Burnout 3 – Takedown
Speed merchants are having a hard time these days. The numerous roads where the maximum speed limit has been reduced from 90 km/h to 70 km/h, the well hidden flashing poles and the high fines keep us from becoming true race monsters. I myself don’t really mind. You should know that my Suzuki SA310 (yes, it’s a car) will show signs of turbulence at a speed of 110 km/h. Not very usual for a car you say? Well that’s what I’ve been told too, so perhaps my car is actually a plane then? Whatever it is, the fact is that I for one was looking forward to a decent arcade racer with a higher sense of speed than my Suzuki Turbulenti. Burnout 2 made my car blush and the third one reduces it to an even lower rank, that of “old women’s car”. It’s not like you have to come from a good family though, but it says something about my car, doesn’t it? What’s next, will (hopefully) say more!
Burnout 2 was in my opinion the best, most addictive arcade racer. When my ears caught the news that Criterion was busy working on the third installment, I started to wonder what could be improved. The main subject of criticism for me was the poor diversity in the tracks. I’m glad to say that this has changed drastically.
The tracks are spread over three different continents being: Europe, the United States and Asia, making it as varied as the offer over at Harrods. Another thing that bothered me a bit in last years edition was the crash mode. Although it did show off the engine quite nice, it didn’t really add to the value of the game. That’s exactly what they thought over at Criterion as the crash mode has been taken to a whole new level. The most important innovation is the addition of items on the road. Your score doesn’t only depend on the crash itself but can be increased and doubled a couple of times by taking the right items. There is however a snag somewhere. The broken heart symbol will narrow your score down to the half of its earlier value making it rather difficult to get a gold medal. To make it even harder, you’ll have to cause a minimum number of crashes if you want to pass. If you’ve reached the minimum, you get the opportunity to blow yourself to smithereens, and it’s got a purpose too. For it is possible to steer your car a bit while crashing, earning you some extra points.
If this would be all, Criterion wouldn’t be developing games anymore, so of course: there is plenty more. The races have been tweaked a bit too. Well, a bit is really an understatement thanks to the addition of the new ability to take down your opponents. This wonderful piece of innovation is the ideal exhaust-valve after being stuck in a traffic jam. Everything you wish to do in traffic is possible in Burnout 3, thanks to the takedowns. A nice driver like me changes into a true road pirate. Nobody should hold me up, cause I will slam him against a wall, I’ll throw him into a ravine or I’ll stealthily push him against another car. The good part of the takedowns is the reward. Your boost meter will be lengthened meaning: more speed, more adrenaline and a lot more chance of crashing. It’s a matter of holding your breath when you’re speeding through traffic like a mad man, but once you crash the fun ain’t over yet. As mentioned before, you can adjust the position of your car during a crash and maybe take down a couple of opponents while doing so (aftertouch takedown). When you manage to perform an aftertouch takedown, you’ll again get a filled boost meter. Is this heaven on earth perhaps? Well, damn sure it is!
All these above mentioned elements can be found in the Burnout World Tour. The 173 races that are thrown at you, will even keep the most hardened gamers busy for a while. A short summary of the different racemodes:•Race:
you take on five opponents. The first one over the finish, wins;•Face off:
one-on-one, if you win, you’ll get your opponent’s car;•Crash event:
the earlier mentioned crash mode. Get enough points and you’ll be rewarded with some really cool vehicles such as the fire truck;•Special event/Burning lap:
similar to a time-trial. A race against the clock; your boost meter will fill more rapidly and empty more slowly making the action even tenser;•Road rage:
your goal here is to take down as many cars as possible within the time limit. Smashing and bashing is the message;•Grand prix:
three races, the one with the most points at the end, wins•Eliminator:
you’ll drive six laps; the last one will be eliminated after every lap.
If you’re tired of playing against the A.I, there’s always the Xbox Live (PS2 online) option. Here you’ll find the same race modes as in the single player setting. The only main difference is the fact that you’ll be competing against real opponents, which is even more fun of course.
Criterion has already given it a nice inner beauty, but the inside is not the only thing that counts, the eyes are longing for beauty too. To make a comparison; Burnout 3 is like a miss world who has, aside from her tight body, some brains too. And with tight I mean “tighter than a duck’s ass” tight. The scenery passes by so quickly, you won’t have the time to enjoy the environment. The sun reflects on the surface and causes some blind spots now and then making it a lot more probable that you’ll be smashing your car against a wall, rather than making your way through the traffic.
You’ll almost forget the fact that Electronic Arts has meddled with Burnout 3 too. This is mainly the case in the sound apartment. The EA Trax soundtrack suits the rest of the game perfectly. Numerous rock bands will ease your ears while racing, such as: Yellow Card, Franz Ferdinand, The Von Bondies, and other guitar noises. The snorting engines are pretty convincing too. Everything is just right!
Time for a conclusion where I summarize in short every aspect of the game: the lush graphics, the addictive gameplay and the threat that’s out there. Qué? Threat, what threat? Your social life my friend. It will take some serious hits, believe me. Is that a bad thing? Not at all, the cliché of gamers is that they don’t have a social life to begin with, so what are you worrying about then? Take your four wheeler, race to a nearby game store and buy yourself a copy of Burnout 3 – Takedown!