Sunday, September 25, 2011

Burnout Crash Impressions

Burnout Crash is a top down arcade version of the crash mode from many of the old Burnout games, of which Burnout Paradise was the last to come out in 2008. All of the Burnout games are driving games, except without any realism holding them down. Instead, they all embraced crashing in glorious ways, destroying other cars during a race and doing ridiculous stunts. I never cared much for racing games, but the Burnout games were always pretty fun to me, and seemingly most people (they were rated pretty well). My favorite mode from them was a mode that had you crashing into traffic and trying to cause as much mayhem as you possible could. Burnout Crash takes that mode, builds on it, and makes it top down and more arcade like. Burnout Crash is made by Criterion Games, the same developers who made Burnout Paradise but not any of the other burnout games, and is for XBLA and PSN.

Burnout Crash starts you with a simple looking truck a truck that you control top down, with the joysticks of a console controller, and your main goal is to drive into a intersection in order to cause as many crashes as you can. Once you drive into traffic and hit a vehicle then your vehicle will stay put. Every vehicle has a different power and a different level of crashbreaker. Crashbreaker builds up overtime, quickly, and let's you blow up everything in your close vicinity, while also allowing you to move your car a little bit. Crashbreaker is really useful, but it's not horribly easy to use. If you want all of the damaged cars to stay in a intersection, so they could therefore block many other cars from passing through safely, then crashbreaker can cause you problems. If you used crashbreaker in a intersection fulled of damaged cars, then it will launch them all away from your car and possibly out of the intersection entirely. If you five cars get through the intersection to the other side of the map safely, then you lose. I like the crashbreaker and it essentially is the same as the crashbreaker from the previous Burnout games, except it felt like you had more control over it in the previous Burnout games (the 3d ones). Being able to do it in 3d was a lot more fun, but maybe that's just because hitting vehicles had a much bigger impact. At any given time you can look up in the top left corner and see how many cars are left, each level has a limited amount, essentially acting as a timer.

Burnout Crash! Pizza Track Gameplay

Throughout each level there are different power-ups that will be activated after a certain number of crashes.The power-ups start out small, but eventually lead to an ultra power-up (like a tornado or alien space ship that destroys most everything in the map). They definitely add to the feeling of it being an arcade game. Some of the normal power-ups are things like call in ambulance, cops (block off a section of the street, causes many accidents) or a car magnet that draws all cars to you. Ambulance's randomly make an appearance and if you let an ambulance make it through the map without getting hit, then it will take away one of your failures, x's that can get marked off each time you miss a car (causing you to lose if you miss five). The ultra power up uses the number of failures you have to determine it's power, the stronger it is the more it obliterate. Every level is entirely destructible, buildings, parked vehicles and everything that you can see. If you can manage to destroy as much of that as you can during a level, then you will end up with a much higher score. Each level has challenges to complete for stars and a certain score to reach, amounting to five stars for each level. The more stars you achieve the quicker you will unlock new vehicles, new modes and new maps.

Burnout Crash takes the great, horribly fun, fundamentals of crashing and explosives, except now it add's destructible buildings, unlocks, power-ups and different modes. I like the game, that's for certain, but it still feels inferior to the crash mode from all of the other Burnout games. The previous Burnout games crash  mode just felt so much more exciting in 3d with larger vehicles and a better feeling of impact. One aspect of the game that I didn't write about is called Autolog; it is a online mode that is supposed to allow you to easily challenge and find other players. I can't say much about because it didn't work in the demo, but it looks fairly easy to use and possibly fun if you have other friends who have the game. There is a demo on PSN and XBLA, so be sure to check it out, but it only let's you play one level of the 15+ levels. Thanks for reading and hope you give this game a chance, it certainly is fun, it's not just excellent feeling nor does it have the best graphics. Burnout Crash costs 800 Microsoft Points or $10 on PSN.

-Written by Sean Cargle


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