As the release of Burnout Paradise approaches, its release slated before the end of the year in Europe and early next in the US, more and more footage of the game is being released, like the following from the Tokyo Game Show, courtesy of Gametrailers.com. It shows lots of what’s important in this sort of game: boosting and crashing.
The Burnout Paradise release is still 4+ months away, but we’re learning more and more about the title, first with a hands-on from Eurogamer, and now with an interview with Creative Director Alex Ward. About a year ago he was just revealing the open-ended nature of the game, and now he’s taking the time to explain a bit more about how that fits into the overall gameplay:
1UP: Can you explain how the player will progress through the game? How will you know you’re 100% done, earn faster cars, etc?
AW: Each player will progress in a different way. We give you the keys to Paradise City; what happens thereafter is up to you. You can drive anywhere and do anything — there is no set path through the game. There are some races to take part in, but again, if you don’t want to do any of that, you don’t [have to]. Win races to set cars free into the city. Then you have to find them, give chase and take them down.
Unlike certain other outlets, it seems Eurogamer know how to write a good overview of a hands-on session with certain hotly anticipated games, like Burnout Paradise. In their coverage they talk about both graphics and the rest of the game.
Power Parking is one of the many things the new openworld Burnout lets you do. If you feel like it. When you see a pair of cars parked somewhere, it’s your choice (in my view, your duty) to use the handbrake to swing your car into the gap between them. Do it without hitting either car or smacking the kerb, and the game will recognise you for it.
That’s hardly the extent of the new, of course. The handbrake is different, for one. And the openworld city. And the wholesale rejection of all the crutches upon which all the other Burnouts swung themselves around the room – endless menus, loading screens, instant restarts, online lobbies, and all the rest of it. This is a boundless driving playground in every sense they could think of, blending the disparate styles of the other Burnouts’ varied locales into one coherent setting. So much so that if you want to race against a friend you just pull up the Easy Drive gizmo using the d-pad and fire off an invitation. “It’s sort of like texting while you drive,” says Criterion’s Matt Webster. If your friend accepts, your world and his world (I don’t know any girls) are brought together, and there you are, racing as one.
Perhaps this should come as no surprise given the game’s publisher, it’s been revealed that Burnout Paradise will feature some level of border-expanding downloadable content. As we mentioned in our preview the game has a very different structure to its predecessors, enabling you to pretty much go wherever you want whenever you want in an expansive city. This preview at Gameplayer makes mention of DLC that, by the sounds, will basically add new neighborhoods to play. No word on cost, so don’t get your hackles up just yet.
At last week’s E3, EA kindly had Burnout: Paradise running on the show floor, enabling us to spend a bit of quality time with the first true next-gen installation to the franchise. While we weren’t exactly blown away, we were impressed. On first look the game just looks like a more polished version of last year’s Burnout: Revenge, itself really just a more polished version of the earlier console releases. But, come a little closer and Paradise starts looking much better. Reflections and details on the car models are a lot cleaner and overall the game has a very nice clear polish to it; a big contrast from the overused motion blur in Revenge.
But, of course, it’s not the look of the game that makes this one noteworthy, it’s the crashes, and they are quite a sight to behold. Head-on impacts look more like actual wrecks now, much more violent than before and the results can be truly devastating to your ride. Impacts that in earlier games would leave you with a badly mangled front-end can now result in a completely misshapen ride, bent and twisted nearly beyond recognition. We didn’t manage to rip a car in two but we’ve heard it’s possible.
Also notable is the game’s new open-ended nature. You can drive through the entire city looking for trouble, turning down certain streets to enter certain events. There’s no set “Crash” mode this time; just line up and start wrecking whenever you want. What really impressed us was the feeling of freedom in exploration. At one point the developer giving a demo stopped and pulled into a parking garage and started doing stunts within. It seems like hidden areas like this will be all over the place.
Of course, it’s not a perfectly realistic city; scattered throughout you’ll find black and yellow ramps meant for jumping, sidewalks that look awfully inviting, and a complete lack of pedestrians. For the better, perhaps, as this isn’t meant to be the next Carmageddon.
Burnout: Paradise still doesn’t have a firm release date, but we expect it to hit the PS3 sometime before the end of the year, with an Xbox 360 release at the same time or not far after.
Burnout Paradise, the first truly next-gen installation of the fast-paced racing franchise, is still months and months away. It’s not slated to drop in the US and Europe until sometime in the fourth quarter this year, but EA have already decided what it’s going to look like on store shelves. The boxes for the European versions have been released, both showing a rather sadly dilapidated Porsche-esque car.
That said, it’s not in quite as shape as the car shown in one of the first Burnout Paradise pics released back in January, when it was still just Burnout 5. That one got ripped in two by a semi-truck. Here’s hoping we see that kind of carnage in-game.
It seems the numeric designation for Burnout 5 was just a place-holder for the real name: Burnout Paradise. While we’ve had a few bits and pieces of news and glimpses of screens screens about the game before, it’s all official now, with a release slated for this winter. The press release accompanying the (rather blurry) screens states that the game is currently under development for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, making earlier statements about the game hitting Sony’s console first look a little unlikely. While a simultaneous release wasn’t confirmed, given the way things are selling right now, that may wind up being the case. We will of course let you know more when we hear it.
Well, the 360 and PS3, anyway. This time the game is all about constant action:
Burnout 5 gives players license to wreak havoc in Paradise City, the ultimate seamless racing battleground, with a massive infrastructure of traffic-heavy roads to abuse. Gone is the need to jump in and out of menus and aimlessly search for fun like many open world games; in Burnout 5, every inch of the world is built to deliver heart-stopping Burnout-style gameplay. Every intersection is a potential crash junction and every alleyway is an opportunity to rack up moving violations.
The game will ship sometime in 2007. Check back for screens and more info in the very near future.