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by Acclaim

01-01.jpg (6880 bytes)Every now and then you will be in your local video game store and notice a title of a game that you know little about. Purchasing that game is a dilemma. Will it be good or will it be bad? You just never know. Burnout for the PS2 might just be one of those titles, but that’s what we’re here for. This one is definitely good. Racing fans out there take heed, and play this game as soon as possible. Burnout is fun arcade racing that adds some twists that need to be experienced first hand to fully appreciate.

02-01.jpg (8231 bytes)Burnout is no Gran Turismo; it's street racing with some exciting characteristics that you will not find in any other racer. The object is to race against three other drivers in particular locations throughout Europe and the USA. The difference is the traffic. Each location is filled with a variety of vehicles ranging from small Geo models to big trucks and buses. The AI of the cars reacts to you and the other drives by either swerving to avoid a collision or slowing down if there is a wreck ahead. Whenever you get close to a car in traffic but don’t hit them, you will fill up a meter in the lower left corner on your screen. Once that meter is full you have some Turbo to burn.

07-01.jpg (8547 bytes)You will need nerves of steel to succeed in this game; things can be running smoothly but getting close to wrecking throws off timing and everything falls apart, making it a challenge not running into something. Using the traffic to its full potential adds some interesting strategy. In order to seal off victories there will be times that you will push your competitors into the traffic in order to score the victory. If you do wreck you will notice a monetary value pop up on the screen. This number is the insurance coverage of the wreck. Depending on the number of vehicles involved, the number can increase rapidly. Wreck too much and you will find your name on their worst drivers list. Combining the need for razor sharp reflexes and craftiness to your racing makes Burnout a racing game that stands out of the pack.

09-01.jpg (5768 bytes)Five cars are available in the beginning of the game and more are available after completing a head-to-head race against the car you are trying to unlock. In order to be able to compete in the head-to-head race, you must finish a championship series, which consists of three races. You are given a limited number of credits in order to finish the series. In order to beat the championship mode you have to finish the race and place.

12-01.jpg (9519 bytes)Burnout also has some of the most intense two-player action found in a long time. Using spilt screen, you and a friend go against two other computer cars. There is little slowdown when running two-player racing. With everything happening so fast on the screen, you may find yourself looking back to see if your partner has crashed yet. As you progress in the single player mode, it will unlock more for two players.

16-01.jpg (5836 bytes)Burnout might be an extremely fun game, but it is not perfect. Take the graphics for instance. The cars look nice and have smooth edges and have a surface that is nice and shiny. The cars that make up the traffic also look good, but with noticeably less definition. The environments, however, lack that same quality. Textures seem grainy especially when compared to smooth surfaces of the vehicles. While this is extremely noticeable it can be overlooked because of the gameplay. I can overlook graphics like this because the speed is excellent.

18-01.jpg (6577 bytes)Crashes are bound to happen no matter how well you play the game. When this happens your vehicle will mangle and show signs of destruction that will make you cringe in fear. Unfortunately the damage miraculously repairs once you are allowed into the race. There is a function to save your most spectacular crashes onto a memory card to show to your friends later.

24-01.jpg (8242 bytes)As with many other racing or even driving games out on the market there is little need for a complex control system. The only thing that is needed is responsive controls that work when they should. Fortunately, they do for Burnout. The digital pad works a little better than the analog for steering the cars. The analog controls seem a little loose, making it easier to overcorrect if used. Burnout also supports the GT wheel for all you die-hards out there.

26-01.jpg (7989 bytes)Burnout for the PS2 is an innovative game that will appeal to a wider audience than a normal racing game. This game is not a Gran Turismo wannabe; it is pure arcade action. For those wanting the most out of their games, Burnout offers a challenge that should last a while. Even you Sunday drivers out there, Burnout is a good rental.

Jake Carder   (01/05/2002)


Ups: Arcade racing; great car wrecks; traffic.

Downs: Grainy graphics.

Platform: PlayStation 2