Travis gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Travis gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
I still can't hear the Guns 'n' Roses song, Paradise City, without thinking about Burnout Paradise. I bought it shortly after getting a PS3, and played the hell out of it. I'm not a racing game aficionado, but I've played a few dozen over the years and this one might be my favorite of the arcadey racers. So my interest was piqued when I heard about the remastered version that released a few months back, but I decided to wait for the PC release (even though I ended up buying it on PS4 instead... more on that later). Origin Access has it up now for a 10 hour demo before the launch next week.

Burnout Paradise Remastered is the full game with all the post-launch content except for the time-savers pack that just unlocked all the cars for you.

I'm not going to review the game itself here, because that's been done before, very thoroughly. I'm reviewing the changes in the remastered version. But in brief, Burnout Paradise is a different take on racing games. It's an open-world racer, where every street is a challenge. There are hundreds of gates, billboards, and jumps to discover, races or other challenges at every intersection, and full-street time trials to compete with others around the world. Criterion added a ton of post-release content: some paid and some for free: motorcycles, legendary cars that resemble famous cars from movies and TV, toy cars, Big Surf Island (a huge area with new challenges and cars), Cops and Robbers (a new mode in which you play as... well... cops and robbers), and more. In contrast to other open-world racing games, the world feels full. Everywhere you look there's something to do.

And it does all of that amazingly well.

I fired up Burnout Paradise Remastered on PC and initially I couldn't see much of a difference. The original already looked great, and I may have some rose-colored glasses. But I went back to the original and yeah, they've smoothed things out. The first frame of reference is your car, which really doesn't look very different, but when you drive around the city, the remaster becomes more apparent. The lighting and shadows are better, it's more optimized (I was getting a more consistent frame rate on the remastered version), the textures for the world elements are improved. It's a nice new coat of paint.

As it happens I then went through some email and saw that it was on sale for 50% off on PSN, so I grabbed it there and played it on my PS4 Pro and wow. This is where it really shines. In addition to the improvements I saw on PC, this runs in 4K with a steady 60fps (it will run in 4K on your PC as well if you have the monitor for it. I unfortunately do not).

This is also currently the only way to get the Big Surf Island and Cops and Robbers DLC packs on PC.

Overall, this is just great. The visual improvements aren't huge but they're noticeable, especially if you have something that can run it in 4K. I love it and can't wait to burn up the streets more. Overall, it's a Must Play, but I have to give it two ratings:
1. If you don't have the game, this is a Must Play. It's the definitive version of what's already a Must Play game.
2. If you already have it on a console with all the DLC, it's a Rad. Maybe wait for a sale. There's nothing truly groundbreaking about the additions, but they're improvements.

GregoPeck   Member wrote on 08/18/2018 at 09:39pm

I've had Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box on Steam for a few years now. I've apparently only played it for 2 hours. I guess I need to check it out.

Travis   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/18/2018 at 09:55pm

That unfortunately doesn't have the massive Big Surf Island. It's still fantastic though.

GregoPeck   Member wrote on 08/18/2018 at 11:07pm

As for me, my favorite racing game series of all time is Wipeout!

Travis   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/19/2018 at 05:34am

I haven't played much of Wipeout. I had one on PS3 and I was terrrrrible at it.

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