T’was a cold Sunday morning towards the end of November 2008 and I popped in Burnout Paradise for the first time. Even before starting the game, Guns N’ Roses – ‘Paradise City’ started playing on the Playstation XMB…and a smile crossed my face. Once I’d fired up the game, watched the intro video, listened to the information from DJ Atomika, I found myself sat in a Junk Yard, in my first car of the game, a beat up Hunter Cavalry. I pulled the R2 button, the cars engine started, and I was off.
I remember spending the first hour or so driving around and being in ore of the environment, the sound effects, the car physics and the crashing effects. After a little more time, won a couple of races, got a handful of new cars and was hooked.This game was different to a lot of driving games I’d previously played as it was very much an open world game. I found myself at times pulling into a parking spot at the side of the road, to sit and watch the world go by. I spent the a good couple of days playing this game, then for some reason just stopped.
A couple of months later, the ‘Legendary Cars’ pack was added to the available DLC list, and seeing the new cars where based on 1980’s TV shows, I was sold. The pack contained the GT Nighthawk (based on Knight Rider), the Cavalry Bootlegger (based on the General Lee), the Manhattan Sprint (based on Echo 1 ambulance from Ghostbusters) and finally the P12 88 Special (based on the Delorean from Back to the Future). Each of the cars had little tweaks to them which would set them apart from the rest. The GT Nighthawk made the very familiar KITT noise when you hit the boost. The Cavalry Bootlegger had the very distinctive horn from Dukes of Hazzard. If you pressed the horn on the The Manhattan Sprint, you again got the very familiar siren from the Ghostbusters films as well as the roof lights flashing. I have to say, the Jansen P12 88 Special was always my favorite. Clicking the horn button would lift the car off the ground and took the wheels up underneath…very cool. In addition, hitting the boost would leave two steaks of fire behind you. Once again, a playing the game for a could of nights, and then just stopped, only to pop back in for an hour here, and an hour there when I fancied a little bit of open world racing.
Fast forward to November 2012, and luckily the fantastic Midlifegamer community chose Burnout Paradise out of the five racing from my Pile of Shame I’d put up for voting. Once the votes were in I decided to give myself the challenge of getting my Burnout License. To be honest, when I set myself the goal, I didn’t quite realise what I’d signed myself up for as getting the Burnout License required you to win a total of 90 events!. Due to the month playtime constraint, this proved to be quite a challenge, not because I didn’t enjoy the game, it’s just that there’s a lot to distract you from doing the main game. The events are as follows, Race (race against one of more car from point a, to point b), Road Rage (get a number of takedowns in the required time), Marked Man (get from point a to b with your car intact, which could was rather challenging if you’d made the wrong car choice as you’d have a handful of black Hunter Civilians attempting to take you down), Stunt Run (doing various jumps, drift, barrel rolls in the allotted time to beat the required score), Burning Route (if you are in the required car, it’s a simple matter of race from a to b in the allotted time, this would unlock the special edition of the current vehicle), Road Rules (driving down a particular section of road which put you against other player via a leaderboard) and finally the Showtime Road Rules (doing as much damage as possible before you run out of steam). In addition to the above there are a 120 billboards to smash through, 400 smash gates and 50 Superjumps to keep you distracted.
While driving around there are a number of drivethroughs, Auto Repair (fixes your car), Gas Station (Fills your Boost), Paint Shops (gives your car a custom spray job), Junkyards (where you can switch your car for one of the other 100+ potential veichles). If that’s not enough, there are 11 multi story car parks dotted around the map, which all have at least one ramp on the roof for you to perform a super jumps, and get access to some of the harder to reach billboards, of of which form part of a trophy for discovering them all.
I know this games has taken me over four years to get my Burnout license, however I really enjoyed it when I had time to sit down and give it the time it deserved, and only wish I has more gaming time in my life to platinum this great game.
This game has taken me around twenty hours to achieve my Burnout License over the four year period, but I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve played. The variety of the events, the challenges, cars and living breathing universe makes me want to keep going back however, as with most open world games that leave the world open to you once the credits roll, I bid it fairway, and long to play the newer shiner version that is Need For Speed : Most Wanted.
Approx Time taken to beat – 20 hours
Difficulty setting – normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Atomica, Atomika, Availble, Bootlegger, Burnout Paradise, Car Physics, Delorean, Driving Games, Dukes Of Hazzard, Echo 1, Game Guns, General Lee, Guns N Roses, Guns Roses, Horn Button, Junk Yard, Knight Rider, Legendary Cars, Little More Time, Paradise City, Playing The Game, S Tv, World Game