In a bygone era arcade racing games were the kings of the racing genre then along came the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza and the genre shifted with simulation based racing games taking centre stage. Forza Horizon has been the franchise that has continued a fine tradition of arcade racers but in Burnout Paradise Remastered, EA have released one of their classic racers to remind us all just how much fun arcade racers can be.
A word of warning, this won’t be longest review I’ve ever written. Burnout Paradise Remastered is of course a remaster. As with most remasters EA haven’t reinvented the wheel, this is the same core experience that we all remember from Burnout Paradise.
For the uninitiated though I’ll give you a brief rundown of what Burnout Paradise is all about. It’s an arcade racer (yeah I know I’ve mentioned that already), set in Paradise City which is an open world city that will become your playground for all sorts of racing shenanigans. There is no set mission list you have to work through in a certain order. In fact you can go back and do the exact same race type and event that you just completed if you so desire. Burnout Paradise has a licence progression system that will get you access to better races, and cars along the way but the same basic premise never changes – you can pull up to any intersection around the city and with a quick 1,2 tap of the R2 and L2 buttons you have triggered your event and it’s peddle to the metal, racing mayhem. I say mayhem because it’s the stunt or road rage events that are the most fun. The city is littered with various ramps and jumps to launch your car into a ridiculously over-the-top stunt and the road rage events involve you essentially turning into a demolition derby specialist and taking out a set number of fellow competitors in order to complete the event. If that’s not serious enough for you then there are straight out street races which are of course all about maximizing your speed in order to gas your competitors (pun intended), and win the race.
Around the city you’ll drive through repair shops and petrol stations to fix or re-fuel your vehicle. A trip to the junk yards are where you can change vehicles or collect ones you won, be it cars or motorbikes. If you are expecting hardcore levels of vehicle tuning then you’re shit out of luck. Burnout Paradise Remastered is not a simulation, it’s about getting out there and just having fun, and lots of it! When you are in an event you are given a start and end point plus suggested routes to get there but you aren’t penalised for not following that route, you can get there however you damn well please. It’s one of the great things about Burnout Paradise it is a completely open free-world racing experience.
For online racing fans, Burnout Paradise Remastered brings back its online multiplayer. The multiplayer works well and I didn’t really encounter any issues with it. The severs always used to be packed when the original burnout paradise released so only time will tell if this remaster experiences the same levels of online success as it did those years ago.
The biggest thing the remaster brings with it is a fresh coat of paint. If you’ve got a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X then you are in for a treat with support for 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. Even people with the standard consoles and Full HD TVs will get locked 60fps. I played on my PS4 Pro on my 4KTV and the game looks absolutely gorgeous. It faithfully recreates the original look of Paradise City but with new attention to detail and a vibrancy to bring the city to life. The textures are improved as a whole although for some reason smoke effects seem to have been missed so they are actually quite funny to see, appearing quite blocky. Maybe the blocky smoke is meant to be a reminder of how such effects looked years ago but my goodness it stands out against an otherwise quality remaster.
Oh and for the fans who played when Burnout Paradise came out you’ll be pleased to know that the kickass soundtrack is back! The rocking sounds that accompany the racing action fit perfectly and are top quality which, for at least, makes Burnout Paradise Remastered a sing-a-long experience.
In a day and age where racing simulations reign supreme, Burnout Paradise Remastered is a great reminder that you don’t need to spend hours tweaking your car to the to the nth degree in order to have fun. Burnout Paradise is at times over-the-top and ridiculous but that is part of the charm. A pure arcade racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously and lets the player play the game anyway they see fit, Burnout Paradise Remastered is arcade racing mayhem in all its glory.
Ben received a digital copy of Burnout Paradise Remastered from EA for review purposes.