Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Burnout 3: Takedown

Developer: Criterion
Publisher: EA Games
Release Date: Sept. 7, 2004
Systems: PS2, Xbox
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Crash Simulator 3.0

0:01 "We are the lazy generation" blares over some impressive crash scenes. What this has to do with the game, I have no idea.
0:02 My initial car choices are red, blue and black. They're pretty similar otherwise. Red it is!
0:03 Video tutorial. "You're not gonna win races unless you take risks." Good summary. Also "Using boost gives you a speed BOOST." Thanks, Captain Obvious!
0:05 The video actually gave me a pretty good grasp on what's going on thanks to a deliberate pace and some telestrator action on freeze frames.
0:07 It's very distracting when the game zooms out to show a takedown. Beautiful, but distracting. At least I can turn it off in the options.
0:08 Crashes end kind of abruptly -- I'm thrown into racing again with little warning. Also, it's weird being rewarded for crashing. It throws off risk/reward structure when failure can be turned into success so easily.
0:11 I finish in second place. The level seemed kind of empty. More oncoming traffic please.
0:12 Tons of stats about damage, takedowns, etc. Great for a stat junkie like me. Not quite DiRT level, but still good.
0:13 Th tutorial for the crash events says it point blank: "Risk = Reward" Guess that answers my point at minute eight.
0:15 The camera moves around so much in the crash mode that I have trouble figuring out what I'm doing. Whatever I did was enough to get a gold medal, though, mostly due to money icons found on the track and not from actual damage I caused.
0:18 Another crash event. Again, the icons I find are worth much more than the actual crash. Makes the whole thing seem kind of pointless.
0:22 Another race, this time against a lap timer. It's still weird to benefit from messing up and crashing. I feel like there's no reason to even try to be skillful.
0:23 I know this game isn't supposed to be realistic per se, but having a radio station devoted to covering "crash action" is a little ludicrous.
0:24 Another crash event, another dollar. This time I don't manage to collect many icons and end up with a bronze. Why don't they just call it icon collector mode?
0:29 I love the slow pan over the destruction caused after the crash events are done. It's a thing of beauty. *sniff*
0:34 The latest crash event has a 2x multiplier. Without it you might as well not bother trying for the higher medals. Hooray for icon collection mode.
0:38 I can't get enough of the slow pan over the destruction. Worth the price of admission alone.
0:39 So I'm unlocking a bunch of cars, but I can't use them in any races yet. What a gyp!
0:42 Trapped against a wall, I get an "Extreme slam!" for a car crashing into me. What is this, a Mountain Dew commercial? From 1997?
0:44 Apparently crashing into non-rivals does hurt a bit... I go from a close second to five seconds behind and end up with a bronze. That'll learn me for crashing in a game that... encourages... crashing.
0:45 All I want to do is retry the race, but first I have to sit through a minute of unlock screens. Come on, game, let me play you!
0:48 Thank god for large orange arrows, because without them it would be near impossible to tell where to turn. Some other camera angles would be nice.
0:55 Finally, a Grand Prix event where I can use my unlocked custom compact.
1:00 I get second place in the first GP race. I can't get anything going until I take out some rivals. When they're not around, I have practically nothing to do. Sigh.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes.
Why? Just to watch those beautiful crashes.

This review based on a retail copy borrowed from a friend.


Dan said...

Indeed, games that encourage you to be careless and destructive can be quite refreshing. Particularly, burnout does have some nice car-crashing-action in it. =D

Nerdron said...

Burnout 3 does not really encourage crashing. you are penalized for actually wrecking. You are, however, encouraged to drive really dangerously up to the point of nearly crashing. That is how you earn boost.
Love the game, and really love your blog. Keep on playing!

AMike said...


This and loading times pretty much sum up my only complaints about the game.

Anonymous said...

I think this game's cool! I played it for a week. Just like watching people (and sometime myself) being nudge and crash...

Ben said...

Burnout Revenge on 360 is excellent as well.

Still has the same load time and unlock screen annoyances, though.