PS4, Xbox One; Criterion / Stellar Entertainment / Electronic Arts
The much-loved racing game returns with a revamp that makes you feel as if you’re in the best Fast and Furious movie ever made
When Burnout Paradise arrived in 2008, some players resented its diversion from the previous Burnout games, which focused on tight circuits and vehicular destruction. Others, however, found its open-world structure exciting and beautiful. Paradise City is a vast playground, its intricate streets, highways, tunnels and overpasses open and explorable from the start. Players are dropped into a junkyard, where they choose a car. Then they drive – and they don’t really stop.
While most racing games force players into menus and waypoint-dotted map screens, Burnout Paradise keeps you in your car as much as possible. You start races by pulling up at any set of traffic lights; you attempt stunts and jumps simply by driving around and finding promising-looking ramps; and you repair and repaint your car by driving through auto-repair stores. You can swoop between races, events and stunt runs without ever stopping, feeling out the very edges of your driving ability. This remaster’s enhanced resolution and frame rate bring it up to modern standards. Paradise doesn’t look as good as, say, Forza Horizon 3, but the retro sheen and flattering handling gives it a classic arcade feel.