Burnout Revenge, let’s bump ‘n’ jump (*)

Everyone knows Burnout franchise…I mean, everyone interested in racing games, arcade racing games with a marked inclination for destruction and spectacular crashes. Burnout Revenge is the fourth game in the series…and this is won’t be the last one, considering the great success of the franchise.
The reason of this success is a really simple and straight approach to racing gameplay: enter your car, hit badly the accelerator and don’t mind about what happens outside. Actually, it’s encouraged to bump into the traffic, more the damaged, more points scored.
A strange hysteria grabs drivers in the congested traffic of modern metropolis, sort of killing hysteria. Stressed drivers, now your dreams come true! You can finally express yourself without any inhibitory brakes: accelerate, bump into the nearby cars, insert the turbo, make everyone bite the dust, shot into the tunnel at top speed and on the wrong side of the road, just one rule: never brake!

Sense of speed is Burnout’s best thing: everything is as quick as lightening and smooth.
Graphics are shiny and detailed, but – compared with Xbox version – one would expect something better from a next-gen game. Sound is an assorted mix of classic racing effects, but it is worth connecting to a Dolby Surround system: driving on the wrong side of the road, surround effect when cars passing by is pure adrenaline. I would say “Don’t try it for real”…politically correct advice, but completely pointless except for those with suicidal and homicidal mania.

Gameplay is typical arcade, so game’s physics isn’t realistic, but don’t try to ram into the opposite-way traffic unless you want to destroy your car deliberately. There are lot of shortcuts, that add a little of variety and push into exploring different paths. The crash mode is still there and now you can even create more catastrophic accidents than before: more the damage caused, more the redeeming power generated.
“Rival” system is the most interesting gameplay concept introduced in this version of Burnout: it happens that an other car smashed into yours. From that moment, it’s marked as “rival” and you have to take revenge smashing it, getting credit to succeeding in it. Do you understand now the meaning of “Revenge” in the title? What a bright mind behind Electronics Arts Marketing Department, uh? On the other hand, EA is used to stick a number after a title (FIFA, NHL, NFL and so on) and we can’t expect too much.

No more nonsense! “Rival” System works and is a good improvement, even if some crashes happen without any reason either you are victim or executioner. We already told about arcade gameplay so “physics” may be unpredictable sometimes. After all, it is a minor glitch we can live with.
Another little improvement is mid-race crashbreaker: when you smash into a wall, you can make your car detonate like a bomb, taking other cars out with you. In previous versions, this feature was available only in crash mode.

Traffic Attack mode is the one I prefer. It is really simple, it’ a race against the clock: you have to ram into other cars (beware to opposite-way traffic) and cause more damage possible because every additional vehicle destroyed will give you additional time …to cause much wreck and so on. To be honest, it seems to play to a crazy version of bumper car at amusement park. Mechanics also remember air hockey game: the mallet is your car and the pucks are the other cars.

In conclusion, Burnout Revenge for Xbox 360 doesn’t have major improvements you could expect from a next-gen title, but who cares if it is so fun. Buy Project Gotham Racing 3 to drive into next-gen, but if you have spare cash, buy also Burnout Revenge…you won’t regret it!

(*) Old gamers trivia: does anyone remember Intellivision “Bump’n’Jump!”?


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