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October 4, 2004
Burnout 3 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
16/8/2002EA GamesCriterion1-6 M15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
81KBDolby PLIIYesYesNoneNo

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Slamming into the opponent.
Early in the PS2's life Criterion, and then publisher Acclaim, released a promising racer called Burnout - an extremely impressive racing game with a few minor niggles. A year later in late 2002, the sequel Burnout 2: Point of Impact was released and was widely regarded as one of the most impressive racing games of all time with sensational collisions and lightning fast racing. This third game is being handled by Electronic Arts, which is fortunate given the demise of Acclaim in recent weeks, but also due to EA's ability to add even more spit and polish the title and ensure it is as great as possible. Mark my words now, this title isn't just great, it's the greatest.

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It's takedown time.
Burnout 3, as with previous games in the series, is a pure flat-out arcade racing game. The biggest change to this game is the Takedown's. Now longer is it just about getting over the line first, but also being able to "take down" your opponent. This is done by slamming them into a wall, pillar, or other cars and making them crash. By doing so you earn boost which helps you pick up speed. Naturally the opponents aren't going to take this lying down as they'll be trying to do the same to you. The developers have also included "after touch takedowns" which, after you crash, by pressing the R1 button allows you to virtually steer your car into oncoming opponents forcing them to crash as well. Sure, it doesn't apply with the laws of physics, but hell, it's fun. Finally another change to the game is that the boost bar can now be activated at any time, not just when it is full.

Burnout 3 includes 40 unlockable tracks set across the USA, Europe and Asia. The number of vehicles is also impressive with 72 vehicles on offer from cars to trucks and buses. Burnout 3 includes 9 single player racing modes, and 8 multi-player offline modes (including race and crash) but the real addition to this game is the online gameplay for up to 6-players at a time. The majority of the single player game is based around the "World Tour" which is set across three previously mentioned continents - USA, Europe, and Asia. The game really has two major styles of event. The race events, and the crash events, each of which is as it sounds however may include enhancements over the previous titles. The Crash modes for instance require a lot more precision, but also include power-ups as well as a "Crashbreaker" which sets off an explosion in your car to inflict more damage, and much like the "aftertouch" allows you to steer your car while in the air.

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One of the crash replays.
The online mode really is a major plus for this series. No longer can you crash and race to impress yourself, but you can now claim to be the best online. We've played many games online here at Future Gamez and most of the time it was a very smooth experience, even with 6 players in the game. Occasionally you get a couple of laggier players with slower broadband connections, but that happens in any game. All-in-all the online mode is as solid as we could expect.

Well now to the problems with this game, and they really are small. The first is that while I like to keep the races going sometimes, when you really know you should have crashed and/or spun out your car keeps on going. Perhaps a little less leniency would be nice. Apart from that. Nothing. This is as close to perfect as you'd want a game to be.

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Takedown in the background.
Seen the screenshots around this game? Impressive aren't they. Well forget about them. You need to see this thing moving. After playing this game other titles like Need for Speed Underground (or even the sequel which is included as a demo on this disc) or Gran Turismo 4 seem sluggish as hell in comparison. This game will throw more cars, polygons and buildings at you in 5 seconds then one minute in any other title.

Even more impressive are the visual effects that the game creates during the races. From the smoke to the sparks when you scrape into something this game is something special. Perhaps more importantly is the spectacular particle effects and deformations of the cars after collisions. The only slight issue is an extremely rare slowdown during the game. Fortunately it doesn't detract from the gameplay.

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Check out the background detail.
With Dolby Pro Logic II support and Electronic Arts's music muscle there was little doubt that Burnout 3's soundtrack would be good, and good it is - but not great. While games like SSX3 had a fairly wide variety of music, this game is pretty much rock based and that's it. Few songs are memorable either which is a shame. When it comes to effects however, this game rocks. Be it the change of gears, or the smashing of metal together, this game has wonderful effects.

If you haven't already got this game already then shame on you. Dare I say that at this stage Burnout 3 is right up there for game of the year. It's blindingly fast, super smooth, and most importantly fun as hell. This is an essential purchase, no doubt about it.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSNever has a game been so fast and frantic. Simply awesome.
92%
SOUNDMusic selection a little disappointing, but the effects and speech rock.
90%
GAMEPLAYWithout a doubt the most exhilarating racing game of all time.
97%
VALUEIt takes days to unlock all the cars and tracks, then you get online!
95%
OVERALLBurnout 3 is the ultimate arcade based racing game. This not only exceeds expectations, but also smashes them. This is one game to show off to your friends. Get it now, you won't be disappointed.
95%

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