Burnout Crash! Review

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It isn’t quite a fully fledged game, but Criterion has given us a bite-sized Burnout to tide us over. Find out what we thought in our Burnout Crash! Review!

Release Date September 20, 2011
Genre Racing
Platforms PS3/Xbox 360
Developer Criterion Games
Price $9.99 US
ESRB Rating Everyone 10+
Players 1 Player

 

A top-down Burnout game with only a crash mode? Can this possibly be successful? The answer isn’t as obvious as you think.

Burnout Crash! Review
This is what you’ll see at the start of a level.

When I first heard about Burnout Crash months ago, my initial reaction was one of joy. I had played Burnout 3, Revenge, and Paradise religiously and loved all three however that joy turned to skepticism when I found out it would be top-down and saw some screenshots. This wasn’t the Burnout I had come to know and love. I started playing it and that skepticism was gone.

Burnout Crash is a downloadable title but, not once during this game did I feel that it wasn’t worth playing through or that it was too short. The game has a central ‘Road Trip’ game mode where players progress to different intersections attempting to create the largest crashes for the most cash. There is a set number of cars to crash in each level and if you let five of those cars pass unscathed then, the level ends immediately. That’s not the only negative to letting cars go by as each one drops the power percentage for the end of the level disaster (such as tornadoes and plane crashes). This becomes a make or break part of the game as a 20% power meter may net you 5 million in cash whereas a 100% power meter can net you 20 million in cash.

Burnout Crash! Review
The aftermath of destruction.

There are power-ups in the form of different types of cars that can either help or hinder your progress. Things like ice cream trucks that freeze the road, an ambulance that takes away one of the Xs from a car that’s passed by, or a police blockade that blocks a whole lane of the road will all give you an extra bit of help. Most of the power-ups require you to either destroy them or make them get by unscathed which can prove to be difficult at times.

The next two modes are a bit more forgiving than ‘Road Trip’. ‘Pile Up’ begins with a 5x multiplier which goes down by one with every car that goes by without being touched. The level ends with an Inferno to which the power is determined by the multiplier. Not much difference to the ‘Road Trip’ mode and quite honestly, I felt like something better should have been thought of as a second mode. ‘Rush Hour’ is easily my favourite, forget the penalties for letting cars go by and just worry about destroying everything. Think of this as free mode, you can do whatever you want in 90 seconds to create as much destruction as possible. ‘Rush Hour’ just provides a lot more fun than any other mode in the game as you’re not constantly watching every direction and you can really pay attention to all the power-ups and score bonuses the game has to offer.

Burnout Crash! Review
“Ice Ice Baby” starts playing when you see the ice cream truck approaching.

I have to make a small note about the music. It was greatly implemented. Whatever was happening on the screen had the perfect song to go with it. A perfect example of that would be ‘Ice, Ice, Baby’ playing while the ice cream truck froze all the traffic.  It was just a little point that stood out for me. However, the voice work for the tutorials and whenever there was a big multiplier going on was very annoying and really took away from the experience. The absent multiplayer is also a sore spot as this would have been a perfect online, split-screen or, even a pass and play multiplayer game.

Criterion Games really created a great Burnout experience with this game, it was a bit bite-sized compared to what we’re all used to but, it was a great title to put on the PSN. I was surprised at how much fun I had with this game and I encourage everyone to try it out. The difficulty level was perfect and the variation on power-ups provided many different ways to strategize and play. Criterion has done well and I can’t wait for the next full installment in the Burnout series.

*A copy of this game was provided by EA for review purposes*

*I originally wrote this review in 2011 for the now-defunct The Paranoid Gamer.*

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