I recently got some good time with the Burnout: Paradise demo, and I must say, I am now thoroughly looking forward to the game’s January release date!
The graphics in Burnout are beautiful. Every detail of Paradise City is finely tuned to be stunning. The visual effect on your car as it takes damage is very realistic, and adds to the appeal of really getting a good crash. From what I have seen in the demo, Burnout is taking visuals in a open world type of game to another level.
Paradise is everything something like Need for Speed Underground wished it could be. The controls are incredibly tight. It is about as spot on as an arcade racer could ever get. The game play is very open ended. The player can do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want. You can choose to just drive around and do crazy stunts, or go along and do the missions and races the game sets up, it's all up to the player! One can easily spend hours just cruising around the city, crashing and jumping over stuff, and never get bored with it.
The ability to jump in and out of online play without having to go into a main menu is where I think this game really shines. You just hit right on the D-pad mid game and the online menu appears. From there you can invite friends to play with you, or join up a random game with people. Once in there the game will keep track of various stats such as longest jump, most barrel rolls and a number of other things. Trying to beat the other people in the room is both addicting and fun. When you get bored of racing around with other people and you want to go back and play alone, simply press right on your d-pad and click leave game, and your back to single player mode, and it is all done completely seamlessly.
Overall, Burnout: Paradise is looking like it's going to be an incredibly game for both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game play and visuals are looking incredibly solid. The game is fun to pick up and play for a few minutes or a few hours at a time. It's also very refreshing to see a free roaming game that has figured out how to truly implement online play in a way that as seamless as it is fun. January is right around the corner, and with Burnout: Paradise, it looks like gamers will get to start the year off right!