Thursday, 29 August 2019

First Look Xbox #2

Burnout Revenge by Criterion Games / Electronic Arts (2005) - Xbox

From the moment I played Burnout I loved it. It's exactly the kind of racing game I like. Happily for me, the sequel was even better. Both games contain among the fastest, most precise, and most intense racing action I've experienced in an arcade racer and I spent many hours going through all the races and competitions and attempting to better my times. Then the foul EA bought Criterion and, typically, they ruined just about everything I loved about the games. I played Takedown for about ten minutes and that was enough to know I didn't like it, so when I saw Revenge for a mere £2 a while back, even at that price I wasn't sure. I got it anyway in the end, to review here if nothing else, but I didn't expect to like it any more than Takedown. Expecting to dislike a game going in isn't the best idea I suppose but everything I had seen indicated a continuation of EA's nonsense, and indeed, when I finally got it going, an intense frown immediately developed as I realised I had been correct all along.

Technically it is of course a great game - the graphics are good, the sense of speed is decent, crash physics and damage modelling is good... All this stuff is probably better than ever, but I still didn't actually enjoy playing it much. This is mainly because there's little emphasis on actual racing, with the player instead encouraged to smash into as much stuff as they can, and additions to the game like 'aftertouch' just make me cringe. Even the subtle and unobtrusive background music of the first two games has been replaced by loud, trendy rock songs (with artist/song names flashing up on screen, of course). This type of thing really isn't my cup of tea I'm afraid. I have to and do respect the technical excellence here and I'm sure many will have a riot with the destructive chaos that it facilitates. There is a lot of game to get stuck into too, but even after just 30 minutes-or-so playing it, I can't see myself returning any time soon. I can't help but miss what's gone rather than enjoy what isn't...

RKS Score: 2/5


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