Burnout (also titled Burnout: Battle Racing Ignited) is a series of high-speed racing games for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo GameCube game consoles. Also, for the very first time, a PC version of the latest installment in the series, Burnout Paradise, has been released. The game series was developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim and later Electronic Arts. Burnout and Burnout 2: Point of Impact drew critical acclaim and a large fanbase in Europe, as well as an underground following in the US. It was not until the release of Burnout 3: Takedown that the series would have mass appeal to US players.
The most notable feature that the series is known for is its crash modes. This series is well known for its emphasis on aggressive driving and high sense of speed. In-race rewards are given to the player if they take risks such as driving towards oncoming traffic or deliberately attempting to make their opponents crash. In Burnout 3: Takedown the latter action, referred to in game as "Takedowns", was showcased extensively and gave perhaps the most extensive rewards when successfully performed.
It was not the racing element of the game but the slow motion replays of crashes that show the cars being deformed realistically that brought Burnout to the attention of the public. Criterion picked up on this and introduced a special "Crash Mode" as part of Burnout 2. In this mode players are instructed to cause as much damage as possible by crashing their vehicle into traffic in a specially designed level featuring "crash junctions", areas where a large amount of vehicles are passing by (such as a highway). During these events, traffic is constantly the same, utilizing a trial-and-error method to succeed. It also introduced a Pursuit mode, where the player drives a special police car and must chase down a speeding racer and stop them before the race course ends. This mode was discontinued due to it not fitting in with the series,[ but was featured in ]Burnout Legends, and has reappeared as an available upgrade for purchase in Burnout Paradise known as Cops And Robbers.
The takedown element of Burnout 3: Takedown is what differentiates it from other racing games. It is an essential strategy for winning races, especially in single player. There is also a "road rage" mode in which the object is to takedown as many opponents as possible. Burnout Revenge was released on September 13, 2005 for Xbox and PlayStation 2, and later for the Xbox 360. This game made it possible for the player to hit traffic cars without crashing, and to use them to try to take down rivals. Burnout Dominator was announced on December 5, 2006, only to be released for the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable and without the inclusion of the crash mode from the previous games. Dominator mainly focuses on the original game's "Burnout", which is using up the entire boost meter non-stop and trying to chain boosts as long as possible.
Burnout Paradise was announced on August 29, 2006, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This new Burnout game has some new features such as its open world gameplay where you can explore Paradise City at your leisure and race whenever you want once you get to race starting areas called "intersections". It also introduces a feature called "mugshot" where, using the Xbox Live Vision camera or PlayStation Eye, it takes a "mugshot" of your opponent once you take them down.
A very predominant Burnout trademark is the series' collection of race tracks. For every one of the series' games except for Burnout Paradise, each track is based on a real-world location. Burnout 3: Takedown put an emphasis on the locations, with a "Crash World Tour" game mode.[ ]
Burnout originally featured a small collection of cars, including the small Compact, the Saloon (as well as a sports-modified GT version), the Pickup and the Muscle. This collection grew in Burnout 2 to include cars such as the Oval racer, the Cop Car, the Classic, The Gangster and the Hot Rod. Once Burnout 3: Takedown was released, the original cars were no longer used, with the exception of the Custom Coupe Ultimate, a lime green Coupe that was one of the "Custom" cars in Burnout 2 (this car also reappears in Burnout Legends, Burnout Dominator, and Burnout Paradise (The Paradise version is called the Hydros Custom) ), and may perhaps be the most recognizable vehicle in the Burnout series. The same happened in Burnout Revenge where the car collection was entirely new. For the most part, Burnout Paradise's car collection is all new but there are some vehicles (such as the aforementioned "Custom Coupe Ultimate" and the Custom Roadster from Burnout 2 or the Revenge Racer from Burnout Revenge) that are models from previous Burnout games. Paradise is also the first Burnout game to designate manufacturers and real car model names for its vehicles (such as the "Carson Annihilator" or "Nakamura Ikusa GT").
Another thing to note is how many of the cars could be based on their real-life counterparts, especially the vehicles from Burnout Revenge and Burnout Paradise. A good example is the "Carson GT Concept" from Paradise, which resembles a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
List of Burnout games
|Burnout||November 1, 2001||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube|
|Burnout 2: Point of Impact||October 11, 2002||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube|
|Burnout 3: Takedown||September 7, 2004||PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|Burnout Revenge||September 13, 2005||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360|
|Burnout Legends||September 13, 2005||PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS|
|Burnout Dominator||March 6, 2007||PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable|
|Burnout Paradise||January 22, 2008||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OnLive|
|Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box||October 13, 2008||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|