Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box

Written by Joe Martin

February 3, 2009 | 09:35

Tags: #burnout-paradise-pc #burnout-pc #cagney #car #crash #paradise-city #racing #review

Companies: #criterion #ea #electronic-arts

Party Mode

On the surface these three different modes will sound pretty self-explanatory and, to a point, they are.

In Stunt events, it’s your role to do a specified stunt in a certain amount of time in order to gather points. In Speed, you have to accomplish certain tasks in a limited time – smash X billboards and return to the start as fast as you can, for example. These two are pretty easy to get your head around.

The Skill mode however is a little bit different and it’s here that game starts getting a little bit creative. It’s not wholly innovative, but it keeps things interesting when the objective is to race as far as you can along the train lines (with boost jammed on) without hitting the walls at all.

This type of gameplay though is both a blessing and a curse; yes, its offline multiplayer and that’s great for when you get some friends together and play (say because you’re snowed in), but on the other hand the rounds are so short that they lack any involvement.

Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box - Party Mode

Each round in party takes only a few seconds, a minute at most. Again, it’s good that it keeps the pace up if you’ve got five players all waiting for their chance in the hotseat, but if you want to play something closer to the multiplayer in Burnout: Takedown then you’re left wanting. There’s still no split screen either.

Reassuringly though, there seems a high chance that Electronic Arts and Criterion will address these vulnerabilities and add in more options and race types to the game, especially the Party Mode. Forbiddingly though, this is probably going to be done through the Burnout Store, which sits in the centre of the entire Burnout Paradise game. You’ll probably have to pay for any expansions to Burnout Paradise, routing them all through EA’s store.

The Burnout Store isn’t just used for selling expansions and extra cars either – though there are already some packs on the way, as you can see at Criterion’s website. The Store is also where you can check out Crash TV News (podcasts, basically) and a load of other content fed straight from the developers.

Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box - Party Mode

How well and acceptable the Store system is still a bit hard to judge though – at the moment there’s no content to buy as the game comes with all the current updates from the console version of the game. How effective the Burnout Store is is something that we’ll just have to wait and judge later to be honest.

EA’s track history with online stores has been a bit mixed of course, and it’s predictable that not everyone will feel good about using it, though the system at least promises to be better than Games for Windows Live from what we’ve seen.

If you’re a dedicated console gamer rather than a PC gamer though, don’t feel too left out – the Party Mode is also coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation in the near future, as will all the other updates.

One thing the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game won’t be getting though is improved graphics and the option to boost the visual impact of the game up even higher, even using triple monitor support. Flip the pages to check out our look at the improved graphics on the PC version of Burnout Paradise...
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