Burnout 3: Takedown Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox, Xbox

Burnout introduced spectacular crashes to the racing genre forefront and the sequel took things further with even more outrageous crashes and a brand new mode for doing just that, crashing. Criterion must have known that people revelled as much in the crashes as they did in the racing as the crash mode was the start of something that was later to be something much more extravagant. Burnout 3 arguably arrives at a point that isn’t entirely unexpected.

The World Tour mode is a lot bigger than anything opposed to modes of previous Burnout’s – spanning three continents, beginning in America and continuing into Europe and the Far East. This sizeable mode has you taking part in various events, ranging from standard races, crash junctions, through to elimination, Road Rage and special events. Your progress rewards you with new motors as well as – believe it or not – faster car classes and new tracks over the three continents. The Crash Nav menu allows you to flip between the trio of locales at will and perfectionists will want to decorate their dashboards with all the gold medals, which is not an easy task.

Burnout 2 was undeniably stylish and a big improvement next to the original title, although unlike the third game it wasn’t radically different. Burnout 3 evolves the whole concept resulting in a flirtation with banger racing, placing a new emphasis on the “Takedown” crashes. This new means of car combat has been implemented very successfully therefore taking down an opponent feels gleefully satisfying. Forcing aggressive opponents into traffic etc results in a “Takedown” resulting in the camera excitedly flitting back (although this can be turned off if you view it as too much of an interruption) showing off the scene of carnage, satisfying indeed. Fighting aggressively with opponents also earns you boost and hitting the big Takedown sees your boost bar become extended in length (up to four times!) allowing you to boost for longer without the immediate need for risk.

Thanks to the catch-up, crashing has never been a major concern on the Burnout series, although it’s still not encouraging to do so. Burnout 3 does boast some devices to make amends to a botch job though thanks to the Impact Time and Aftertouch features. Impact Time simply applies slow-motion in the aftermath of a nasty crash whilst Aftertouch is the ingenious saviour that then allows you to steer your mashed metal wreckage into passing opponents to recover the boost you’ve just lost during the crash or to earn anew as well as better determining your current race position. What better way to get revenge after being taken down then by returning the favour to your passing opponent by using Aftertouch and showing him your own version of the Takedown? We couldn’t find one.

The Crash mode now has much more of a body to it thanks to Impact Time and Aftertouch. The addition of littered power-ups on each of the 100 crash junctions is also very welcome, one to avoid is the Heartbreaker which halves your final score, whilst god pick-ups allow you to multiply your final damage score, earn yourself some bonus points, or blow the car up with a instant Crashbreaker. The Crashbreaker is another very neat little feature that allows you to cause an even bigger load of metal carnage if your wreckage is positioned correctly. After you have totalled a set tally of vehicles, you are able to blow your car up and results can be devastating. We love these improvements and things are much better this time around.

Multiplayer options are vast whether you are playing with likeminded Burners in the same room or taking on the globe over Xbox Live. When playing on Live (EA’s alterations to the service aren’t really appreciated though) we were in awe at how smooth it all flows with up to six players on the track at one time and of course when you crash into an opponent you can’t be blamed for cheating. Wavering the Elimination race, all the modes can be played online, that includes the Crash and Road Rage modes. Likewise the offline multiplayer options are brilliant offering a less restrictive split-screen Road Rage mode, which mimics the single player experience on a competitive level. With all this said and coupled with the gargantuan World Tour mode, it’s fantastic value for money.

The graphics are gorgeous, slick and locked to a mostly constant 60fps. The compact motors are fast, but moving up in class sees things get even faster until the passing environment is all but a blur. Hitting anything other then an opponent results in terrifying and spectacular crashes where glassy particles rain from the skies, metal shards fly, tyres roll, glowing sparks dance across the tarmac and the car becomes brutally folded, never seen vehicular Origami? Play Burnout 3. Ten out of ten for graphics without a doubt. This is art.

Burnout 3 is the pinnacle of arcade racing and definitely one that will be tough to beat, the only game we can see “taking down” this is Burnout 4, although that will probably struggle too as this is dangerously close to perfection. There is so much here for your cash that you won’t need another racer for quite a while. One of the biggest, fastest and destructive games around right now, racing game of 2004? We’ll see.