Every once in a while a game comes along that makes you question just how good a person you are. For me that game was Burnout Revenge. The premise of the game is to cause as much destruction and damage as possible with a single car. I think I enjoyed the destruction a little too much. Okay, I enjoyed it way too much. If I were a more introspective person, this experience could have caused me to reevaluate who I am. Instead I shrugged it off and resumed plowing my car into oncoming traffic.
This game appealed to me for one simple reason – crashing into things is encouraged. My primary problem with racing games is steering. I have the whole acceleration thing well in hand, but I have a tendency to hit most obstacles placed in my path. So I thought I would be well suited to this game, and at first I was.
I have no idea what the underlying plot of the game is and I honestly don't care. The goal of the game is to complete a variety of tasks or "events" with different objectives, but overall you need to destroy as many cars as possible. The better you do in these assignments, the more events and cars you unlock. I assume there comes a point when everything is unlocked, but I am certain that I will never reach it. A lot of these events are in fact races with some twist or another. I never seem to complete them well enough to advance. But once again, my boyfriend comes to the rescue and does them for me, so I am can move on to the more enjoyable events.
My favorites are the takedown events. In this you're racing against a variety of computer controlled opponents and you want to cause as many of them to crash as possible. Think Ben Hur meets Gran Turismo. As it turns out, I am very good at running cars off the road or into various obstacles. Perhaps it's the result of learning to drive in New Jersey. Regardless, I took a great deal of pleasure in slamming cars into walls, pillars, oncoming traffic, and buildings. The more opponents you takedown, the more time you have to takedown even more opponents. It's a vicious cycle.
A variation of this game is traffic checking. In this event you are rewarded for every car you plow into, not just your designated opponents. You are awarded money based on the damage you cause and this extends the time you have. It's relatively simple to amass millions of dollars in property damage. The scary part is when you start giggling about the semi you just managed to tip over.
However, the highlights of the game are the crash events. You are given a scenario such as an overpass in Los Angeles and your task is to cause as large a pile up as possible. To complete these events successfully you need a mix of skill and dumb luck. You need skill to know where along the course to crash, but then you need dumb luck to crash such that you can collide with as much traffic as possible.
While these things are fun in single player mode, they become a lot more enjoyable in multiplayer mode. After all, slamming friends and loved ones into various concrete structures is far more entertaining than simply slamming computer opponents. Personally, I think it's because of the moaning and cursing that follows. There are six different multiplayer games, three of which are based on the crash scenarios. The more you unlock in single player, the more tracks you have to play on in multiplayer. There are a variety of cities to wreak havoc in – Rome, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Detroit to name a few. The only thing missing in my opinion is San Francisco and its infamous curving and hilly roads. And of course, a mall to drive though like The Blues Brothers did.
Speaking of music, this review wouldn't be complete without a mention of the game's soundtrack. There are a variety of rock songs in this game that play on the menu screens and during each event. I personally loved the songs they played. Alternative rock is my genre of choice and that is what you have to look forward to when you play. Among the artists (whom I'm sure paid quite a bit to have their music included) are Fall Out Boy, All-American-Rejects, and The Dead 60's. I'm not sure if this is one of those games where you can supply your own play lists, but I honestly don't care. I love what they have and it suits the game quite nicely.
If you have the right set of friends, this game is well worth the price. There are hours of enjoyment to be had in competition with your friends. It would also come in handy, if you're a button-masher like me, to have a competent player around to unlock the fun stuff. However, if it's just you, wait for the price to drop – the game can become repetitive in single player mode. Regardless, the next time you feel like blowing off some steam by crashing or exploding something, look no further than Burnout Revenge.
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