Burnout 3: Takedown Review

Developer: EA Publisher: EA
Release Date: September 7, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

Racing games are my forte. Racing, platforming, first-person shooters, and action/adventure titles have always been the top on my list of games to own. Burnout 3 is no exception. I must say that I’ve never been introduced to arcade-style racing before, unless you consider Midnight Club 2 arcade, but Burnout 3 is a fresh departure from the tiresome racing genre, that has put more emphasis on spiffy graphics and realistic gameplay, than fun game mechanics.

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All racing games have the same goal: finish first by crossing the finish line. The means by which you reach this goal is substantially different depending on the game, but really, the goal hasn’t changed. Burnout 3 changes that completely, by adding some game modes that won’t even put consideration to white finish lines. For example, one of the games in single player will have you drive into a busy intersection, with the hopes of causing as much destruction as possible, with explosions, speed boosts, the works.

Now, Burnout 3 doesn’t necessarily encourage “poor driving�, but encourages “dangerous driving�. I’m surprised there isn’t a warning label on the front. You earn speed boost by slamming into the guy next to you, speeding by neutral cars within the closest possible space without hitting them, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc. You’ll also get a major speed boost for what are known as “takedowns�. This occurs if you bash into an opponent from the side or rear, knocking him off the track. There are also things called “psyche outs�, which are practically the same as takedowns, except you didn’t lay any physical contact on them.

Speed boosts play a pivotal role in whether you will get first, second, or any other place. By driving dangerously, you increase the risk of wipeouts, but the reward is oftentimes worth it, if your driving skills are tuned enough to avoid oncoming traffic. Without speed boosts, you should write off any chance for a victory though. It’s absolutely essential that you both gain and maintain a lead, since a crash could easily put you down a couple ranks, if batches of players are close by.

Another feature added is the aftertouch. When you crash, you can cause an enormous traffic pileup to slowdown any oncoming opponents or better yet, you can take down a computer opponent. To keep the description simple, basically aftertouch gives you the ability to steer your vehicle for a couple seconds, after a crash, in any direction that you want. You can then crash into another vehicle, with the hopes of slowing down opponents.

Burnout 3 will span the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Clearly marked are the courses available. When new challenges become available to play, an indicator lets you know. By completing challenges, collecting points, and earning cash, you get new rides, courses, and challenges. The only downside to the vehicles themselves are that they aren’t licensed, which is a small price to pay for a package as good as this one.

There are quite a few moments where I said, “that was close�. This is the first racing game where I’ve found myself stunned when I missed hitting a bus by a few inches. It almost makes you want to catch your breathe. The speed only adds to the chaos on the screen, which is compounded by the fact that you’re going so fast, it’s hard to see oncoming cars as it is, let alone in intersections. Burnout 3 has the most lively streets of any racing game ever created.

Fear not, replay value junkies, Burnout 3 does not disappoint. In fact, it excels best in this area. You have single-player modes, offline multi-player modes, and online multi-player modes, all of which you can spend over 10 hours on each, rather easily. I haven’t tried online multi-player, as I’ve never been a fan of it, but for those of you that are, rest assured, I’ve done my homework on this, Burnout 3 is awesome online.

If you’re a casual racer, or hardcore, Burnout 3 is a racing game that no one should pass up. The sheer amount of time dedicated to this game, that the gamer will enjoy, is unbelievable. You’ll never grow tired of the crashes, adrenaline-filled speed boosts, or insane traffic junctions. To close this review though, Burnout 3 is a game to remember, possibly the best arcade racer ever created.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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