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Burnout Revenge ( 2005)            

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Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Burnout 3: Takedown


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(Anonymous) (Unknown)   28th Mar 2012 03:20

"I'm a sucker for explosions, so sue me"

One of the few gem franchises Acclaim established before going out of business was the arcade racer BurnOut, which rewarded gamers for reckless driving and taking risks. Acclaim released two hit entries that developed a loyal following, but due to Acclaim being on the verge of bankruptcy, the first two BurnOut games never got the advertising they deserved and it remained a niche game. That all changed last year when EA bought the franchise from Acclaim right before they went under, and used their marketing muscle as they introduced BurnOut 3: Takedown to mainstream success. Also add the fact that they revamped the gameplay and made it ten times as intense and fun as before. Now EA is back for round two with BurnOut Revenge. While not as groundbreaking as Takedown, Revenge implements enough new gameplay improvements and features to be considered a worthy sequel.

The most immediate new feature in races is the ability to traffic check. Remember how irritating crashing was whenever you rammed into the bumper of the cars ahead of you? Fear no more, because now when you give a mighty love tap to vehicles from behind that are going the same way and aren't a semi or bus, you will no longer crash. Instead the bumped vehicle will go flying ahead of you, and if timed correctly can collide into rival racers for a Traffic Check Takedown. This adds a whole new layer to planning out races, and made the madness a lot more fun for me.

The other main new theme in Revenge is the Revenge theme in races. The first time a rival takes you down in a race, the game will highlight him for the remainder of the race and bonus points will be scored once revenge has occurred. Another new touch to the races is an addition to the slow-motion ‘Aftertouch' that occurs right after any of your wrecks. Crash mode's Crashbreaker option can now be activated after any crash for a better chance at taking out the opponent that just knocked you out. The last thing to keep an eye out for in races is shortcuts and alternate paths galore. The developers at Criterion make no efforts in hiding them; as a matter of fact they blatantly highlight them to encourage you to take them. Each track is loaded with them. The catch to them is there is usually no traffic or obstacles on them, so it is harder to achieve boost on them so make sure to have boost stocked up when traversing the alternate paths. Also some alternate paths don't save as much time as you think and might not even be worth taking until you really got the tracks down.

The developers had so much fun with the new traffic checks they even made a whole new mode based off it called Traffic Attack. There is a timer that counts down to 0, but as long as traffic is continuously checked the mode can last forever. I once had to force myself to put the controller down because I had a streak going for over 10 straight minutes. The rest of the roster of modes return from Takedown like Burning Lap, Reverse Races and my personal favorite, Road Rage. It would have been nice to see Pursuit mode make its return to consoles, but I guess EA is satisfied leaving it as an exclusive mode to BurnOut Legends for the DS and PSP.

Crash mode is also back, but it has received quite the overhaul. The initial turbo boost will have to be earned via a meter at the beginning of each race that works much like the kicking meters in Madden. There are also no more power-up icons to aim for to double and quadruple your score like before. Instead the pre-race intro will have to be used where to strategically land the vehicle in order to cause the biggest crash. If a sole target car happens to ram into your path of destruction, that shall be the only bonus thou shall receive. Finally, the lack of power-ups means no more instant Crashbreaker power-ups, now a percentage meter slowly builds up to 100% and when that happens only then can your Crashbreaker be activated. The upside to this is the meter can be refilled for up to two and even three Crashbreaker attempts depending on how big the crashes turn out to be. I dig the modifications, but I prefer Takedown's Crash mode more as this one seems to throw a little too much into what should be a simple little destruction romp.

Throw all these gameplay modes together with a map of the globe and we get the return of World Tour mode, the main way to play the single player game in Revenge. Just like in Takedown's World Tour mode there are hundreds of events to compete in and dozens of vehicles to unlock. And just like last year, I ended up being madly addicted to this mode as I spent countless hours trying to accomplish gold medals in all the events and unlock all the vehicles.

I am glad I can say I am spending a decent amount of hours online in Revenge too. While Takedown did have Xbox Live online play last year, the lobby setup EA had in place was horrible. Mercifully, they redesigned their online lobbies for Revenge. They are a little bit more accessible, and now use a ranking system somewhat similar to the ranking system in Halo 2 in order to try and provide some equal competition. I did run into some bouts of lag online every several races, but for the most part everything ran fine over Xbox Live.

After hearing me praise Revenge for dang near the entire review I bet you are wondering if there are even any faults or gripes I have with the game. I have a couple, but they are extremely miniscule. I was hoping for more racers than six, but this helps the game keep up a consistently smooth framerate. The AI can also be sometimes brutally mean to you in some races, which I guess is fitting with the theme of the game. However, while they may always be on your tail no matter how many times you take them out, this wouldn't be a BurnOut game if you win every race by ten or more seconds. One last omissible nitpick that is worth mentioning is Revenge has the worst intro movie ever. It starts off with some slick production effects, but this new female announcer just rambles on about all the new stuff and she just keeps going and going for literally damn near five minutes. Skip it at all costs!

When always hearing people rave endlessly about how silky smooth the licensed car models in Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are one would be led to believe they wouldn't see that much of an effort from an unlicensed game. That statement could not have been any more incorrect. I cannot believe how marvelous the wide array of trucks, muscle and sports cars look in Revenge. The vehicles boast some stunning crash animations with debris scattering in virtually all directions and sparks flying all over the place. It is like having art unfold before my very own eyes. With all the chaos happening on screen it is a big treat to have the game running at a lightening fast framerate without a trace of slowdown, even when cruising with the 200mph+ capable F1 vehicles.

I have rarely been a fan to EA Trax (the only exception until now has been EA's DefJam titles), but I always try to give them a shot my first few hours with a game. Revenge still has a lot more of the same type of punk/rock music that Takedown boasted last year, but this 41 song soundtrack actually features some pretty good tracks from bands like Goldfinger, Yellowcard and Junkie XL. I still eventually wound up playing with my custom soundtracks going on, but it is nice to see EA putting a better effort in finding a more fitting soundtrack with their games. Most of the awesome sound effects remain unchanged from Takedown, except there is no more helicopters in the background when they look over the damage in Crash mode! What gives!? Finally, the annoying announcer from Takedown is replaced with a female one that is less grating on the ears and is nowhere to be heard during races to my delight.

If you are a fan of any of the BurnOut games, then go pick up Revenge immediately. This is the best arcade racer I have ever played, fans of the many street racing games flooding the market should check this out. If you are sick and tired of hardcore simulators like Gran Turismo, Project Gotham and Forza than this is the perfect alternative for you. Any way you look at it, no matter what type of racing games you prefer, this one is a must buy for all.

Reviewer's Score: 10/10, Originally Posted: 12/10/05

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This title was first added on 25th August 2007
This title was most recently updated on 28th March 2012

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