The Burnout series of games has always been known for being fast and furious with a penchant for eye-candy automotive destruction, not so much in the environments but with the cars and the other vehicles of the game. It's also known for having pretty insane speeds and introduced a ground (vehicle) breaking game play mode known as: Crash.
The franchise has changed hands and seems to be firmly in the home of EA now and they listened to the rants, raves, general commentary and complaints about the previous outing on the Xbox game console: thus was born Burnout Revenge on Xbox 360.
Burnout Revenge was a pretty smooth looking game for its time and it produced a good level of eye-candy, game play and destruction. It was however problematic on certain levels and did have some slowdown, frame-rate issues and AI quirks. Now if you have already played Burnout Revenge and you're thinking why should I bother with this remake? You might want to know what's changed, because frankly this is actually the game that Burnout Revenge should have been.
Burnout Revenge looks extremely nice on a good quality HD television and it holds its own on a standard TV as well, which is good to see. It's like someone took Burnout Revenge and gave it a nice new coat of shiny paint in a number of areas:
Nothing has changed here in the major World Tour mode from the original and the whole thing plays just like it did before, if you're new to the Burnout Revenge scene then you will find this game easy to get into, addictive and most of all fun. Burnout Revenge throws the normal race rules out of the window and invites you to go turbo to turbo with your fellow racers, smash, crash and thrash your way to the end of the race catching Big Air and Checking same way traffic.
The controls are the same, accelerate, brake, boost and those are all you really need to know. Burnout Revenge isn't about carefully simulated racing - it's about being the craziest and most insane racer out there on the grid, willing to do anything and everything to get to the finish line. There are standard races of varying difficulties and brand new to the Burnout Revenge game introduced into the Xbox version and back with a bang on 360 are the: Crash-breaker races.
In Burnout Revenge you build up your reputation and your score by driving like a maniac, checking same way traffic and blasting towards the finish line at high speed, you can smash and slam your opponents with complete disregard for their safety and your own. You build up boost by taking down your opponents and driving like a nutter in the oncoming traffic lanes, catching Air and so on.
In the Crash-breaker races you'll be able to blow your car if you have enough boost, the bigger the Crash-breaker level the more devastating the payback you can deliver - we've seen a Total Payback and it is pretty sweet.
On most races when you're taken down you gain a new Revenge Rival, this car is highlighted from now on in the race and you'll get bonus points and a feeling of satisfaction once you take down this bad boy. Sometimes you can get an instant revenge if they happen to be on the end of a Crash-breaker.
Road Rage races pit you against an endless amount of other cars, you are awarded extended time for a certain number of takedowns and your car only has a finite amount of punishment it can take, you need to keep this in mind and try to use the environment and other traffic to your advantage as you attempt to hit the required score in takedowns to win.
Traffic Attack gives you the chance to tear it up at high speed and smash the other traffic, knock cars into trucks for big points and beat the timer, remember there's no place in Burnout Revenge for careful drivers, so put that licence away somewhere safe.
One of the modes that have always been popular in the game series has been Crash Mode; this got a little bit of a slating in the previous release and has been retooled for Revenge on the 360. EA have removed the golf-meter style launch bar and now all you have to do is press A and let rip down towards the poor unsuspecting traffic, these levels are full of ramps, red herring jumps and tactical crash choices as you try and work out the best way to wreck it up bigtime.
Once you smash into the traffic you build up boost, if that boost hits the top of the meter then it's time to hammer the B button and trigger your Crash-breaker, this can mean the difference between a minor win and a Big Big crash score as the more things you blow up the bigger your score multiplier becomes.
New to Burnout Revenge 360 is the replay camera that allows you to see your triumphs from various camera angles, you can also pick 30 seconds of footage and save it to your 360 HD to share when you hit Xbox LIVE.
EA have taken great pains to retool certain aspects of the game that they were picked up on in previous reviews and forum comments, they have gone through each track and several of them have been tidied up from the previous game - the AI has been tweaked, the biggest tweak however has been in terms of:
Welcome to the era of prettier Burnout Revenge, this game is a jaw-dropping gorgeous one and the eye candy levels are certainly pumped up to the max on the 360. The whole thing is covered in a nice shiny coat of paint and positively flies by at insane brain-melting speeds without a single drop of a frame anywhere. The cars are supremely shiny and look very tasty on a decent HD screen; some of the HD screens have produced a softer look to the cars which actually doesn't quite live up to seeing the detail on a normal TV.
Explosions and crash effects have been ramped up in Burnout Revenge 360 and it takes advantage of the extra power to deliver even more gorgeous eye-candy than ever before, something to really show off the blistering speed and automotive carnage of the game series as things explode and shower sparks and car parts everywhere. The graphics are tied into the physics system and not only do cars deform and shed parts, they also loose paint as it chips and burns off from impacts and explosions, this transforms Burnout Revenge into something pretty special.
The extra power of the 360 has also been harnessed in terms of track graphics, the Mountain track is pretty spectacular and again all of this is done without a single drop of the game's frame-rate, you barely have time to take in the scenery before it's gone by at warp speeds and you're left wondering if the game can actually go any faster - usually Burnout Revenge provides that answer with more boost and even more eye-bleeding speed.
To summarise, the graphics tweaks and tune ups in the game are enough to warrant getting it if you already have the Xbox version, they are superb on a normal TV and show some of the power of the 360 at work.
The cars bend they break and they twist all in real time, there's no scripted crash physics in this game. The physics system handles everything from the over the top jumps to the body-breaking crashes and explosions, cars are hurled around based on various factors but the overriding one here is fun, so don't expect them to conform to the real world. Every chip of paint on the cars is given its own physics it seems and they fly off during heavy impacts, scrapes and all sorts of automotive mayhem.
The extra power of the 360 has ensured the developers can pump a little more in the way of CPU cycles into their opponent AI. It's not the brightest and best of AI and it does have its little problems, but these almost make it appear human in some respects and it certainly provides enough of a challenge at higher levels as you can almost imagine the smirking driver as he pulls away leaving your twisted wreck smacked into a pillar somewhere behind him.
They will team up on you, they will use tactics and most of all they will be aggressive in attempting to take first place, if that means slamming you into a wall and scraping their car through a gap - they'll leave you smoking in the flare of their boosters.
So the AI provides a decent challenge that gets harder the more you go up the Revenge ranks.
You can take the Burnout world by storm, kick onto LIVE and play any number of race and crash modes from team games where you have to thrash your way to the finish, crash as many opponents as possible and make sure your team has the higher score, to competitive Crash mode where you compete against others to rake in the big wins and money by blowing up as many vehicles on the map as possible, just like in single player.
If you take an opponent down in a LIVE race however you'll be marked as a rival to that player, they'll be gunning for you from then on and this kind of element builds interesting gamer rivalries, the same goes for someone if they take you down, you'll want payback and you'll want it NOW.
You can share 30 second replay clips on LIVE as well, so the developers have thought about their game's community already.
The default soundtrack isn't too bad; it's a mix of various rock tracks and so on. But you'll probably have a custom soundtrack ready to race with, we tend to use a mix between James Bond themes and Mission Impossible with some Stabbing Westward and Absurd from Sin City thrown into the mix.
I suppose if you flicked forwards to the end of the review you might want to read something that explains if the game is worth it or not. If you own the Xbox version of Burnout Revenge and you're lucky enough to have a 360, drop the Xbox version like a hot coal and get the 360 version - it's like playing a new game, not to mention it's the game that Burnout Revenge should have been in the first place but the power of the system did hamper it somewhat.
If you own just a 360 and you're tired of Full Auto and Ridge Racer get Burnout Revenge, this is the way an arcade racer should be done and it's faster than both put together.
So to summarise: Burnout Revenge isn't just a cheap knock-off of the Xbox version; it's like that luxury sports car you wanted but needed a few more frills on, packed to the nines with nitrous and enough Bling to sink a battleship. If you're a gamer that loves speed, thrills and spills, then Burnout Revenge 360 should be a game on your shelf right now!
You might wonder why it's not a 10/10, that's mainly because it is still Burnout Revenge and while it has lots of new paint and tweaks they are still mostly cosmetic and nothing is really too new in the game. The additional 360 car and the retooled Crash mode are welcome additions and alterations, but they still do not elevate it above the score.
That said, stop reading and get playing!