It’s been 12 years since Burnout Paradise originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3, a whole damn twelve years. That’s twelve years without a new mainline Burnout game, a series which has always stood as one of my favourites, so while the release of a remaster a few years ago was welcome, I certainly wouldn’t say no to a new entry in the series (nudge, nudge EA!).
The Switch port of Burnout Paradise is built from the PS4 and Xbox One remaster released in 2018, bringing with it updated visuals, a locked 60fps frame rate and all existing DLC for the game. It’s pretty much the ultimate Burnout Paradise experience, but now it’s also in the palm of your hands!
The Switch port does a great job of keeping up with Burnout at its most destructive, maintaining a pretty solid 60fps throughout. The trade off for that 60fps is that the visuals suffer with what looks like a dynamic resolution, dropping the graphical fidelity on the fly and allowing more fuzzy aliasing into the image to keep up with more demanding portions of the game. It’s a reasonable trade off to meet the lofty performance standards set for the Burnout series.
It’s quite impressive how they’ve got such a big world running so smoothly. All of the cars, races, jumps and billboards are all there for you to enjoy. While 60fps is a given for last-gen titles running on more powerful hardware, I’m always impressed when I see games running at 60fps or higher on a portable console. Running at 720p on the Switch itself and 900p when docked, Paradise City looks fantastic in handheld mode, albeit a little fuzzy when the resolution dips.
The frame rate can also dip from time to time, especially when taking part in the online parties and multiplayer races, but it’s never noticeable enough to affect your experience.
Burnout Paradise is a welcome addition on the Switch catalogue as there aren’t currently any open world driving games available on the console. I’d honestly forgotten just how much fun it was to speed around Paradise City at ludicrous speeds, weaving in and out of traffic as I fill my boost bar. While it visually shows it’s age to some degree, driving still feels fresh and snappy.
For newcomers, the progression system will seem somewhat broken by the inclusion of DLC cars, as you can jump in some of the fastest cars in the game right from the off. You’ll have to show some self-constraint to recapture the original experience, but for longtime fans of the game and the series, it lets you jump straight back into the high-speed action your remember.
I do think the game’s £44.99 asking price is a bitter pill to swallow, considering the remaster launched at a lower price on both the Xbox One and the PS4, and has been heavily discounted on those systems since then. It’s a shame that a Switch tax is being forced on Nintendo Switch owners to pay more for a title that performs better on other consoles. Full price for a 12 year old game just doesn’t sit right with me.