Burnout™ Paradise Remastered
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Burnout Paradise Remastered is an updated version of the original release from 2008 featuring better visuals as well as all the previously released DLC. The game looks better than ever and is still a lot of fun to play, but also retains a lot of the archaic interface elements. It also lacks features such as way-points and a fast travel system that fans of modern open-world games take for granted. Nevertheless, it is still a lot of fun to play and there are hours upon hours of content waiting in Paradise City.

Gameplay: Fun and addictive, but some things have not aged so well in the ten years since the original release.

Graphics: Not a massive visual overhaul compared to the original, but the game does look pretty good.

Sound: The soundtrack is still great and the sound effects decent

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Burnout™ Paradise Remastered

Developer: Stellar Entertainment, Criterion | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Release Date: 2018 | Genre: Racing / Adventure / Action | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Burnout Paradise was the first title in the franchise to break away from console exclusivity and make an appearance on computers as well back in 2008. However, it also deviated from the previous Burnout titles by being set in an open world, which was all the rage back then. While longtime fans of the series had some issues, such as the lack of a decent crash mode, the game was well-received and fondly remembered by many players. Unfortunately, after the release of Paradise EA appears to have forgotten about the franchise and chose to focus on the Need for Speed License instead. It wasn’t until ten long years later that Burnout Paradise was dusted off again and given the “Remastered” treatment.

Burnout Paradise Remastered is pretty much the exact same game that fans of the original release remembers, which is a good and a bad thing. In fact, even the visuals looked like they were unchanged, but a quick peek at the original revealed just how much they have really aged. To spruce things up a bit the remastered version features higher resolution textures, better shadows, and better smoke effects. Overall, the game just looks a lot more detailed and vibrant although the visuals still fall somewhat short of what people expect from a modern racing game. It’s also puzzling that the same unskippable low-resolution introduction sequence is used for the remastered version as it makes the game feel even more dated than what it is.

The gameplay is what really matters, though, and here Burnout Paradise Remastered is still going to be a love it or hate it affair for most fans of the series. Instead of the usual storyline or career progression players are dumped in Paradise City and left to their own devices. With 15 marked man, 16 road rage events, 14 stunt runs, 40 races, and 35 burning road events there is certainly not a shortage of things to do. These 120 events are just the tip of the iceberg too with hundreds of additional online challenges being available too. It can be a little daunting at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that the city is one big playground with billboards to smash through, shortcuts to find, and super jumps to land.

Instead of simply remastering the original game EA has also wisely decided to include all of the previous DLC. Some like Big Surf Island, which is an entirely new area, has never been available for computer players. All of the previously released vehicle DLC also comes with Burnout Paradise Remastered, including police cars, motorbikes, and toys. This means that the total vehicle count is something in the range of 150, but unfortunately, this does break the progression of the game.

There is nothing to prevent players from simply grabbing one of the overpowered DLC vehicles that are available right from the start and ignoring all the crappy cars. In the original version, players had to earn each new ride and it took a while to get to the really good ones, but unless you can resist the temptation that’s not going to happen in this version of the game. Veteran players will appreciate not having to go through all the effort again, but for newcomers, it makes a large swathe of the cars completely redundant.

Paradise City is quite a big place to explore but shows its age when it comes to the user interface. Virtually every intersection in the city is the start of a new event and “Showtime” which is the poor man’s version of Crash mode can be activated on every street. However, to start an event you need to physically drive your car to it as there is no fast travel option. In fact, the game doesn’t even allow you to set any type of way-point, which is annoying, to say the least. The same goes for the events, which take place all over the city without any type of barriers or restrictions on where you can go. This works fine for most of the modes, except for races where one wrong turn can cost you the entire race. It becomes easier once you are more familiar with the city, but having to try and focus on street names flashing at the top of your screen to know when to turn is a bit of a nuisance at high speeds. The menu interface for the game is also still the same and feels very clunky to navigate.

The online mode for Burnout Paradise, called “Freeburn”, is also back and seems to be in pretty good shape. Players can jump into Freeburn mode anytime or host their own session. Only the host can start online activities, though, but if you find a decent group of players it can be a lot of fun. The available challenges also differ depending on the number of players, but the downside is that if someone leaves the active challenge is canceled immediately. We generally didn’t have any issues finding other online players, but many of them did not seem to be eager to do any challenges. The Burnout Paradise Party pack is also included in this remaster, which allows players to take part in various challenges locally by passing the controller around.

Burnout Paradise had one of the best soundtracks of its time and most of the songs appear to have made the transition to this remastered version. The varied lineup includes everyone from Guns N’ Roses and Killswitch Engage to Avril Lavigne, Depeche Mode, Faith No More, N.E.R.D., and many others. There’s even some classical music from the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms as well as tracks from previous Burnout titles. The sound effects are decent, but pretty much the only speech in the game comes from “DJ Atomika” doing his thing on Crash FM. Some players found him extremely annoying, but we didn’t think he was too intrusive, apart from his penchant to only explain things to us after we’ve discovered how to do them. The controls feel like we remember them with cars capable of reaching breakneck speeds. Some cars are a little more twitchy than others and players have to pay attention to categories such as the speed, boost, and strength of cars when picking which ones to use for particular events. We played through the game using a controller, but playing with a keyboard is also supported. Doing so means missing out on analog steering and force feedback, though, so we suggest sticking to a controller for the best results.

One of the big draws of Burnout Paradise Remastered, at least for computer players, is the inclusion of Big Surf Island. Although we liked the look of this area and enjoyed the new events we did find it to be rather small and cramped. Completing events on Big Surf Island also does not contribute to your license upgrades, unfortunately. It’s easily one of the most scenic areas in the game, but probably not somewhere that players will be spending a lot of time.

There’s no doubt that a lot more could have been done with this remastered version of the game to make it a little more user friendly, but it still holds up surprisingly well. The open-world gameplay is not for everyone and having to drive miles just to repair your car or change your vehicle is a nuisance, but at least there’s plenty to see or do along the way. Those who have already played the original game to death might not want to go through it all again, but for newcomers, it’s still a decent arcade racing experience.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel i3 2120 @ 3.3GHz or Phenom II X4 965 @ 3.40GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVidia GT 450 or ATI Radeon HD 5750
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i5 3570K or AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R7 265
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space

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