Rental Reviews 06/08/09

Two weeks in to this feature and it feels like we’re hitting our stride. There were quite a lot of submissions this week so competition to get into the round-up post was quite tough. The game this week was Burnout: Paradise and I was the staff reviewer. Here’s what I thought of the game in less than 250 words:

Burnout Paradise does what many arcade racers have failed to manage: it keeps drawing you back in. The wealth of activities on offer, from stunt runs to point-to-point races via combative and destructive modes, is so deep that there are many hours of game-play on offer. The map is large, with decent variation between densely populated areas and winding mountain trails and there is always plenty of traffic to spice things up a bit.

The controls are tight and responsive and the graphics are still some of the best on offer this generation. The music is obviously a prominent feature and my love for Guns n’ Roses means that I never tire of the “Paradise City” theme tune but it could be considered repetitive by some. Engine and ambient sounds are immersive and well executed. The online multiplayer system is comprehensive and exceptionally well implemented, essentially expanding single player modes into the online world.

It would be easy to condemn Criterion for the way they’ve clumsily crammed their DLC storefront into the start-up screens but the original menu design is a prime example of how it should be done. The range of DLC is larger than most and it would be easy to forget that most of it was free. Recent additions have been priced on the high side but DLC is optional and weighed against the free content provided over the time since its release the entire DLC package is probably better value than most.

9/10

Most of our readers agreed with me, TSA member toutski was glowing in his praise:

The best bit about Burnout is its ability to distract you from what you were originally planning to do.

You head to start a race then you spot a smash gate, mega jump or a car that needs shut down and before you know it you are at the other end of the map wondering where it was that you were meant to be heading in the first place.

The support that Criterion has added has been immense. You have now got bikes, toy cars, cops and robbers, legendary cars, boost specials and the amazing big surf island, which is the most fun you can have while keeping your clothes on.

The online portion of the games takes it to another level. You have 500 challenges to complete which adds plenty of longevity to the game. The only downside can be getting likeminded players to accomplish the challenges with you, but that’s hardly a fault of the game. All this and you get a shed-load of trophies as well, including a very achievable platinum.

I know this is Rental Review, but don’t rent it, buy it! You can pick it up new for less than £20.
I’d go so far as to say it’s a must have purchase for the PS3.

10/10

TSA member Manorhowze decided to write a very balanced review which gives equal time to the good and bad points as he sees them:

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Burnout Paradise departs from previous Burnout games as it offers an open game world with no loading screens when driving about. It has nearly seamless online play through the easydrive menu just select instant freeburn and your away, which puts it a cut above many other online games.

The offline is traditional single player Burnout with marked man, race, stunt run and road rage events and is great fun but online is where Burnout shines.

The online mode favours teamwork in a series of freeburn challenges, its more fun and will keep you entertained for many months trying to get all 500 freeburn challenges.

The main flaw is the DLC. The party pack should have been free in my opinion, I think £7.99 is a joke. If you buy all the DLC cars you could nearly pay for a new game instead. The island was reasonably priced though as it could have made a great PSN title on its own.

The other gripe is traffic. The game has to spawn cars wherever you are on the map to give the illusion of constantly having cars all around the city but often manages to be a bit slow causing cars to spawn or disappear in front of you resulting in a crash that was not your fault.

The best racing game currently on PS3, it has that great quality that so many games lack. Fun.

Burnout falls short of 10 only because of a few minor glitches and overpriced DLC.

9/10

Like I said, there were lots of submissions this week but not a lot of variation in the scores which is a testament to just how good this game is.

The average TSA member score from submitted reviews was 9/10

Our Rental Review score was 9/10

TSA did not fully review Burnout Paradise (we were only little then!)

Update: Alex has pointed out that TSA did in fact review Burnout Paradise and I’m just crap at searching. He says it got a nine, even though the score has disappeared off the old text which can be read here.

Next week’s game is Prototype so if you’ve played it send us a review and if you haven’t played it then drop into your local rental establishment and pick it up. Send the reviews (under 250 words) to peter[at]thesixthaxis[dot]com with RR in the subject line and maybe you’ll be the proud recipient of 75 TSA points after next week’s round-up post.

Cake!

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