Burnout Revenge


Review by Tyler Willis



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. Sweet, sweet revenge should be calculated. Planned. Meticulously thought out to bring the utmost ruination upon thine enemy.

They've obviously never played Burnout Revenge.

The Burnout series is well-known for a single key facet: speed. Throughout the series, from the original titular title to this fourth, latest incarnation, the blinding, eyeball-peeling pace is the single theme through an ever-evolving cascade of destruction. Revenge does not disappoint, though it does seem to be a bit less frantic than its predecessors.

1_full.jpg (329561 bytes)One change to the series that could account for this change is that players can now check traffic going in the same direction. Whereas in previous games, directly hitting any vehicle would result in a crash, in Revenge hitting most same-way traffic will result in a boost to the burn gauge. In fact, one of the scenarios is directly tied to this gameplay option, encouraging players to check traffic in an attempt to do the most damage and keep the timer from running down. Ironically, this mode actually encourages slow driving as players cannot afford to accidentally streak by potential traffic accidents.

However, in actual races and other events, checking traffic can lead to awesome attacking maneuvers, as players are able to shunt traffic at their foes to take them down. This is a fundamental change of pace, as players become more interested in keeping an eye on their rivals rather than necessarily dodging around traffic - unless that player happens to end up in wrong-way traffic. This also allowed the developers to have a bit more fun with the tracks, adding in shortcuts, ramps, and other tricks that would have spelled certain doom in earlier games. Unfortunately, what extras the tracks have is lost in the fact that plowing through same-way traffic generally results in mass chaos of vehicles being tossed about like a toddler with a set of Hot Wheels. This also has a cascading effect of taking out opponents - which is good - but requiring little to no skill to do so - which is not so good.

Also new to the series is the crashbreaker mode. While previous iterations had an impact time in which a player who has now crashed could steer their wrecked vehicle into rivals to score aftertouch takedowns, the crashbreaker takes it one step further by turning said vehicle into a makeshift bomb of sorts. Each vehicle is assigned its own force, a gauge of how much damage an explosion by that car will do during an aftertouch. Also factored in is the amount of boost left in the boost gauge, as crashbreaking will deplete the bar entirely, unless an opponent is taken down by the explosion. The timing and use of the crashbreaker is manual and voluntary, and it only appears in certain races in the latter half of the game.

The main game of Revenge is made up of progressing through ten different ranks, each rank allowing access to new tracks, courses, and challenges. Naturally, the events in the earlier ranks are much easier than the latter ones, but the progression also nets new cars which are generally faster and deadlier than earlier counterparts. Events include Burning Laps - timed laps where speed is king, Road Rage - taking out other drivers, Traffic Attack - taking down same-way traffic, Race - standard races, Grand Prix - a series of standard races. Ranking up takes place by earning medals, and each event is worth five stars. Players can earn up to four stars in each even by dint of driving skills - driving dangerously denotes a high score, driving timidly will lead to a dearth. The final star is awarded based on standing; a gold medal is worth a star, a silver is no change, and a bronze will penalize by a star.

56612-bor_xbox_19.jpg (104180 bytes)As any veteran to the series knows, racing is only half the game; Revenge features a revamped Crash mode. Gone are the icons from previous games, thus allowing players more freedom in choosing plans of attack. Adding to that freedom is the fact that crash junctions tend to be much larger this time around and often feature multiple ways to actually get to the junction. Crashbreaking also plays a part here too, allowing players to blow up their vehicles, perhaps more than once, if a certain damage meter is reached.

Graphically, Revenge is easily the best looking of the series and will hold its own against other Xbox games, surpassing most. Xbox gamers will be pleased to see both 480p and a 16:9 mode, filling up widescreen HD displays with an impressively sharp rendering of carnage. Environments are well done, and each track feels unique enough for players to remember and recall specifics easily. Unfortunately, the game does exhibit some graphical bugs, particularly at high speeds on latter levels.

Aurally, the game supports custom playlists, though the in-game soundtrack is certainly not bad, though likely not to everyone's taste. Effects are also well done, providing deep punches for explosions, particularly punctuated by the cessation of the soundtrack.

Revenge is sequel to the immensely popular Burnout 3: Takedown, and, as such, had much to live up to. The changes made to core gameplay will anger some fans of the series, but the overall feel is still very Burnout. Though it may not be hailed as the classic that the previous iteration was, Revenge is still a good buy and recommended for a good, carnagey time.


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Last updated: Monday, October 09, 2006 10:03 PM