Platform: Xbox (also on PS2/GC)
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: Players: 1-2 (+ online)
Funnest racing game ever! It’s close to being “best racing game ever!” but that title is reserved for games like Grand Turisimo 4. Still, I’ve had this game for, what, almost five months now, but it was all worth it. If you’re a gamer and somehow unfamiliar with the Burnout series, there are two basic modes; driving, and smashing. Early titles (Burnout/Burnout 2) were close to being enjoyable, but not enough modes, levels and/or variance to the game prevented top shelf honors. Burnout 3 has earned that honor. So what’s so fucking special about this game? It’s a racing game anyone can play, even if you aren’t into that sort of thing. Aside from steering, there isn’t much more to it, skills wise. The game has three modes; single player, multiplayer and online mode. Single player will take you all over America and abroad, where you’ll be doing everything from normal racing to ‘takedown’ runs, where you’ll be racing thru streets trying to smash other drivers into the trees and various other surroundings. It sounds very Demolition Derbyish and a yawnfest, but it’s perfectly combined into great gameplay. Another great part of the game is that varying factors (map finishes, race placements, takedown, points etc) will win more levels and vehicles… tons of vehicles. You’ll win a majority of events the first time, but that won’t speed up gameplay even with the generous reward system. Bunch that with slick graphics and you’ve got a game worthy of your library. It should be noted that Burnout 3 also includes an ‘indie rock’ soundtrack featuring everything from Bouncing Souls to Eighteen Visions to Frans Ferdinand; I turned it off after about five minutes after it got annoying. Oh well. Great game tho!