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Memorial Racing Weekend: History of Burnout

Memorial Racing Weekend: History of Burnout
Happy Memorial day fellow gamers today I will be breaking down the history of one of my favorite racing games of all time Burnout! Which is made by criterion games (who in my opinion make the best racing games)

Burnout

File:Burnout logo.jpg
In November of 2001 British game developer “Criterion Games” would launch (what was arguably) their first widely successful game that would also be the first game in a series that would redefine physics in racing games. while this game itself was very rough around the edges the games that would spawn from this one where very impressive.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact

Burnout 2 - Point of Impact.jpg
Launched first on the ps2 in September of 2002 this would be the last burnout published by acclaim. This is the game that began to set the feel for the burnout series with much better graphics and an infinitely better car selection than its predecessor. This game also introduced visible vehicle damage to the series a mechanic that in the later games would come to be what this series is known for. however even with all these great advances with graphics and mechanics it still wasn’t quite a fully polished top of the line game, but it was defiantly getting there.

Burnout 3: Takedown

Burnout 3 - Takedown Coverart.jpg
Released in September of 2004 this game proved to be the turning point (for the better) in the Burnout series. scoring mid to high 90 percents from all the major ratings systems of the time. This was the game that made me a true fan of the series with its truly intense action amazing game modes and out of this world vehicular destruction. This is the game that set the standard for all future burnout games as well as setting the bar for other companies in the arcade racing business. as huge of a fan of need for speed underground 2 as I am I don’t think that game stands any chance in comparison to this game. The only two things that could have made this game better is a free roam (which they did add in the most recent installment of the series) and a true car customization which to this day the burnout series still lacks outside of being able to select the color of the car from a limited premade selection of colors. but honestly when or if we see any future burnout games (cause criterion is kind of tied up with need for speed and their “secret Project” at the moment) I would be perfectly ok with never being able to customize a car in burnout as long as they keep making games as amazing as this. In this release they majorly updated the graphics, added a lot more cars, updated the crash physics and damage visuals a great deal, and most importantly added the “after touch” mechanic that allowed you to steer your wrecked car in slow motion so you could smash into other racers and cause them to crash as well.

Burnout Revenge

Revenge boxart.jpg
This game marked the introduction to Next-gen (at the time) for the burnout series launching in September of 2005 originally then re-launching in march of the following year on the Xbox 360 this title however did not get a ps3 release because Criterion was well into the development of their next title “Burnout paradise” by the time of the ps3’s Launch. This game kept the same feel and excitement as its predecessor and aside from a lot of new tracks and cars this game brought a new and very interesting mechanic to the table, the ability to rear end cars going the same direction as you enabling you to launch them forward into your opponents.

Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise Boxart 2.jpg
This was the first and only major next-gen exclusive burnout game released in January of 2008 this game was burnout at its peak taking everything criterion had learned from their past releases and putting into one massive free roam burnout. The free roam in my opinion is what made this game. With insane jumps, awesome hidden areas to find, and all out vehicular carnage on demand. this game did remove the “traffic control” and “after touch” mechanics which was very disappointing but this game was an all around satisfying game. A few years and one spin-off game later EA would ask Criterion to take control of the need for speed franchise which effectively brought the burnout series to a halt. with that information out on table I now have a test for all my loyal readers. play Burnout Paradise and Need For Speed Most Wanted (2012) back to back and tell me how similar they are. Personally I found them to practically be the same game just one has real cars.

spin-offs

Burnout Dominator

Burnout Dominator.jpg
Released in March of 2007 this was the first and only Burnout title that was not made by criterion but instead by EA UK because at the time Criterion was Busy with their “Burnout Paradise” title. This game was also the first Burnout since “Burnout 2: point of Impact” not to have a “crash mode”. this was actually the lowest scoring game in the entire Burnout franchise this is not however saying this is a bad game because it still scored between 75-85% from the major rating systems and it personally reminded me a lot of burnout 3 just void of the “crash mode”.

Burnout Legends

Burnout Legends.jpg
Released in September of 2005 this game marked a few firsts in the Burnout franchise. This game was the very first spin-off game for the series, and was not only the first game in the series to be released on portable systems but was also the first and only Burnout game to be exclusive to portable systems. The Nintendo DS version of this game was a joke and to this day I wonder why they even bothered releasing it on the NDS cause it only scored roughly 30% and that’s no fault of Criterion the NDS just sucks for racing games. The psp version however is amazing when playing it I sometimes forget it’s a handheld game. obviously the graphics aren’t quite as good as a system based game but it still looks really good and all the core features are there down to the always sweet Burnout carnage.

Burnout Crash!

Burnout-crash-logo.png
Released in September 2011 this is currently the last Burnout release and is very different from all previous games in the series. First off its digital only there are no physical copies of this game. This game also lacks any racing what so ever, it’s completely about the crash event type. Now on to the weirdest thing about this game and the thing that furthest sets this apart from previous games in the series, it’s a top down view as opposed to the normal racing view. I guess this is okay since there’s no actual racing but I still found it rather annoying.

Future of Burnout?
Burnout has been Criterions little baby since 2001 and it has been there claim to fame. Now know around the world as one of the best racing game developers because of their overwhelming success with this series. recently due to their partnership with EA they came into work on the “Need for speed” series which took their attention away from their precious Burnout series but now that the new developer “Ghost” (who is very closely affiliated with Criterion) has control of the need for speed series criterion is finally free to focus on other things. a while back their CEO was quoted as saying “some day we will return to the Burnout series but for now we want to try and expand our horizons.” in my opinion all the power to them they’ve earned the right to look at other possibilities I just hope they don’t forget about their loyal fans who got them where they are today unlike certain other game developers *cough cough* insomniac *cough cough.*

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