Burnout: Revenge Xbox Review

Welcome to the sequel of one of the best games of 2004; Burnout Revenge reignites battle racing and is without a doubt the fastest most dangerous racing game on four wheels. Burnout Revenge challenges gamers to exact their revenge on rush hour traffic, vindictive rival racers and anything else that gets between them and the finish line but first things first; Burnout Revenge is not the revolution of the genre that Takedown was. It does however add lots of new elements to an already great game. It tweaks a few others and changes a few annoying aspects that people disliked from Takedown to create something the feels very new rather than just a boring old upgrade.

Gameplay

What’s new you may ask? Well the biggest and most obvious change will hit you right in the face the moment you turn on the game. The track design has now hugely improved, if you thought Takedown has some spectacular moments you really have not seen anything yet. The first track you lay your hand on in Revenge blows anything you have seen in Takedown straight out of the water. Secondly the game is called Revenge for a reason. Racing is no longer all about winning, it’s about vengeance as an all-new revenge meter is included and you can now see who is PO’ed at you and who you should be wanting to ram off the road; this adds lots more exciting possibilities in races.

The third change comes in the guise of an addition called traffic checking which basically lets you knock any cars which are of equal or lesser weight completely off the road. Although this mode will take veterans of the game some time to get used to it really does add oodles of satisfying moments into every race you take part in. Not only does traffic checking knock traffic out of your way it also turns the traffic you have checked into weapons waiting for your rival to bump straight into as they either fly over your head and back into the waiting crowd of racers or into another lane as your rival tries to pass you by. This new traffic checking can be done during crash mode as well which adds a new layer of complexity into the long running mode that is a favourite of many a Burnout fan.

Speaking of crash mode, it has also gotten a slight revamp from the version seen in Takedown. Your job as always is still the same; You must drive with as much unbridled aggression as you can and cause as much damage that is humanly possible but now there are a few more extras to play around with. First off there is a brand new way to get a good boost off the start line if you time it right, also those bonus medals which multiplied your score are now gone and good riddance to them as they made crashes far to easy and basically did their best to ruin what was a fantastic addition to the Burnout series. Even though these medals are gone there are a few new extras. The first comes in the form of possible multiple crashbreakers (if you cause enough damage) which can be extremely satisfying especially in the later crash junction where a lot of thought has to be put in to find the correct route.

Revenge is also home to the familiar World Tour mode which graced Takedown and this time offers you 169 different events to drive manically through but once again Revenge slightly changes this as the map form the previous game is gone and you are given a selection of races in different classes to pick from and you must rise through the ranks by driving well. You now can be awarded up to five stars at each event which are given as a result of how many drifts, takedowns on enemy cars you do during a race. Driving in oncoming traffic also helps to get your star rating up. This is then coupled with your finishing position, get gold, and it will add one star to your rating. Getting silver will result in no change but get bronze and a star will be taken away. To get a perfect rating in events you now must not just get a gold medal but you must do it with some flair. This is another fantastic addition to the series which ups the difficulty slightly without making it uber challenging.

Now onto the game modes; Eliminator is back for another go but this mode also has a revamp as the last place racer is no longer eliminated after each lap. It has now changed to the last place racer being eliminated every 20 seconds which is a fantastic change as it makes the mode far more exciting than before. Burning Laps, Road Rage and preview races also make a return but not much change is made there. Finally there is a brand new mode called Traffic Attack, which puts the new traffic checking feature to good use as it challenges you to check as many cars as you can in a specific amount of time while barrelling down the highway. This mode however is very easy and could be completed in 2 or 3 goes giving you a gold medal without any real competition but still can be a lot of fun at times. Also after getting a bit into the game you will start to see modes such as Crashbreaker Races, Crashbreaker Eliminators and Crashbreaker Road Rages being unlocked which arms your car with the fabled Crashbreaker from the Crash mode which should set you up nicely for a lot of destruction while needed.

Graphics

A quick look at the screenshots dotted around this page should have you saying that “Revenge really does look great” and you would be right in saying so but what the screenshots are not telling you is how much better it looks than Takedown. When you see the game moving it is easy to see that it trumps Takedown in almost ever aspect. Everything in the game looks that little bit better. The textures on cars (rivals and traffic) are sharper and clear. Speaking of traffic there is even more of it to contend with while racing. When you crash, the cars break apart with a lot more oomph than before. From this it looks as though the entire crash physic have been redone as 1000’s of pieces now fly off the car as it bumps and rolls after you have lost your concentration for a split second. The trademark motion blur effect while you boost also looks better. Added to this is a new “shaky cam” like effect when you are boosting for continues periods. All these little extras when combined end with a literally awe inspiring result. Even with all these extras, the game still runs at a 100% solid 60FPS and races are even faster than before. Someone is working some serious magic down at Criterion; next gen has arrived and we haven’t even changed consoles yet!

Sound

It seems there is an overall theme running through this review of Revenge and it continues with the audio portion of the game! Yes, this is another aspect that has been improved from Takedown. Both sound effects and music have been given a significant overhaul with the latter having the most work done on it. First the engine sounds seem fuller than before, the first time I boosted I was nearly blown out of my seat with the sounds coming through my 5.1 system (and that was with one of the slower cars!) Crashes also seem better although far from realistic; if you crash into an oncoming car it’s like Mount Vesuvius just erupted and you were standing on the edge of the volcano. Oncoming cars also sound great with “near misses” now sounding all the better; your speakers will shake as the traffic passes you by. Car screeches, scrapes and squeals all seem to have had a slight improvement as well but not as much as the ones mentioned above

Now onto the music which is a nice improvement from Takedown (which I personally had no problem with). Many complained the music in Takedown did not suit the game and had a punk-rockish feel which was not good to race too. This “problem” has been rectified with a selection of music that suits racing better than the previous “EA Trax” did. If you are still not happy (and bought the Xbox version) then feel free to pop whatever tracks you like onto the custom playlist and race to whatever you want. Finally there is even more good news! Remember “DJ Stryker”, that endlessly annoying guy that wanted to interrupt you as much as he possibly could through there course of Takedown ? Well he’s gone, he’s gone far, far away hopefully never ever to return again. Bye, Bye DJ Stryker, you will not be missed!

Lifespan

If all the modes I mentioned above are not enough then there is loads of other extras that make the game great value for money. First of all modes offer great multiplayer fun and could last gamers many weeks. Crash and Road Rage as especially fun while played with a friend. The single player World Tour mode has slightly less races than was in Takedown but I found it a lot more fun to player through with all the new modes that Criterion have included. It could take gamers anywhere from 20-30 hours to finished depending on how good they are with the game which is, as I said, fantastic value for money.

Overall

Where Takedown innovated Revenge expands but that does not mean there is not alot of brand new fun to be had. If you are a Burnout fanatic and have played all the games in the series then you need to play this. If you never played a Burnout game before then Revenge is a great place to jump into a fantastic series. The game does everything right to make it a top notch title. Revenge is the best Burnout to date and perhaps the best arcade racer ever to grace a home console. Now it’s onto the next-gen!

9.6 out of 10

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