Burnout - PS2

Also known as: Grand Heat', 'Heaven's Drive', 'Shiny Red Car

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Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Criterion Games
Publishers: Acclaim (GB/US/GB)
Released: 2002 (JP)
7 Feb 2003 (GB)
16 Nov 2001 (GB)
Unknown (US)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Memory Card, Steering Wheel


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If you’re a thrill-seeking, racing game fanatic, then Burnout for the PlayStation 2 is your kind of game. Gran Turismo 3 this is not. Burnout is an arcade-style racer with a big emphasis on spectacular crashes. Simple controls, massive powerslides, and delicious visuals. If that sounds good, you have to play this game.

There are sixteen unique courses to race through in Burnout, and each circuit is loosely modelled on real locations. One track resembles Monte Carlo and another is reminiscent of New York City, for example. These levels are massive environments filled with different kinds of vehicles to avoid, which is easier said than done, as pelting through an intersection at 140 miles per hour can often end in tears. Trying to win is one thing, but avoiding dozens of other drivers is another.

Burnout actually encourages reckless driving. If you want to fill your Burnout meter, then driving towards oncoming traffic and nearly missing other cars is the way to do it. Your Burnout gauge is similar to a boost of nitrous oxide, a healthy turbo charge with which you can surge into the lead at the last second. A change of depth of field plus a motion blur effect gives a great sensation of speed.

At the end of each race, you can replay the crashes from a variety of different angles and adjust the replay speed. Crashing while turbo-ing yields the best results. You can almost imagine the insurance guy with his head in his hands.

Burnout has a good feel to it, an important aspect of any driving game. It is twitchy, but in a good way. You often have less than a split-second to react to a given situation, so concentration is important: blink, and you won’t see that truck. You really feel the pressure of racing, especially on the last lap, when it you’re almost guaranteed a clip from one of your opponents.

By turns a delight and an infuriating experience, Burnout plays with your emotions as well as your body chemistry. Seat of the pants stuff, then, and that’s the major appeal of this game.


Burnout - PS2 Artwork

Burnout - PS2 Artwork