Burnout has yet to make an appearance this generation so when a remaster of Burnout Paradise was leaked through a rating board, fans rejoiced because they could finally get a chance to play through the series again. However, despite Burnout Paradise offering a solid amount of content, it is still a divisive entry in the Burnout series due to the focus on open world. Despite that, the game still kept the core concepts of Takedowns and Crashes with its impressive car destruction game engine.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is basically an open world take on the classic Burnout formula. It features Paradise City and the subsequent content packs and DLC that were released for it, making it the definitive way to play the game now. It also runs surprisingly well on the PS4 and Xbox One by sticking locked to 60 FPS and supporting 4K resolution on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. While the game has aged terribly, there is no doubt that the remaster is solid although lackluster when it comes to implementing visual upgrades which doesn’t help hide its flaws.
First, to get it out of the way, unless you have an incentive to return to Paradise City or go through the game again, the remaster doesn’t really offer much here. It neatly provides access to all of the post-launch DLC content in one package so if you have missed it, this will be your best chance to check them out now. Other than that, the visuals are untouched aside from the upgrade to the resolution so the game still sports a rather last generation look. If you can get over it, there is a lot of fun to be had here with its wackiness and crazy crashes which the series is known for. The issue is mostly with the price point for the remaster which feels a little too steep at launch. If we compare it to the recently released Shadow of the Colossus release, that was a full remake, it does seem expensive for its asking price.
Burnout Paradise Remastered features an open world where you are able to drive around and attempt challenges, do takedowns, race with AI or perform stunts to beat score. The game just gives the player key to the Paradise City letting them roam around and upgrade their driving skills. It is a fun game on its own and the craziness only amplifies once you head into the multiplayer mode, also called the Freeburn mode.
The challenges that are presented throughout the city are divided in various modes. There are the standard races that you can attempt that put you against AI controlled drivers to race from point A to B in the city. There are also survival based challenges like Takedowns or Stunts. All of these are usually tied to a score as well so there is an incentive to replay them due to the Arcade like nature of these challenges. The remaster has made it easier because now you have most of the cars unlocked right from the beginning including the legendary cars. This does ruin the experience unfortunately because the sense of progression that the original game had is lost now to some extent.
If you are in the mood for online multiplayer, the game does offer a Freeburn mode that lets you either join a public online session or invite a friend to private session. You can attempt the free roam challenges in this mode with a friend or try to start a race. If you are bored of the single player, this is perhaps the best way to spend time in the game. The whole city is open to the players participating in the multiplayer and the party leader can start challenges ranging from mega jumps to marked man. The matchmaking process is handled through a separate menu that can be toggled with the dpad and it will take a while to get used to it, but the online multiplayer of Burnout Paradise is curious to look at now after all the evolution of multiplayer gaming.
The main game was pretty decent on its own with Paradise City designed in a way to maximize the car destruction and gravity defying stunts offered by the game engine, but the DLC expansion ‘Big Surf Island’ takes it even a step further. Honestly I had way more fun in this Island than I did in the Paradise City. It is highly recommended to play through this DLC even if you have enjoyed the original game. The improvements to the rendering resolution and the frame rate are just cherry on top. The game has retained its sense of speed perfectly even after all these years. The downside here is that it can often result in clumsy controls. The design of the game has aged terribly now. To attempt the challenges, you will have to drive to a specific point on map and start them with the trigger buttons instead of something like fast travel to take you to your desired location. It ends up taking far too much time just to drive from one location to the next, thankfully there is a way to retry a challenge by using the dpad.
This remaster feels like it is basically a barebones effort to bring the game to the current generation consoles. The gameplay still holds up really well and the multiplayer is unlike any other racing game that I have played so far, but the design for some of the missions and user experience is dated now. Another complaint for me was the piss poor yellow filter for visuals depending on the time of day. It can be fairly distracting at times.
Burnout Paradise Remastered Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Relive the high-octane stunts and wanton destruction of the action racing game, Burnout Paradise™ Remastered on March 16 on Xbox One and PS4
A simple remaster that focuses on delivering an experience that closely replicates the original. It is purely for fans of the Burnout series although newcomers who are interested can also give it a chance.