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Criterion comes back with one of the most brutal and addictive racers in modern times...
Burnout 3 revs onto the Playstation2 and Xbox later in the year, and TVG has been fortunate enough to take the latest build for a spin. Weâ??ve long been admirers of the Burnout series; itâ??s a videogame in the truest sense of the word and akin to such classics as Outrun and Super Hang-On.
Whereas previous titles in the series have placed emphasis on the actual racing (and the crashing); Burnout 3 firmly reverts this to combat and features a huge selection of bonuses awarded for pulling off aggressive manoeuvres such as Slams and TakeDowns. As soon as you begin a race in Burnout 3 youâ??ll immediately notice the difference, as your opponentâ??s use every dirty trick in the book to ensure they win â?“ much like its predecessors Burnout 3 provides the contrasting instant adrenaline kick to more authentic titles such as Project Gotham Racing and Gran Turismo.
Aside from the instant increase in exhilaration and frills, putting the emphasis on combat has allowed Criterion to expand upon the scoring system throughout the game. Players can now string multiple Takedowns and link this in with a variety of other manoeuvres, whilst the traditional scores are gained from drifting, catching air and narrowly avoiding on-coming traffic. Whereas Burnout 2 put the emphasis on enjoyment and exhilaration, Burnout 3 takes the concept and injects it with an overdose of amphetamines, whilst encouraging players to be as brutal and aggressive as possible â?“ those who suffer from Road Rage should certainly find their fix with this one.
When players successfully accomplish a Takedown, the replay kicks in of your opponentsâ?? mighty demise, whilst you can whack the shoulder button to slow down the time and watch those crashes in spectacular detail. Although itâ??s a magnificent visual effect that never grows tired it does also impact the game as youâ??ll be able to angle the trajectory of your twisted, steaming mess of a car towards your opponents and gain an â??Aftertouch Takedownâ?; which quite handily restores any multiplier that you may have lost upon the crash and refills your boost meter. Crashing has always been a major part of the Burnout series but has never been properly implemented beyond merely a stunning visual effect, however Burnout 3 changes this considerably and the overall experience is enhanced significantly.
Sadly the build that we received had many of the modes locked out; however the final game features an extensive selection of modes including â??Crash Navâ?, â??Single Eventâ?, â??Multiplayerâ? and â??Onlineâ?.
Tracks that weâ??ve raced across so far take in a variety of locations from America, Europe and the Far East; and whilst the game may not boast the same authenticity of such titles as Project Gotham Racing, it has allowed the developers free reigns to create highly memorable and exhilarating track designs, which push your skill to the maximum and are virtually impossible to put down.
Players can expect a wide range of events to race across including Single Races, Grand Prix events, Burning Laps and Elimination Races to mention but a few; however itâ??s the Crash Mode returning from Burnout 2 that is likely to become one of the most popular aspects of the game. Criterion have taken the feature and in similar fashion to the rest of the game expanded upon it greatly, with an amazing 100 unique scenarios for you to unlock throughout the single-player mode.
Itâ??s a simple concept that works wonderfully; drive your vehicle into a busy junction and cause as much carnage as possible, however this time around the inclusion of the Aftertouch system and various power-ups grants the action much more depth then before. The power-ups provide a variety of effects such as an instant boosts, cash bonuses, score multipliers and much more; however thereâ??s now a new trick in town that is likely to become a firm favourite amongst gamers. When youâ??ve destroyed a certain amount of vehicles during the Crash Mode, players can hit a button that causes your car to explode into a flaming inferno and sending out a shockwave that will cause damage to any vehicles that were lucky enough to survive the first impact.
Using the RenderWare engine the Burnout series has always looked impressive, however we didnâ??t quite prepare ourselves for the visual masterpiece that is Burnout 3. The game features a solid framerate that creates a blistering sensation of speed, accompanied by a variety of visual effects such as motion blurs to accentuate the overall experience and create a title that requires your unfazed attention â?“ donâ??t blink for a second.
Naturally itâ??s the high-speed crashes that provide the main attraction as parts fly off in multiple directions, leaving your once solid, gleaming sports car a smoking, twisted shadow of its former self â?“ Burnout 3 is simply obscene, thereâ??s nothing quite like it.
Surprisingly the Playstation2 versions is looking more then an equal to its Xbox adaptation, however thatâ??s no slur against the Xbox version as to be entirely honest the game is one of the most refreshing racers weâ??ve seen on any format to date. The recent acquisition of Crieterion by EA is looking shrewder by the minute!
As youâ??d expect the move from Acclaim to EA has granted Criterion the scope to go insane when it comes to the overall presentation, and as a result Burnout 3 features an assortment of 40 licensed tunes from bands such as The Vines, Franz Ferdinand, The Mooney Suzuki and Pennywise amongst others. In addition Xbox owners will be able to add their own custom soundtracks, whilst both versions allow you to tweak the featured soundtrack to your hearts content.
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Burnout 3: Takedown
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