big part of the Burnout draw.

But remove the expectations (take into consideration, too, that the game is $40) and you'll see that Criterion has stripped Dominator back to the series basics. Gone entirely is the Crash mode that changed so drastically from Takedown to Revenge, upsetting many followers in the process. Instead, racing is the focus, and several older Burnout features return to Dominator to spice up the whole experience.

The Return of the Burnout

Dominator is all about simplicity. That's why the game focuses almost entirely on the World Tour. All new tracks and cars take you through seven different car classes, ending of course with the Dominator class that provides the faster and most challenging racing. You'll start with one car class unlocked, and each event you complete will earn you a number of points depending on how well you do. Like other Burnout games, there are gold, silver, and bronze medals to be earned, the gold usually taking a few tries to complete.
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on 5 November 2008
First and foremost, it is opinion of nearly all that the Burnout series peaked on PS2 with 'Burnout: Takedown'. If you do not already have 'Burnout: Takedown' and are trying to decide between that and Dominator - your decision is easy - buy Takedown - it is superior in every way.
If, like myself, you have already worn out most of the Burnout franchaise and want more - the question is will Dominator satisfy?

With Dominator it's very much back to basics. The crash mode has gone entirely and the focus is very much on the world tour. As usual you progress by completing events for medals, your ultimate goal being the Dominator series. Winning medals unlocks new events and cars. The staple events are still present - race, road rage, eliminator etc. New events include Drift, in which you drive around the track power-sliding to achieve a target total skid distance; Maniac, requiring you drive like a, well...maniac I guess and Near Miss, where you earn a target score by driving close to traffic. These new events come at the expense of Traffic Attack from Burnout: Revenge.
So, is it any good? Well, the removal of the crash mode seems to have panicked Criterion into thinking there wouldn't be enough crash action - as a counter measure the streets are literally packed with traffic. As a result, all event action is severely restricted. Every corner you turn blindly into and every hill you crest will certainly reveal some form of traffic to collide with making success more down to chance than skill, unlike other games in the series. The rival racers themselves are quicker and more devious, making it necessary to boost continually just to keep up. Adding to the mayhem is Chain Boosting, where you can earn boost while boosting. This is a good concept in theory but its introduction just means it is now necessary to boost continually in order to build and maintain a boost chain. However, this is yet another distraction from the racing. A pity too that a nice new feature like the ability to explode your car during aftertouch is tempered by draining your boost bar which immediately negates any advantage the action may have given you. No boost = no chance.

It is all the more disappointing because the cars still handle extremely well and the sensation of speed is still there - the elements are all there for a truly great nose-to-tail racing experience. But this,I fear, is not the experience Criterion wanted to you to have with Dominator. They are selling a knife-edge, seat-of-the-pants continual boost through a torrent of oncoming traffic. Exciting, perhaps from the inside of a shop window. But in practice this is fun for about five seconds. You will crash and crash frequently and it soon becomes extremely frustrating and tedious.
The graphics are strangely something of a backward step from Takedown and Revenge, too. The cars you can win do not excite - they are retro and chunky are are selectable seemingly only in different shades of brown.

So, despite its flaws, is Dominator still good enough? This is Burnout, after all. They are always a safe bet, aren't they?
No, not really. I suspect the cream of Criterion's development team were preoccupied with Burnout: Paradise on the PS3; as a result Dominator ends up being the runt of the litter. I really can't recommend Dominator; As I stated before, it is inferior to Takedown in every way and would I strongly suggest you get Takedown or Revenge instead (or both!). If you already have those, then keep your money in your pocket, even if it's only a few quid, because Dominator will only supply you with lot less of what you already have.
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on 16 April 2009
After reading the mixed reviews on this game, but thoroughly enjoying the previous entries in the series, I decided to give it a shot.

To begin with all seemed to be in order. The graphics are on par with the previously game (the PS2 had been stretched to its limits by this stage, so for improvements we would have to wait for the next generation versions). The soundtrack was excellent and fitting with the hectic fast-paced action of the game. The sounds of the engines, screeching tyres all what they should be. So far, so good.

So on with the races then. I was surprised how difficult it was to win races even on the rookie stages. Even when using burnouts your opponents tend to keep a healthy lead on you meaning taking first place requires hard work and sheer determination. Crashing is therefore frustrating and also rather annoyingly one-sided. Force an opponent to crash and they will somehow be right up your tail just seconds later. Crash yourself and you have a lot of work to do to catch up with the pack. It is increasingly frustrating to get through an entire course without crashing, building up burnouts, taking first place and keeping there, only to then crash near the end of the course to then finish in last place, and this happens a lot. After a while it becomes obvious that the races are based more on sheer luck than skill and because of this the novelty and appeal wear off very quickly.

Of course Burnout has always been about variety and this is where further disappointment sets in. Gone are the crash events where you stage elaborate and destructive crashes then sit back and revel in the slow motion carnage watching your score rack up. The fact this event is gone is no bad thing, so long as it is replaced by something worthwhile. Unfortunately, it isn't. We have drift events, near-miss events and burnout events. As the titles suggest you score according to how far you drift on a course, how many near misses you clock up, or how many burnouts you can successfully do on a course. The burnouts is the worst since you hurtle along at breakneak speed, the success of completing a burnout depending on whether you happen to have a sharp bending coming up any time soon. If you do, you either ease off the gas or crash. Either way, no points scored for you. At least with drifting and near miss events it requires a degree of skill. They have even managed to come up with a maniac event. Sounds great, until you realise you clock up points by....well, drifting, near-miss collisions with other road users, and burnouts. Just a combination of the other lacklustre events on offer then. So, pretty poor all round really.

There are 7 car classes in all, each with about 12 events. Since most events seem to be based on luck rather than skill longevity depends on your patience. I run out of patience less than halway through and went back to Burnout: Revenge too. I would recommend you do the same.

Lets hope Electronic Arts return to the winning formula for the next in the series, instead of changing it just for the sake of releasing a sequel.
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on 23 October 2008
I'm a big fan of Burnout and have played all of the games in the series. I loved them all and I love this. I love it like my dear old aunt rather than my hot new girlfriend.

All of the elements of the previous games are in here, rivals, revenge takedowns and much more reliance on burnouts. The courses are good, the speed fantastic and it's as exciting as ever. As a racer it is great.

The problem is the structure. Well, no crash mode for a start. The races are grouped in championships specific to a car type. You get access to the first race of the lowest championship and have to win medals to unlock the next track. Get enough points and you open up the next champonship. All very good?

The linear nature is fine until you get stuck. Then you are faced with repeating the same race or re-doing previous ones. Whilst Revenge was maybe a bit easy, this is a bit tough at times. Some races are difficult to get a medal so the game can get repetative and boring. Mind you, without this you could probably complete it in a few days.

This is still a great racer and superb fun to play but you need a bit of perseverence to cope with the rather erratic learning curve.

It's still Burnout though!
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on 30 May 2007
The graphics are very good although i suppose it depends on what
sort of TV your playing i on as the most recent ones are better
equipped to view graphics. Saying that i have an average TV,
nothing fancy and the graphics are clean and bright..

The controls are the same as all other games in the Burnout series,
even if you haven't played before they are easy to learn, however
getting the moves right takes a while..

I was a bit disappointed there was no crashing in this game it
seems to be racing, but im not finished yet so i maybe wrong..

There are Game Modes in each car unlock section which are Race,
Road Rage, Crash Mode, Elimination Matches, and Special Events..

My favourite race is Road Rage. Here you take down as many
opponents as you can, not only trying to beat the number given
in a set amount of time, but other opponents trying to take you
out of the race..

A fun game most people will enjoy, if not taken too seriously..
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on 18 January 2008
this is a striped down version of burnout but its just as good as the others in the range.
shame no 'crash' in this one, but the racing has improved and is far harder than the last two games.

shame it never came out on the nextgen machines
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on 30 November 2007
There is no crash mode, no traffic attack and checking same way traffic has been removed. All the best features have gone and there's way too much traffic on the races. Stick to ANY of the other burnout games!
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on 9 May 2007
If you are a fan of the Burnout series you will want this game, it has gone back to the way the game used to be, is this good or bad? Well at first I didn't like what they had done in Burnout Revenge, in fact most Burnout fans didn't, but after playing it especially on the Xbox 360 I can see now it's a great game, but the thing I like about dominator is there is no Crash mode, I like racing games to be just that, about racing, not trying to rack up points crashing into traffic, I don't want to have to spend hours playing at blowing up traffic just to unlock the cars and tracks I want.

But after playing Revenge I must admit, I prefer traffic checking same way traffic, going back to the old way is much harder and breaks up the racing too much.

A lot of reviews I've read on the net call it Burnout 4.5, or say this is just a filler until Burnout 5 comes out, but I think that is doing it a disservice, this is a proper Burnout game with as much content as the earlier versions, and just as good, this is a full game and maybe more so than Burnout 5 Paradise City, as that will only have one environment, yes It's gone the same way as Need for Speed and Test Drive in which the whole game is based on one map, so gone are the different tracks in different world locations, gone is the variety.

Burnout Dominator is fast, has great graphics for a PS2 game, and supplies the fix all Burnout fans enjoy, buy the last Burnout game made for the PS2 and savour it, if you enjoy fast paced arcade racing this is one for you.
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on 18 April 2008
This games world tour is not as good as previous burnout games but still the basis of the burnout games, going very fast and hitting thing is there. I do not like the lack of named cars and the lack of statistics for the car that are there but the road rage matches are brilliant. The only real downside to it is the lack of crashes, as events. In other burnout games you could go to events, simply to crash and cause mayhem, but not this one. If in doubt buy burnout 3.
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on 27 March 2016
I bought this for my dad as a Christmas present and he was very satisfied with it! I played the game on PSP but never on PS2, I'm pretty sure it's the same but with better graphics with it being on a more capable console! However my dad was happy with it and there were no problems with delivery or anything!
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