The concept of the Burnout series came from the idea that crashes were what players wanted to see, and it has been a significant feature of all the Burnout games.
Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box , takes the original Burnout Paradise and adds the online release of Burnout Paradise Bikes and Burnout Paradise Party and crams it all into one complete package.
The basics of the game is that you have the entire Paradise City laid out before you. It is driver heaven; in fact most of the city has been dedicated to roads, tracks and trails. There are no people, there are no police - just your car, the road and a heap of other vehicles to interact with (read 'crash'). There are no name brand cars in the game but it's not hard to pick which make and model each of the generic vehicles have been derived from. Each vehicle has its own characteristics and a distinctive feel about how they drive.
At each intersection there is an opportunity to start an event; these can be as simple as racing from one landmark to another against a bunch of other cars, or more intense - like Marked Man, where you have to survive being targeted by other drivers. Takedown is one of Burnout's signature events, and this is where you have take out a set number of other cars. Show Time is another Burnout classic, where you have to crash your vehicle into as many vehicles as possible to meet a financial damage target.
All the events are pretty intense and this has a lot to do with the tracks themselves. The roads are wide with many routes and shortcuts to get you to where you need to be. Throw in a healthy dose of public traffic and a car boost system which is generated if you drive on the wrong side of the road, and races can reach extreme speeds where quick decision making is essential. Luckily the graphics are excellent and you can see a fair distance down the road.
One of the game challenges is to destroy road signs. This can be an exercise in finding the right jump or ramp to propel you into the sign. The jumps you pull off can be huge and any error in judgement can result in some spectacular crashes.
Crashes place you into a slow motion mode where you can feel the jarring through the force feedback while at the same time witnessing the slow crumpling of your car's body and shattering glass flying everywhere. End to end crashes and takedowns at speed are just stunning. Damage is persistent until you find a repair shop. Often you will be driving around in a mangled wreck, minus your doors and with the front bonnet flapping up occasionally.
As you complete missions you unlock more and more vehicles, and included in these is the ability to ride motorbikes. They feel a lot faster by far than the cars; however they lack a lot of the control. Cornering at speed results in some nasty accidents. Mercifully you will only see the bike crash, your rider having being removed from the picture on impact. This has always been a conscious design decision in the series, where humans and the accompanying squishy mess associated with high speed vehicle impacts have never made an appearance.
In the context of the bikes however the result somehow lacks the realism of the car crashes.
The city itself has a lot of areas to explore and foregoing the races it is just as much fun to cruise about the city to check out you can drive. The railway tracks, pedestrian ways, building sites and beach fronts are all fair game for your vehicle. The ability to smash a lot of the scenery items also has a lot of appeal.
This is a great game, and with the party mode it's fun game to play with a crowd. With heaps of replayability, fast action and mad crashes, Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box a game we can highly recommend.