If you had to ask me what was the one video game that made the biggest impact in the “last generation” gaming market, there would be a handful of titles, I am currently thinking between Burnout Paradise, Rock Band 3 and Red Dead Redemption as those titles. But instead of trying to make this feel like a series, I am going to put those off for a while, and just get into the details on something that hopefully many people find true – Burnout Paradise is the ultimate game of the “PS3/Xbox 360” era.
I have been a fan of the Burnout series for a long time, including “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”, but to imagine a burnout game being open-world felt like a tough challenge, let alone one asking yourself questions like “how does it work?” and after being somewhat biased and admitting to buying it for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and even the PC (it’s on Steam, why not?)
And the answer to that is : flawlessly.
If you want to play online-mode, it’s as simple as simply pressing on the control stick. If you want to do a simple “race” against AI, you just park at the street corner, and if you want to compete against friends in the same race, you do both, or just challenge them.
The challenges when it came to a racing game, aren’t any different than that of your favorite “open world” action game. Knock Down a target, avoid the police, cause a bit of chaos, simple challenges. And there was even a map that pointed exactly to the points you need to turn in order to reach said events.
Electronic Arts somehow published a better open-world game than Ubisoft, a company that is notorious for having every game being open-world.
When it came to DLC, it wasn’t that bad, you had new cars, new trucks and even a new section (Big Surf Island) which provided more of what people enjoyed. And one of my favorite DLC packs of the generation – Burnout Party Mode.
Burnout Party Mode allows players to pass-and-play the controller and compete against each other in various challenges across the Burnout Paradise map. Completing a stunt, getting the fastest time, getting the farthest distance, surviving the longest and tons more.
When it comes to a soundtrack, it had a huge variety, from 80s Rock, to 2000s Pop and classic music from the Burnout series, that the biggest problem with the game isn’t a matter of “what” but a matter of “when”, that “when”, being the next Burnout game?
At no point during the game was there a loading screen, aside from the beginning world, which introduces you to “Paradise City” with the music of Guns’N’Roses… so if you screw up or need to retry, you have to finish the game or try a new challenge.
Everything about Burnout Paradise was every new mechanic of the generation – “in-game” branding, open-world aesthetic, DLC practices that weren’t nickel-and-dimeing the audience, the need for expansive multiplayer, the need to have a game be about having fun with friends and exploring as a team (or being a jerk and taking down people so you can see their reaction seconds before the crash)
It’s not the most perfect game, but it did pave the ground for just about every title available, and while you see Need For Speed games every other year and other driving games trying to be like Burnout Paradise, nobody was able to do it better.
Oh, and Barack Obama used the game to sponsor his presidential campaign, so if that wasn’t a sign of “hope and change” and a game of the generation, I have no idea what is.