Racing fans should buckle up well, because in Burnout Paradise Remastered we are faced with turbulent and action-packed challenges that are teeming with rapid stunts and breakneck crashes. The arcade racer can therefore be recommended to anyone who expects one thing from racing games: a lot of action.
The more than twelve-year-old title easily manages to pull us into the races of the fast races, even though it does without many more modern features such as tuning or optical adjustment options.
A different kind of driving license test
Source: PC Games
At the beginning of the game, we are thrown into the open world of Paradise City without much ado after the casual radio presenter DJ Atomica briefly explains what the core of the game is about. Everywhere in the more accessible game world we find traffic lights where we can start events. Successful degrees are noted on our driver license. If we have achieved a certain number of victories, our license will be upgraded to the next rank.
All completed events are then reset and are now playable against more challenging opponents until we advance to the next rank. However, this game principle, which initially sounds like a monotonous loop, quickly makes us forget the time. One of the reasons for this is that we can always start the events quickly and without much pretense. There are also hardly any restrictions, only a special car has to be driven for some special challenges. Otherwise, we can start lap after lap quickly and directly, which makes the gameplay loop feel fast, direct and satisfying.
Boost is the key – or death!
Source: PC Games
Its addictive potential owes Burnout Paradise above all outstanding quality: the outstanding feeling of speed. On the Switch, fluid 60 frames per second can be maintained even at the most daring speeds and during turbulent crashes. The high frame rate not only ensures optimal control over the action, but also a butter-soft feel. Only races at night can get confusing in handheld mode.
The Boost provides even more speed, because once it is fully charged, we can overtake our opponents at excessive speed. If we manage to consume it in one go, the bar will refill immediately. So you can basically cover endless distances in a crazy turbo. Pushing and destroying enemy vehicles also regenerates our boost display. Only a total loss can spoil the fun. Unfortunately, these serious accidents are occasionally somewhat questionable.
For example, in the test we experienced the situation that we drifted in a curve and only brushed the side of a car from oncoming traffic with the rear. This resulted in total damage and we had to spawn again. At another point, however, we raced head-on with a full boost against a pillar, were thrown several meters into the air, slapped sideways against a wall of a house and then fell back like a stone on the street. Then we could just pick up speed again. So the crashes sometimes cause minor frustrations, which hardly harm the general fun of the game.
In Paradise City, freedom has to be limitless
Source: PC Games
In Paradise City, as already mentioned, different racing events take place at each traffic light. In addition to classic start-finish races, we can demonstrate our driving skills in various other modes, such as the crash events "Marked Man" and "Road Rage". In "Marked Man" we are chased by cars and we have to avoid them scraping us before we reach the finish line. In "Road Rage" we turn the tables and have to demolish a certain number of opponents before the time runs out. Both our own crashes and the takedowns of opposing cars are always shown in a respectable slow motion. This usually looks very cool, which is mainly due to the detailed damage models of the fictitious bodies, but unfortunately these interruptions also take the speed out of the races a bit.
In addition to the racing and crash challenges, there are also stunt events in which we have to collect points through jumps, boosts, drifts and other tricks in a given time. There are jumps and billboards all over the city, which can be destroyed for a point multiplier. We can theoretically combine tricks and multipliers endlessly. A combo only breaks off due to a total loss or when a small timer expires, which is reset by using the boost or by continuing the stunt combo. In order to achieve the astronomically high scores later in the game, it is important to familiarize yourself with the city, especially the areas away from the main roads. For example, we can jump over a hill into a cut golf club that is full to the brim with stunt opportunities. At the events it is also important to choose the right vehicle. A light and filigree stunt car will usually be difficult to keep up with one of the crash challenges, again it is rather nonsensical to want to make long jumps with a heavy muscle car.
Source: PC Games
In all events, the unique feature of Burnout Paradise comes into play: the openness of the game world. There are no marked out courses within the races. So it doesn't matter which way we reach the finish line. Flashing street signs at the top of the screen show us when we should turn, but you shouldn't and shouldn't always stick to that. If you take shortcuts over construction sites and ski jumps, then you tend to leave the competition behind rather than on the main street. It even happened that we were able to shorten a route via a railroad track, which actually branched off from the main path, but in its later course almost led to the destination without a curve. So we won the race without seeing the opponents even once. You can also pause the game at any time and look for the best way on the map. The map can be easily operated in handheld mode using the touchscreen, but the long search on the map for the perfect route takes a little fun out of the races, especially at the beginning.
Fully fueled up to the stop
Remastered in Burnout Paradise (buy now for € 19.99) for switch all DLCs and extras for the main game are included. From the beginning, we have a whole host of additional events and special companions available. For example, we have the choice between numerous bikes, hot rods, toy cars and a collection of old-fashioned police cars.
Source: PC Games
In addition to these additional cars, which can be driven from the start, we can expand our fleet in the course of the game by finding special carriages in the open world and pushing them off the road. All of these vehicles control extremely well and ensure that interested newcomers are provided with enough fun and variety when towing through the city. Occasionally, unfortunately, the pursuit of the new cars in the open world felt a bit bent. For example, one of the persecuted did not consider it necessary to flee, but kept driving from the same place to the left into the guardrail, only to then drive backwards and crash into the same place again.
Last but not least, the lavish soundtrack contributes to the great fun of Burnout Paradise Remastered, which includes a variety of rock and punk pieces by bands like Guns n 'Roses, Jimmy Eat World and many other great groups. The music thus provides additional adrenaline in the races. Only a few classical tracks by Mozart or Vivaldi, for example, seem discreetly out of place here, but that is probably a matter of taste. Ultimately, Burnout Paradise Remastered remains an all-round fun and action-packed experience, despite minor criticisms.
My new favorite casual game when my right foot itches again
I'm very picky about racing games. The ultra-realistic representatives of the genre are mostly too complex for me personally and require too much training to ensure that I really enjoy myself.Fun racers like Mario Kart only make people happy and I have stupid stories and dialogues on Need for Speeds meanwhile just no longer feel like it. What I like is no-frills arcade racing. Burnout Paradise Remastered manages to inspire me by dispensing with complicated mechanics and unnecessary elements that only slow down the gameplay. I also really like the fast feeling, the open choice of events and the open approach to the races. Because you can start an event quickly and without hesitation, I will probably unpack this title more often in the future if I feel like a little gasoline and squeaky tires.
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Burnout Paradise Remastered in the test: The paradisiacal arcade racer is now also available for Switch (Source: PC Games)
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