XI
you are not logged in
Preview

Hands On: Burnout Crash!

Mini humble pies?

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about going to London? That wasn’t quite the whole story. The Starbucks, the tiny food, the spokesmodel search all happened but there was a little more that I couldn’t tell you about until now. In fact, I didn’t know it was going to happen until I actually got there, the invite that was sent out clearly said this was an event for Need for Speed: The Run, that was it. However, while we were all waiting outside to be let loose on the minuscule food, some clever soul glanced through the window and saw another logo on display: Burnout Crash! Everything was not quite as it seemed. Sneaky EA, very sneaky.


Press "A" to 'splode.
To be fair, Burnout Crash! didn’t have quite as many stations as Need for Speed. While EA’s core racing title had about fifteen machines showing it off, Burnout has just… two. And one of those was a Kinect only station (and no, as far as I know, there are no videos of me playing it). Ah Kinect, so many people disparage and mock you and yet, for Burnout at least, you actually work.

To put it simply, the Kinect mode in Crash! is hilarious. It’s not quite as embarrassing as Dance Central can be, but any game that makes you flap your arms like a chicken is going to have a pretty high hilarity rating. It’s not just chicken flapping though, when you start in the Kinect mode you pull the lever on a slot machine which randomizes your car, map and the action you need to do to explode the car. Apparently there are six in the game, although personally I only jumped and clapped (although I did see people throwing Hadoukens).

Ah yes, the explosions. I’ve skimmed over that a bit haven’t I? Crash! is basically the absolute peak of the crash modes from older Burnouts, boiled down literally as far as you can go. You come into an intersection of some kind (there were cross roads and roundabouts on show) at full speed, only being able to control your direction. Once you hit the intersection the aim is pretty obvious: crash into something. This is where the fun bit starts.

As soon as you crash, in typical Burnout fashion, you explode. However once you’ve thrown your car into the air, it’s not a simple case of typical Burnout physics, or even the physics from any racer. I wouldn’t say that Criterion have gone to the complete cartoon extreme with Crash’s physics engine, but they’re not far off. So we’ve these physics in place you’ve got pretty accurate directional control over your car; there’s no spinning crazily or trying to move in a general direction here, although it’s not quite one-to-one either. There is a little resistance, and if you try and switch direction quickly you will lose a lot of speed very quickly. Criterion have tuned it just right so you have enough control to get your car where you want it to be, and that is the whole point of Crash.


Like pinball but with really explosive cars.
See, this is a puzzle game of sorts. Yes, it’s a puzzle game where you explode and cause a worrying number of car crashes, but it’s still a puzzle game of sorts. You can’t just explode infinitely, you need to crash to build up your explosions. Really it’s all about positioning. You need to take out a car in just the right space so it blocks a section of the intersection, causes a bigger crash and builds up your explosions as well as your special meter.

The special meter is just that, special. Want to cause a tornado? Then the special meter really is your friend. Of course, it doesn’t do the same thing in each of the three modes, in Inferno it (quite obviously) causes your car to catch on fire. That’s the whole aim of the mode in fact: build up to the inferno and then keep cars blazing as long as possible. The longer they’re on fire, the higher your score. Simple, yet so much fun.

That’s the thing about Crash, it is fun. We all (myself included) pretty much ridiculed the game when we saw those first screenshots, but Criterion really know what they’re doing. It’s 2D for a reason, the controls and the core mechanics simply wouldn’t work without it. Yes, they could have built the crash mode from older Burnout titles into its own title but it probably wouldn’t actually be as good as Crash is. In fact I’m almost certain it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be as tight, wouldn’t be as focused and just simply wouldn’t work quite as well as Crash does.

The crash mode in Burnout has always been a puzzle game to some extent but, by switching to the overhead perspective, everything has become much more explicit. You can really see an overview of what’s going on, and work out tactics for blocking as much of the junction as possible (diagonals work really well).

So, yes we may have mocked Crash, we may have said we didn’t want this and we may have thought that we were being short changed by Criterion. The thing is, while we’re not getting what we may have wanted, it doesn’t really matter: Criterion came up with something better.

Read more: #
32 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    I think if people can accept that this is a bit of light froth to have some fun with then it has every chance of doing well. Especially if they’re sensible enough to sling a demo onto the likes of the PSN.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:36.
    • Jaffa-the-Cake
      Member
      Since: Oct 2010

      But the whole point of the article says it’s best with Kinect. I only have a PS3 and have no interest what so ever in using the game with a DS3.

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:32.
      • halbpro
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Mar 2009

        No, it’s good with Kinect and fun. Best with controller though.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:59.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      If this was an Android/iOS game I’d gladly purchase it and probably enjoy my time with it, but it’s not the kind of game I play at home sitting infront of my TV. I enjoy playing Angry Birds and while it is possible to play it from within your Google Chrome browser I’m not playing it that way simply because when I’m at home sitting infront of a 40″ TV I’d rather play other games.
      I can only see this game being fun in short bursts on the go or as a party game with friends or family. This would probably get stale very fast if you’re at home on your own.

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:51.
  2. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    My mother-in-law played the Crash mode in one of the earlier Burnout’s and asked “where is the crash button?”. To which we replied, “No, you just have to crash”. She is not blonde, but we mock her about this all the time.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:36.
    • Lymmusic
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      Which button do i press to swing the wii remote?

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:44.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Lol, exactly. Honestly, she’s come out with some absolute classics. Bless.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:45.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Mock her all you want but women are the true masters of destruction and therefore the Burnout Crash Mode. My girlfriend loves to destroy things in video games (her favourite thing about God of War was destroying vases and boxes…) and when she first set her eyes on the Crash Mode in Burnout she instantly broke my current record on her first try… I still cry myself to sleep sometimes because of this…

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:53.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Ha ha, you are certainly correct about them being the masters of destruction!

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 12:03.
    • Amphlett
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      “She is not blonde…” I beg your pardon?! Do you have to use such disparaging stereo types?
      Would you make similar themed remarks about people with differing skin colour…

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 14:44.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        No, but it was my choice. And she is Asian. And I am blonde.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 16:37.
      • Gadbury
        Member
        Since: Jan 2009

        *sigh* It may be a stereotype, but is it really that offensive? Can’t seem to fart these days.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 22:05.
  3. DJ Judas
    Epic
    Since: Aug 2008

    I’ve never doubted whether Crash would be good fun or not, but unfortunately I suffer from what could be considered CoD-itis when it comes to Burnout; I simply want more of the same from B2/3 and feel some sort of mis-placed sense of injustice when it doesn’t arrive.

    This mini-entrance into the Burnout universe is, I’m sure, quite deserving, however I can’t help but yearn for a Burnout in the elk of the last generation.

    Crikey I’d settle for a HD collection even, but I get the feeling that I’m that guy who’s holding a candle up for ‘the one that got away’ and they’re never coming back.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:49.
    • halbpro
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Mar 2009

      I was too until I played this.

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 10:55.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      With the big publishers focusing on their best performing franchises it could be a while until we see a full Burnout, as EA find NfS the better bet & I dont think Criterion are a 2 game studio.

      I would love the HD collection probably more than a new game. 2, Takedown & Revenge were arcade racer perfection

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:10.
  4. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    I think if they had marketed this as a new IP rather than part of the Burnout licence it would have drawn less criticism.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:01.
    • Amphlett
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      But the ‘Burnout’ moniker helps to sell games.

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 14:45.
  5. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Just can’t get excited about this at all. I hate to say it and I apologise but it does look like an iPhone game and when it releases it will be overpriced on the PSN for what it is.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:01.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Plants v Zombies came to the iPhone and it was awesome. It’s still amazing on the PS3 too. Think positive thoughts. ;)

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:15.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        No it wasn’t. Doesn’t work for me on any platform. I’m just not a TD guy… :P

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:55.
  6. Crazy_Del
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    It looks fun and I can see myself ejoying this, so it’s a definite day 1 purchase for me, don’t care if its overpriced!

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 11:30.
    • Ben
      Friendly
      Since: Mar 2009

      Whatever Sony thinks the UK equivalent of $9.99 is these days.

      Comment posted on 18/09/2011 at 23:09.
  7. moshi
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Seems like a game you pick up for 10/15 mins then on to something else which is perfectly fine with me.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 12:54.
    • Amphlett
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Agreed. As long as they get the price point to match a game which one might play in 15 minute bursts then I think I’d be interested.

      Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 14:46.
      • halbpro
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Mar 2009

        I think you could play a bit longer than that, but no it’s not a sit down for a few hours kind of game. However Kinect does make it an amazing party game.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 14:58.
      • moshi
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        We mean, its 10 minutes before tea/tv/going out so lets have a quick blast. I will be playing it for a good few hours at first then it will be replaying the “levels” to get the higher score/ gold medal or whatever setting they have.

        Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 16:59.
  8. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    It looks good and fun to play but I hope there is a demo or trial & unlock.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 13:42.
  9. Broonba
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    Sounds like it’d definitely be worth a bash.
    Here’s hoping we see a demo on PSN.

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 16:51.
  10. Gadbury
    Member
    Since: Jan 2009

    We didn’t all mock Burnout Crash. Many did, I didn’t. Never knock something until you’ve tried it :) Sounds fun, reminds me of early GTAs (well, the perspective).

    Comment posted on 09/09/2011 at 22:00.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments

TSA Meets

  • None today