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Burnout Revenge (PS2)

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Burnout Revenge has been out a while, so I'm sure many of you own it already. For those of you who don't, due to your limited pocketbooks (like mine), but you do own Burnout 3, and wonder whether it is worth the upgrade, I am here to help you make that decision with a point-to-point comparison.

Gameplay: It's basically everything you had in the first installment, with a few slight changes. For one, they instituted a "vertical takedown" where you can slam on top of your opponent to destroy him. Another gameplay element they added is in-race ramps. In B3, none of the tracks, except for the crash tracks, had ramps, in B4, they're ramp-ant (ha, ha). These ramps are used to access shortcuts and to get vertical takedowns. The addition of ramps and vertical takedowns adds a great deal of strategy as to where you want to go. The tracks also have more shortcuts, making them more non-linear, and more challenging, as some shortcuts are difficult to navigate, but are worth the risk once you've learned the track. They made the crash mode more difficult, as you have to press the button at just the right times on a meter. Essentially, you start off the crash mode kicking a field goal; it's that kind of meter. You then have to cause as much destruction as possible, and you get bonuses for destroying a "target" car. They got rid of all the multipliers and little icons on the road; everything is determined by how much stuff you blow up, and how much damage your crashbreaker induces. In some races and road rage events, you have a crashbreaker, which you can use for "instant payback." Since the fourth installment is labeled "revenge" they put more emphasis on that, indicating who takes you down, and rewarding you for revenge takedowns. Another cool mode is Traffic Attack, where you can smash into regular cars and get points for it. It's kind-of a combination of race mode and crash mode, except there's no crash breaker, but it's fun to plow through crowded traffic. This aspect carries over into racing and road rage, and you can send cars flying into your opponents for takedowns.

Graphics: I don't know how they did it, but they upped the beautiful graphics even more in Burnout Revenge. The lighting is fantastic, the tracks are gorgeous, and the best part of all, the cars don't all look the same. That was my pet peeve of Burnout 3; you had the "super 1" and "super 2" and the Modified Super looked like the Dominator Super with different paint. While they sadly don't have licensed cars (for obvious, explody reasons) they got some kind of design team together to make the cars look unique and gorgeous. One of the more humorous additions they made was making most of the cars specific to the crash mode look beat-up. Another awesome aspect is how the crashbreaker looks; as if sucking in air just before the explosion, and the subsequent damage is also beautifully rendered. In the previous version, the crashbreaker was cool, but this one is cooler. When your vehicle reaches top speed, the camera tends to shake as your car maxes out. This effect is really cool, and helps you feel the speed of the race.

Sound: Not too much of an upgrade from the previous installment, you still have the sounds of your gears shifting, the sounds of passing cars and objects, and the EATrax soundtrack, featuring bands such as Avenged Sevenfold. One of the more awesome effects is hearing the air rush into your vehicle before it explodes in a crashbreaker.

AI: Still has the frustrating rubber band AI that we all know and despise, and if the first place car gets too far ahead, it's as if he's driving perfectly, and will never make a mistake, and just get very VERY far ahead, and you'll just end up having to start the race over.

Other: There's plenty to unlock, and you'll be spending a lot of time trying to build up your revenge rank. My major gripe with this game is that it tends to be very glitchy. I've found myself falling through some ceilings if I don't land a ramp just right, and sometimes when I respawn after I've crashed, I fall through the road, and just keep falling. After some takedowns, my car will end up being perpendicular to the wall, and occasionally backwards.

If not for the glitches, this game would be perfect. If you're an arcade-styled racing fan, you'll love this game. If you liked the previous version, you'll love this one once you get used the the changes they made.

Score: 8/10

Note: After posting this initial review, I played the game more thoroughly, and found the glitches to be extremely prevalent. This may vary from person-to-person, or perhaps system-to-system, but be forewarned, it has its fair share of problems.

Note 2: I have been informed by Gimpy of this forum that the Xbox360 version does not have such glitches. Therefore, if you have a choice, pick up that version.

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