Burnout has eluded me throughout my gaming years, until now. Growing up, Need for Speed was the arcade racing series I spent my time in, having little time for any others if at all. I have always heard great things about Burnout and more specifically Paradise, so it was much to my joy when the remaster was officially announced and given a very close release date. Does the popular series still have what it takes, or is it all burned out?
Let’s dive deep into the story, oh wait, we cannot, as there isn’t really a story. But, instead you have a simple narrative, work your way up through the license ladder and earn your Burnout Elite License. Throughout your playtime a voice will pop up reminding you of the various events and activities that you can jump into and offer some hints, tips and advice. I enjoy the free reign experience that I wasn’t expecting, being able to choose what I want to do, when I want to do it and not be tied to a linear path is refreshing.
There is a distinct, addictive, repeating (in a good way), gameplay loop that I enjoy so damn much. Find activity, do activity, rinse and repeat. What makes this work is the variety of events you can do, races are exactly what you think, road rage requires you to takedown as many opposing vehicles as possible and stunt race is all about amassing points by doing cool things like jumps, drifts and smashing stuff. This helped maintain interest and keep me hooked, even after hours of similar missions.
In between the races, as you travel through Paradise City there are plenty of optional side objectives to go for. Be it smashing billboards, crashing through road blocks, hitting those sick aerial jumps, ruling the roads or taking down vehicles to add to your library of motors. I didn’t get bored, the only reason for me to stop playing was the fact I needed my sleep and even then, putting down that controller was difficult. I love the whole being constantly on the move and being able to do something of consequence at all times.
Being behind the wheel is an absolute blast and allows for anyone to grab the controller and be competent enough to get those wins. For me the arcade style beats the simulation style in just pure accessibility and ease of use, making it more pleasant (for me at least) overall. Cars are typically easy to handle and offer some lenience in skill needed to perform well on the differing tracks.
The world has been expertly designed in the sense that it is both large enough to feel vast and yet small enough that everything is within a reachable distance and doesn’t force long journeys to the next objective. Not only that, but in terms of aesthetics and presentation, the city looks like it could be a real place and feels alive. Witnessing Paradise City in 4K at 60 frames per second is an absolute treat. A remaster and visual upgrade done right, textures are highly detailed, the colours are popping, and the cars look great.
Perhaps one of the best things about this entire package, is the blood-pumping, adrenaline inducing soundtrack. 90 tracks ranging from classical all the way to rock with everything in between. This game features one of the most aptly named theme songs too with Guns N’ Roses, Paradise City which I can’t help but sing along to every time it plays. The rest of the sound design is just as immersive and atmosphere building, the screech of tyres and roar of the engines combined with the music is exhilarating and eggs you on to keep going.
This is by far one of the best remasters I have had the pleasure of playing and from what I’ve heard it’s helped by being a remaster of a great game anyway. Burnout Paradise Remastered is a breath-taking ride with rewarding gameplay, fantastic visuals and exciting music. I am happy that I have finally corrected a huge wrong in my life by finally playing this.
OVERALL: 8.8/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Burnout Paradise Remastered, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)