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Burnout Paradise Remastered Review

Take me back to the Paradise City

Arcade racers have been few and far in recent years, but they are back in fashion with Gravel already out and Onrush, GRIP, and others coming soon. Can the ten year old Burnout Paradise, widely regarded as one of the classic games of the previous generation still hold it’s own?

The game runs at a silky smooth 60fps and if you have a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X then you can bump up the resolution from 1080p to 4K, but that’s about all your getting on your new console; nothing else seems to have changed. The tip top remasters have used the extra processing power available to improve effects, tweak the lighting, and improve models, but EA have seemingly chosen to do a fairly straight port, increasing texture detail, making reflections higher resolution and adding proper shadows to other cars.

That may please purists but it seems a missed opportunity, and it should be noted the original PS3 version of the game ran at a solid 60fps. Only Xbox owners who had an occasionally juddery frame rate on the 360 version get any noticeable improvement in performance.

The smoke effects from burning rubber have been tweaked but still look rather pathetic and it’s noticeable that when you do crash your car crumples and the odd wheel pops off, what is mostly happening is small black shards spurt from your vehicle like a malfunctioning firework. Playing on a modern 4K TV also reveals just how dark the game gets when night falls. You can be driving in pitch black because the residents of Paradise City don’t seem to have functioning lights in many of their buildings, although oddly the inhabitants of Big Surf island do.

You certainly get a lot of content with all eight expansions, which includes over 150 bikes and vehicles and Big Surf, an addition island to the west of the map to race around. However, game design has progressed since the game first launched and having to listen to DJ Atomica explain every single event, ever single time, becomes annoying very quickly – a skip button would have been very welcome during these monologues. Anyone new to the game will also notice the traffic is surprisingly sparse, there’s very few other vehicles on the road considering that Paradise City is a huge sprawling metropolis, and having to drive to a Junk Yard to swap vehicles is just a pain. In fact, it was a pain in 2008 as well, and people complained it and the lack of fast travel at the time.

But do you know what? Who cares. It’s Burnout Paradise and it’s still bloody great. From the moment the classic Guns N’ Roses anthem blasts out I started to smile and I only stopped grinning when I turned the game off many hours later. Racing at breakneck speed through tunnels, performing ridiculous stunts, and jumping huge gaps with flames spewing from the back of your vehicle never gets boring. I’d forgotten just how damn fast this game is. The Crash mode is still bobbins though.

The vehicles handle perfectly for an arcade racer, feeling weighty and firmly stuck to the tarmac, but can perform handbreak turns that would break the drivers neck with whiplash. Although Paradise City and the surrounding area isn’t the biggest of maps there is always something new to to discover round each corner and you can have a whale of time just putting your foot to the floor and driving where you like, smashing through gates and trying to locate all the Burnout billboards.

To unlock new vehicles you can either take down AI racers or compete in events that include races, stunt runs, and Marked Man, in which you have to race to a point on the map whilst heavily armoured vehicles try and smash you into, well, just about anything. Each time you win an event you add a point to your license; get enough points, go up a level and get some new cars. However, as all the DLC is unlocked from the start this does make the earlier stages very easy if you want them to be. In the original game you started with rather rubbish vehicles but here you can race the the fastest, toughest DLC vehicles from the start.

Alongside the races to get your drivers permit there are a huge number of challenges to achieve, online leaderboards, ranked events, road rules, and a host of trophies which ping up at pleasingly regular intervals. There’s plenty to do and that’s before you go online and team up with up to eight friends to race with. I personally couldn’t try it out on PS4 before launch, but the Xbox One’s EA Access trial had the game’s incomparable Easy Drive mode in all its glory. It’s no different to the original game, which means it’s some of the best fun you can have with eight people without getting naked.

The price of Burnout Paradise Remastered has raised a few eyebrows, so we should mention that the original game is backwards compatible on Xbox One, and of course the PC version has been available for ages, albeit without Big Surf. If your not a completist or don’t mind the lower resolution visuals on Xbox One BC, then they may a cheaper option. PlayStation 4 owners are stuck with just once choice.

What’s Good:

  • Hey, hey
  • You, you
  • I don’t like your girlfriend

What’s Bad:

  • No way
  • No way
  • I think you need a new one

It may a look a little basic compared to recent titles, but when it comes to gameplay Burnout Paradise still thrashes the competition. The racing is sublime, the stunts are spectacular, and there’s always something to do round the next corner. It has one of the best soundtracks of any game – and yes that includes Avril – it’s just a shame that some of the mechanics are dated and clunky.

Score: 8/10

Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4 Pro

  1. Pixel_nme
    Since: Mar 2014

    Looking forward to Burnout all over again,trying for the Platinum again as sadly it’s on a old account,Will also be playing it without spoiling the experience by jumping straight to the DLC cars.

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 14:25.
  2. ron_mcphatty
    Since: Sep 2008

    I’m a bit crushed by the lack of effort behind this remaster, it sounds like it should be called ‘Burnout Paradise Port’ instead. For £30 I expect a ten year old game to become a very shiny remaster out of the gate, the bare minimum being some impressive lighting and particle improvements. It’s good to hear that the gameplay is as solid as it every was but as much as I’m excited about playing Burnout all over again I’ll now be waiting for a price drop. Sorry EA, preorder cancelled, now where’s my PS3 disc gone…

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 15:16.
    • Avenger
      Since: Oct 2012

      It’s worse on Xbox because 360 games have been getting bumped up to 4K natively and completely free of charge. The 360 game is free with EA Access too. It makes a £30 fee for 4K completely unjustified.

      Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 19:02.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Since: Sep 2008

        Wow, that’s very poor then. I get that this is EA’s first try but they really could have tried a bit harder or sold it cheap for something like £15 digital only. As ever with them it’s a good product but poor value for money.

        Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 19:06.
      • Stefan L
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Burnout Paradise isn’t in the EA Access vault, and I’m not terribly sure that it has been in the past either…

        Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 23:08.
      • JesseDeya
        Since: Jan 2010

        So… fake news (the proper definition). Was excited to think it might be in the vault for my Xbox One X (I’m on the road so can’t check).

        Comment posted on 13/03/2018 at 07:27.
      • Avenger
        Since: Oct 2012

        Hardly fake news as I don’t report the news, I’m just freely commenting on an article. Don’t get butt-hurt about it.

        On a seperate note, it seems it was GwG that gave me the game free, not Access. Although you can still buy pre-owned versions cheap, or use you old copy of the game :/

        It’s still a rip-off!

        Comment posted on 13/03/2018 at 19:03.
  3. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    So, it’s basically the average remaster? The Pros and cons, i feel shouldn’t be used as a joke. Just purely because it could confuse some folks and if one was using it to decide whether to get it, it could invalidate the review for them. Yes, I’m being that pain in the arse. DEal. With. It. Also, buy some Dew and Doritos. wait, that was 2011, not 2008. Bugger!

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 16:31.
    • Lyts1985
      Since: Jan 2009

      I agree with this. I look to the pros and cons for a summary but the rubbish joke just annoyed me to be honest.

      Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 20:53.
    • JesseDeya
      Since: Jan 2010

      Surely you mean… dEAl. With. It.

      Comment posted on 13/03/2018 at 07:30.
    • 3shirts
      Since: Aug 2008

      I agree as well. I usually read the cons first so that confused the hell out of me. I love Tuffcub’s taglines and lighthearted reviews but the pro/con bit is useful.

      Comment posted on 14/03/2018 at 15:10.
  4. tactical20
    Since: May 2010

    Considering it’s the first EA remaster, I’m not surprised they are just testing the water and haven’t gone all out. £30 is way too much though. I’ll wait until it’s a tenner.

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 17:03.
  5. Deezoned
    Since: Jul 2009

    Arrrh… must not buy again … whatever, pre-ordered, looking forward to returning to Paradise City all over. Platinum, here we go again! :)

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 19:37.
  6. Jake Durasamy
    Since: Jun 2016

    Death to DJ Atomica.

    The pricing is steep though, I’m on the fence about buying this on day one but I know my friends will.

    Comment posted on 12/03/2018 at 22:33.
    • ron_mcphatty
      Since: Sep 2008

      I think Burnout Paradise was the death of DJ Atomic! Or his career at least, it seems his hipster shift in taste for the 2012 Super Sonwboard Xross gig was the final blow, how dare betray his manufactured pop punk fans! Although that Naked and Famous track I amazing. He was spotted trying to streak the greens of Tiger Woods 13 and refused entry at the turnstiles of Madden NFL 25, then possibly glimpsed three years ago sleeping rough and living out of a shopping trolley on Tony Hawks 5’s Venice Beach. Activision won’t comment, Lazlow Jones won’t return his calls or his headphones and he can’t get help from Avril Lavigne, she was murdered last year by her more record company compliant, more girlfriend respectful and less complicated clone Melissa.

      Comment posted on 13/03/2018 at 05:06.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      U ok hun?

      Comment posted on 13/03/2018 at 09:54.
  7. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    I’ve already pre-ordered this so I’m glad the review is mostly positive. I absolutely adored it back in the day but missed out on most of the DLC so it’ll be nice to get back into it and to play with all those tiny cars.

    Comment posted on 14/03/2018 at 15:12.
  8. homerjnick
    Since: Jun 2010

    This review advises differently on the “port”…


    They say it has received lots more “under the hood” polish that one thinks…

    Comment posted on 14/03/2018 at 16:24.