“Ultimate”: Burnout Paradise in Feb ’09

One of the consolation games I played most regularly in the past year was Burnout Paradise. It’s a freeform racing game across a wide-open, pedestrian-devoid urbanscape. A little like GTA4 without people, and with far better crash happenings, it entranced me for many hours. I found myself consistently entertained by the absurd cross-city racing, and the dynamic way in which you smashed violently into automobiles and immovable objects alike. It is a game that would probably be described as “hi-octane” on the cover of a magazine, and would worry your mother by becoming a source of endless vehicular-collision amusements. Look at those automobiles bend and shatter in slow-motion!

Yes. The game is heading for the personal computer platform in February 2009, and it’s the “ultimate” pack, including most of the previously released Burnout Paradise content, including bikes. After the jump: an horrendous car-wreck compilation movie.

What would JG Ballard say? Ooh, I’ve gone a bit James Spader.


  1. Chris Evans says:

    Wahoo :D

    Great to see a date at last for this game, I really enjoyed some of the PS2 versions, this game should work really well on the PC. Can’t wait.

  2. Eli Just says:

    I don’t know. I love my PC and I really want to play this game, but it just seems like a quintessential console game to me. Probably get it though, seems like good fun.

  3. Paul Moloney says:

    I like occasionally driving in games, not games entirely devoted to driving. I bought Flatout 2 recently as the Steam demo of the original was a bit of a laugh, but it just gathers dust; when it comes down to it, driving is either left, right, or straight ahead.

    Smashing up Jeeps in FC2, then jumping out and blowing them and your opponents up with grenades, however, never gets old.


  4. Bhazor says:

    link to criteriongames.com

    The three screen video bewilders me. PC gamers, we’re crazy! Now if you can set one of those screens as a big map a la Supreme Commander then I could dig that.

    Also, this game is mod ready it seems. Can I just say Motorcocks in revenge for the sporn censorship?

  5. Surgeon says:

    If you touched yourself whilst watching Cronenberg’s Crash, then you’ll love this.

  6. Brian says:

    “Consolation game” is such a brilliant collective term for the lesser platforms’ software.

    I bought one of the Burnout games for my PS2 on a whim, enjoyed it for a good 90 minutes, and it’s been collecting dust ever since. It seems like one of those games you use to demo consoles in the store but suffers in longevity and freshness. Interesting to see you say otherwise, Jim. It didn’t do it for me.

  7. Po0py says:

    I’ve been holding off getting it for the 360 because I knew the PC version was coming and I wanted to support the platform and all. I just hope that there is a decent incentive to go buy it for £25 on pc when you can get it for £10-£15 on the 360 nowadays. It really underlines the fact that games arriving late on pc means lost sales. Simple as that.

  8. TheLordHimself says:

    I have found it hard to love any racing game as much as I love Trackmania now. I just don’t see the need for another one. And thats with the Stadium mode being the only mode worth playing.

  9. Tarn says:

    I really loved playing this on the work PS3. It’s a bit short-lived, but is very polished with a great driving model and crash-o-vision. As TLH says, though, most racing games seem to pale into insignificance compared to Trackmania these days – although Burnout is close enough to the ‘silly’ end of the scale to be worth a drive.

    My only concern is that most people that would be interested in the game will have already played and finished it on console, whether their own or a friend’s. Alas, if the PC version fails to sell because of that (and because of being outside of the hype bubble) it will no doubt get blamed on piracy……

  10. Mark says:

    Meh, lol I still play burnout 3 every so often – aside from being one of the few games I do really well in the crash’s in the new ones seem to pale in comparison, a 14 barrel roll crash is a thing of beauty *wipes tear from eye*

  11. Monchberter says:

    I was so gutted when i found out this wasn’t going PC, but then i bought GRID and all was forgiven. Still, i’ll be buying this.

  12. x25killa says:

    What took them so long to release this game for the pc?

  13. shinygerbil says:

    I thought it was already out for PC ages ago o_O

    Well, it’s a great game, and Criterion have really taken strides to keep it fresh with totally free content updates containing utterly non-negligible content. Definitely a model certain companies could benefit from, if not financially…

  14. plague says:

    @Paul Moloney
    Tried Trackmania? That really is simple yet I’ve played the free version for hours on end. I’m not interested in standard racers but I like Burnout. It’s pretty complicated when you get into the boost system.
    Paradise doesn’t have split-screen though, so it can be as ultimate as it likes, it’s inferior to the previous games.

  15. MeestaNob! says:

    This looks like brilliant mindless fun.

    I feel compelled to buy if only so Criterion have some spare change when Metallica inevitably sues them for something or other.

  16. Brian says:

    HELL YEAH!!!!

  17. Greyface says:

    @ Meesta> If only one of those cars held Lars Ulrich.
    Wait, would that help? You know he’s a tennis pro. He might have super powers.

  18. Bhazor says:

    I really don’t understand the Trackmania love. Maybe it’s just because to me the time trial mode in a racing game is like sitting an exam. The whole reason why I play arcade racers is the dueling with a bunch of bastards and the blind panic of steering through incoming traffic. This is why I heart the Burnout series a big huggy bunch though I hope they tone down the slow mo for the next version or in deed someone mods it into this one.

  19. Turkish Superman says:

    What took them so long to release this game for the pc?

    Supposedly the only reason it’s being released on the PC is because the console versions didn’t sell as well as EA had hoped.

    I’ve played the 360 version a few times. Seems like good fun.

  20. c-Row says:

    Did someone just say Hi-Octane? Now that was a classic racer!

  21. iNsAn1tY says:

    Supposedly the only reason it’s being released on the PC is because the console versions didn’t sell as well as EA had hoped.

    I’ve played the 360 version a few times. Seems like good fun.

    That’s… that’s the complete opposite of the truth. Where do you hear that? The PC port has come off the back of strong sales on the consoles. Check the numbers – it’s sold well over 1.5 million copies on 360 and PS3 since launch.

  22. aldo_14 says:

    I really don’t understand the Trackmania love. Maybe it’s just because to me the time trial mode in a racing game is like sitting an exam.

    I always regarded Trackmania as more about the track building (and indeed the associated puzzling) than the time trial aspect. If they added contact racing and took away the ability to make your own tracks it wouldn’t be half the game it is, methinks.

  23. MonkeyMonster says:

    I love the burnout 3 races (specially 2 player) but more so the setup crashes :D So much fun to cause a massive pile up and watch as your tally rise as more carnage ensues and you sit willing the explode meter to keep rising until WAHAY and it causes even more damage around you and you get the gold award. More than a little bit satisfying.

  24. phuzz says:

    I know we all wuv Valve, but my 360 owning friend has been full of praise for the way he keeps getting free updates for a game he bought month and months ago.

  25. Schmung says:

    I got bored playing this after about a week on the 360. Haven’t touched it again since that initial burst, despite all the free updates. Something about it just leaves me a bit cold. Possibly the absence of a proper crash junction mode. Still, credit to Criterion for supporting the game so well and bringing it in it’s entirety to PC.

  26. Heliocentric says:

    I need to talk up in support of trackmania, i value it because of its meaningful creation tools but also for the simplisity of the game and its interface. This isn’t to say the game doesn’t offer diverse experiences but that its easy for people to learn. The nadeo tracks offer plenty of hints as to how to navigate the track even on your first run. A non pc thing but i need to pimp that the ds version of trackmania is on amazon for 17.99 on pre order for this month. This is my 4 year old sons favourite game, 4 year olds have tiny attention spans but as far as i can tell incredible motor skills. He gets gold medals on the his first try of some non puzzle style tracks, a task i could never commit.

  27. Kinsley says:

    It’s a great game. But I don’t know, I think the burnout series is starting to go soft. I think the nanny state is starting to get at them. Burnout 3: Takedown and Burnout: Revenge are the fastest, twitchiest, most violent racing games in the history of the universe. Paradise is kind of toned down.

  28. Irish Al says:

    Unless you’re a big racer fan, or have a kid who wants to see all the cool cars like I do with the 360 version, the main attraction here for the PC gamer would be the online modes. Certainly the recent bikes pack is fairly pointless for offline play.

  29. MonkeyMonster says:

    2 zombies just walked over my grave… Please tell me takedowns and revenges are in this? They are by far the best part and have me and mates hooting when we unleash a particularly good one after a few beers.

  30. Kinsley says:

    I haven’t got very far through it yet. I have seen some road rage events (my favourites). But I haven’t seen any crash events.

  31. Irish Al says:


    You can do takedowns in any race, however the ‘Road Rage’ type of race is all about hitting a takedown target, and once you get beefy enough cars the ‘Marked Man’ races tend to involve a bit of it too!

  32. Irish Al says:

    Think of it as like GTAIV with a city that is more obviously built from big, wide race tracks and jumps and smashable fences and secret back routes, with no people at all either walking around or driving vehicles. It’s just a big car sandbox with races there if you want to do them.