Crash 'n' Burn - Xbox

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Crash 'n' Burn (Xbox)
Also for: PS2
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Climax Soft. Co.: Climax
Publishers: Eidos (GB)
Released: 10 Dec 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
No Accessories: No Accessories


"Bluuurgh!! Der-der-der-dana-dana-dana-dana-dana...!" Yes! Crash'n'Burn introduces itself with one verse and one chorus of the rampaging sound of the Von Bondies' 'It Came From Japan' and an opening FMV that promises automobile carnage on a massive scale. Verily, it rocks. And then, umm...ooh, how can we put this? Let's just say that the battery needs a bit of a charge when you initially get into the game...and one or two other performance upgrades too. But hey, come back here a minute, put back those copies of Burnout and FlatOut and take some time out with Crash'n'Burn. After an inauspicious start, it really does make for a fine little game.

The comparisons with Burnout and FlatOut are inevitable, and developer Climax and publisher Eidos could be accused of jumping on the bandwagon, yes, but if the appeal is there, why the hell not? Some folks like to drive wrecklessly in real life, but there is a better way, although you may not think so for roughly half an hour after inserting this disc. For a short time, Crash'n'Burn is a fairly soulless experience. Driving around the shortest of tracks in an under-powered compact motor doesn't bode well for the game, but persevere...the going is about to get tough.

Yes, those short tracks we mentioned earlier; well, they get tougher and tougher as you go along, and the number of opponents on track at the start of a race (usually 15) means that distance X traffic ÷ wreckage = hitting the restart button time and time again if you want to make progress. At the time of writing, we've had a copy of this game for a week and still only made 5% progress. It's not as if we haven't been trying either - Crash'n'Burn has no difficulty selection - it's as if this game has come to test us, and therefore test you, dear reader. Longevity and that 'keep coming back' factor are wholly present and correct.

One of the most endearing things about Crash'n'Burn is the fact that no two laps of a given race are the same. When the AI takes out one of the cars - or better still, when you total one for yourself - it leaves the smouldering husk of the vehicle on the track as an extra obstacle you have to try to avoid or maybe force the opposition into. It makes up for having no non-competitive traffic, simply because from one lap to the next, you don't know where these burnt out cars have been shunted to. Add an oil spill here and there which can be ignited with a touch of nitrous, the burning roads, the bits of automobile flying through the air and the toughness of some of the opposition, and you have quite a challenge.

One thing disappoints, however, and that's the absence of a two-player game without a broadband connection. Yup, you have to go Live! to get a real-life opponent in this game, which is a huge miss on the developer's part. That's the only quibble we have with Crash'n'Burn though. Even if you have to wait your turn, it's worth checking out. As a single-player experience, online or off, it easily matches FlatOut for kicks and sheer 'Oomph!' Crash'n'Burn goes from a scream to a whisper and back to a scream again, thank goodness.


Crash 'n' Burn - Xbox Artwork

Crash 'n' Burn - Xbox Artwork