Crash, Bang, Boom

A Review Of "Burnout Revenge"

After playing "Burnout Revenge," I have to simply sit back and ask myself something: Why has no one thought of this before? The concept seems simple. What's more fun than getting into a car you could never afford and racing it around cities that seem made for racing? The answer, according to "Burnout," is crashing those cars into each other, causing massive explosions, pileups and general disorder. I have to say that I agree. If you can't see the logic in that, watch kids play with toy trucks or Hotwheels. What does it remind you of: "Gran Turismo 4," with its slow precise driving, or "Burnout Revenge," filled with crashes and mayhem?

"Burnout Revenge" isn't very deep. It's only realistic in looks. There's not much variation in the gameplay; and any sort of story is absent, but it's truly fun.

The gameplay is straightforward. Choosing from a large selection of hi-tech vehicles, the player attempts to smash, race and tear his way through to the winner's circle. In this game, crashing into other cars isn't just allowed—it's required. There is no end to the ways you can perform a "takedown." From simply ramming someone into a wall, to coming off a ramp and landing on them, to cornering them so they smash into oncoming traffic, you'll never see the same takedown twice. There are various modes of play: races, traffic checking, crash mode.

The goal is to do damage or win a race before the others. "Burnout Revenge" doesn't joke around with speeds.

Tired of going 65 mph for the first three hours you play the game? The first car goes from 0 to 120 in three seconds. The biggest problem here is that the game might be too fast-paced for some people. Not only can you destroy cars in racing, but after you crash, you can slow down time and use "aftertouch" to cause even more carnage. Later on, your car is equipped with a bomb you can set off. Bet Jack Thompson will be delighted to hear about that.

The graphics and design are another strong point of the game. Each level is crafted intricately, with huge roads, cluttered crossways and well-placed jumps. The cars are beautiful, with lots of hi-tech and futuristic designs. The crashes are where the game really shines. Vehicles shatter and crumble as pieces fall off and engines explode. When the player takes out a racer, a slow motion video of the destruction, complemented by the cinematic camera angles, is shown. Despite the abruptness of the changes, races generally continue smoothly, meaning the carnage never stops.

Like many Electronic Arts games, various mainstream rock bands, few of which I like, provide the sound. But hey, A for effort. Besides, the explosions will drown out the crappy music.

In some cases, replay can make or break a game. It may be the difference between a fun experience and a classic game. "Burnout Revenge" succeeds in having the variety needed to be a classic, and it's one of the few racing games I suggest you buy.


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