Nothing brightens a trip to the mailbox more than finding a demo of
Burnout Revenge waiting for you, which is happily what happened to me
on Friday. The only bad thing about the demo of Burnout Revenge we
just received is that it's just a tiny taste of the full game, which
means no matter how much you play, the game leaves you wanting more.
The final version of Revenge is due out in mid-September, and from the
looks of things, it's not going to disappoint.
While the demo is only one race on one course, it does give a good
sense of what direction the developers are taking with the game. First
off, the racing action is even faster than before. When you've got
full boost and you're blazing down the street at 185mph, it takes 100%
of your focus to stay on the road. It's very rewarding to weave in and
out of traffic, narrowly escaping an accident and then taking down a
rival at top speed.
Speaking of rivals, the "revenge" factor is noticeable right off the
bat. For starters, the A.I. for the other cars in the race has been
improved and is now noticeably more aggressive. No longer do they
passively drive next to you; they want you out of the race as badly as
you want them out. If you do take another racer down, you can rest
assured that they will make returning the favor a high priority. There
are new ways to take down opponents this year; from running traffic
into them to simply taking a jump and landing right on top of them.
The latter is something you can do right near the start of the demo,
and it's quite satisfying.
Crashbreakers are a little more effective this time around, but the
camera still leaves it as mostly a matter of luck. Should you nail
someone with a Crashbreaker, get a Takedown, or just drive dangerously
(yet successfully) you'll be awarded points and a ranking at the end
of the race. It doesn't do anything for you in the demo, but it will
certainly play a big part in the way you progress through the full
As I mentioned in the E3 preview, the game looks spectacular – to the
point that I thought it was running on an Xbox the first time I saw
it. The car models are highly reflective, and they look more realistic
this time around. Sparks, flames, and vehicle parts fly during
crashes, adding to the mayhem on screen. There is some slowdown in one
area of the demo, and while it's not terrible, it is noticeable. I
also found that the in-car camera view, which is my preferred view,
isn't very useful because you can't see what's on either side of you.
I was constantly getting slammed into walls by the aggressive cpu
because I couldn't see it.
Minor quibbles aside; Burnout Revenge is shaping up to be a great
game. Slamming into traffic that has the nerve to get in your way is
tremendously satisfying, and the smarter A.I. makes things a little
tougher this time around. If you loved Burnout 3, you're going to love
the sequel – there's no doubt about it.