Burnout 3: Takedown Retro Review

Racing, platforming, first-person shooters, and action-adventure titles have always been at the top of my list of games to own. Burnout 3 is no exception. I must say that I’ve never been introduced to arcade-style racing like this before — unless you consider Midnight Club 2 arcade-style — but Burnout 3 is a fresh departure from the tiresome racing genre which has lately 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 things 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 in the hopes of causing as much destruction as possible with explosions, speed boosts — the works.

Burnout 3 doesn’t necessarily encourage poor driving, but it does encourage 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, and driving on the wrong side of the road. You will also get a major speed boost for what is known as a takedown. This occurs if you bash into an opponent from the side or rear, knocking them off the track. There are also things called psyche outs, which are practically the same as takedowns, except there isn’t physical contact.

Speed boosts play a pivotal role in whether you place first, second, third, or last. 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 if rival players are close since a crash could easily put you down a couple ranks.

Another feature added is the aftertouch. When you crash, you can cause an enormous traffic pileup to slow down any oncoming opponents. 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 in the hopes of slowing down opponents.


Burnout 3 spans the United States, Europe, and the Far East. The available courses are clearly marked. 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 is that they aren’t licensed, which is a small price to pay for a package as good as this one.

There were 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 breath. 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 liveliest 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 multiplayer modes, and online multiplayer modes, all of which you can spend over 10 hours on each rather easily. I haven’t tried online multiplayer, 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.

Whether you’re a casual racing game fan or hardcore, Burnout 3 is a racing game that no one should pass up. The sheer amount of time that gamers will dedicate to this game (and enjoy every minute of) is unbelievable. Oh, and I would be remiss to fail to mention the awesome soundtrack. 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. Get it!

This review was originally published in 2004. It has been proofread and updated with the help of Proofreading Monkey. If you are an author, blogger, or professional writer and need error-free copy, check out Proofreading Monkey for their affordable proofreading services.

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