Gigantodemo: Burnout Paradise

Let's hope the demo doesn't crash, too! Oh, I am a wag.

I can see it in your eyes. You want to download a 2.9GB demo. No, really, you do. Because ta-da, the PC release of Burnout: Paradise goes shopward in the morning, and entire game is available to download, for free, in a time-limited way. Perhaps from Fileshack, perhaps from GamersHell. Or maybe from NVidia. (Actually, the servers are crazy busy at the moment, and hopefully they’ll be echoed in a few more places. Post links below if you find them – but please, no torrents unless officially sanctioned.)

Burnout: Paradise has been out on consoles for 450 years, but the PC version isn’t simply a belated port. It is, in fact, the most complete version of the game (although the consoles will catch up as the various patches are applied by whatever arcane means those demonic boxes use). All the free add-ons that have appeared since the original release are already in there (including motor-o-bikes), along with various gameplay and engine tweaks. And the first pay-for content, the Party Pack, is also bundled. RPS will be bringing you its definitive opinion on whether it all works out well very soon. In the meantime, we give you permission to form your own opinions via the entire game (while the demo lasts). Once time’s up, you can pay to unlock the version you already have, making this possibly the largest shareware game of all time. (Go on – point out the bigger ones.)

Criterion explain it all in enormous detail here, but you’ll note they’re extremely vague on how long the demo version lasts. If any of us live long enough to download it, we’ll let you know. If anyone else already found out, you let us know. We’re friends like that.


  1. Nighthood says:

    Jesus, 2.6gb. I remember thinking that Crysis was big at 1gb for a demo, but obviously I’m not thinking outside the box enough. What happened to demos that are just a small section with unlimited playtime, instead of the whole thing for a short period. Silly developers.

  2. RiptoR says:

    The demo is the full game actually. You can buy it from inside the demo itself (in the Burnout Store).

    I’m picking up my copy this weekend in my local retail store. Been playing the demo all night since I got home from work, and I’m addicted :D

  3. Optimaximal says:

    The sad thing is, ‘they’ have already got a crack out that unlocks the full game and because of the way it works, even allows full online play.

  4. Brainboy says:

    As far as I can tell from booting it up shortly, it restricts you to 30 minutes. But it said something like “offline time limit: 30 minutes”, so there may be another 30 minutes for playing online.

    Just from the menus, though, I wasn’t too impressed with the game. It seems like a pretty lazy port, you basically have to navigate through the menus with F1 and F2 (change menus) and the arrow keys. How hard is it to produce a mouse-driven interface in a year?

    Luckily the Ultimate Box is coming to the 360 in Europe, so I might pick it up for that instead.

  5. RiptoR says:

    I was able to unlock a second car in the demo. I did a fair bit of sightseeing, and it looks like the whole city is available to explore.

  6. Shariq says:

    Anyone know of any non-cracked/hacked torrent for the demo?

  7. Theory says:

    Keep an eye on GameUpdates for legit torrents.

  8. Severian says:

    I’d like to try this out, given all the interesting things I’ve heard.

    Here’s my question to y’all: I never play racing games and don’t own a steering-wheel contraption. How necessary is a wheel for enjoyment of such racing games? And which is better between keyboard and gamepad?

  9. Gunrun247 says:

    The keypad works fine, infact I preferred the D-Pad controls in the older games on PS2.
    Gamepad is best, I don’t think you would do well with a wheel in this.

  10. RiptoR says:

    I’ve been playing with my x360 pad, and I must say it’s a lot easier and relaxed to play with than with keyboard.

  11. RiptoR says:

    The 30 minutes were fun, the wait for the weekend has begun.

    But I think I problably end up buying it through the ingame store later on tonight anyway, I’m just too eager to explore the rest of the city. Driven around with 2 cars, was able to knock down 53 of the shortcut barriers (there are 400 of those), and crashed into 3 Burnout signs (50 in total can be found).

    Now where’s my creditcard…

  12. Klumhru says:

    At the risk of sounding condescending (I’m not trying, really) the more console-y the game, the less the need for a specialized controller. In BO you’ve never really needed one for the PC versions, since they’re designed for the pads of the consoles. You’ll lose some precision for the lack of analog input, but not so great as to make the game hard to play or less enjoyable. If you have a controller though, things improve.

    In regards to other games I’d recommend a controller or a wheel. I do have a MOMO wheel. I enjoy using in GRID, GTR, RACE, DIRT (what is it with acronyms in racing titles anyway?) and other titles, and I must state that they raise the enjoyment I derive a great deal. For GTR and other “sim” racers, I’d go as far as saying a wheel is a must. For GRID, which is a borderline sim/arcade racer, maybe not so much. Speaking from personal experience I don’t think I could have finished the final races in GRID without a wheel with the caveat that having used a wheel for so long, keyboard control in racers comes very hard to me.

    Kudos to BO for a nice comeback of the shareware model but 30 minutes of play sounds pretty short to me. Something like 1-2 hours would have made more sense in my ears.

  13. Fede says:

    30 minutes? The download is much longer than the demo then :D

  14. RiptoR says:

    Anyone already bought the game through the ingame store? If so, was it easy to do?

    I want the boxed version, but I also want to continue playing. Argh, choices :s

  15. Shadowcat says:

    Half an hour of play for a 3.114 * 10^9 byte download.

    That’s not a demo. That’s a way for people who have [i]already decided to buy it[/i] to make absolutely certain that it runs well on their machine before putting down the cash.

    Which is quite laudable. But it’s not a demo.

  16. Heliocentric says:

    30 minutes is kinda shitty… considering the 2.6gb investment.

    Ah well… 30 minutes to decide if I want it is better than 0 minutes.

  17. Sp4rkR4t says:

    It’s about time Burnout made it’s way to the PC and it’s nice to see we have the definitive version, I’ve already unlocked this game and I have to admit I love it.

  18. David McBride says:

    The nVidia demo servers are flying at full speed; currently pulling it down at wire-speed of about 1.2MB/sec.

  19. RiptoR says:

    @Sp4rkR4t: How does the buy-option work exactly?

  20. nakke says:

    getting 12MB/s from NVidia. Quite okay I’d say!

  21. hydra9 says:

    I freakin’ loved this when I tried it on PS3.

    But hold on, hold on, this (quoted from Criterion’s info-page) is what I find really interesting:

    if you’ve bought the full game on disk, once it’s installed, you don’t need the disk to play, so you’re free to share it around.

    Am I reading this correctly? Buy one copy of the game, install as many times as you like on as many machines as you like???

  22. Caiman says:

    That demo is 14.5% of my monthly download quota. However, that’s not so bad considering it would take about 7% of a month for me to download it. Interestingly, these percentages have been about the same for the past 15 years – it’s an arms race between my download speeds and demo sizes!

  23. hydra9 says:

    @Caiman: You need a new ISP, by the sounds of it ;)

    @me: Just realised my own stupidity. If you buy the game, you can share it with your friends, and they’ll all be able to play the time-limited demo. Ah…

  24. Gunrun247 says:

    @Hydra – without a valid key the game acts as a demo disc, I assume this is what they mean.
    It does have the child killing limited install DRM but it has 10 installs, and there is a revoke tool right there on the shortcuts (at least in vista) so it’s not as bad as Spores 3 shots and that’s it. Plus Criterion are cool dudes and will probably patch that out eventually.

  25. El_MUERkO says:

    no such joy with speedy download for me, should be able to get 2.4mbps from a decent server but they’re all giving me 69 to 80 kbs :P

    will get it tomorrow once a decent torrent is up

  26. noexes says:

    They are vague with how the demo works I think because it’s kind of random. Every once and a while I get kicked to the buy the game screen, and sometimes I’m forced to quit at semi-appropriate moments (like right after a race). It’s weird, but it kind of works.

  27. Ginger Yellow says:

    “How hard is it to produce a mouse-driven interface in a year?”

    No offence, but what the hell are you doing using a mouse in a driving game?

    As for me, I can’t justify picking this up a second time, even with the pretty high resolution graphics. The 360 version’s good enough for me.

  28. noexes says:

    Thought: if they released a demo like this, would GTA4 have sold more?

  29. Gunrun247 says:

    The interface can be used with the mouse anyway.
    I don’t see his problem.

  30. bansama says:

    Looking forward to this =) Had a blast with the PS3 demo, although not enough to buy the game. It’d be nice to see how the PC version shapes up.

  31. alex says:

    @Brainboy: Pretty much anywhere in the menu that there’s an icon for a key, if you mouse over it, the cursor will turn red, indicating that you can click.

  32. Ben Abraham says:

    Now the obvious question is “Can anyone beat it in the 30 minutes in the demo?” Go on. Have a crack. ;-)

  33. Y3k-Bug says:

    What an insanely well designed game. Gorgeous to boot.

    Love how everything from the repair of cars, to starting races, to getting online is EXTREMELY streamlined and easy to do.

    This is pretty much what I wanted NFS to be all these years.

    Even the music is great.

  34. DF7 says:

    I don’t know, it took me five or ten minutes to even get to a playable screen. That was after not being able to find a settings menu or use my mouse to click on anything. And then when I went to quit, I had to alt+F4 out. Am I missing some magic button?
    I had heard good things about the “total conversion” port, but it seems like an xbox game to me.

  35. KruddMan says:

    I really enjoyed this demo. The 30 minutes I think are limits for the mission types in the game. You can still drive around and run into stuff after that timer is up…

    I’m looking for a place to buy the game now. Not really into buying it directly from EA… think it’ll be on Steam any time soon?

  36. dadioflex says:

    noexes says:
    “Thought: if they released a demo like this, would GTA4 have sold more?”

    Or less?

  37. unclelou says:

    The sad thing is, ‘they’ have already got a crack out that unlocks the full game and because of the way it works, even allows full online play.

    I wonder what the excuse is this time. (Bearing in mind that I have less of a problem with people admitting they pirate the odd game than those who find excuses and blame everyone and everything else).

    As for the game (bought a boxed copy this week) – it’s quite good, and a fantastic port, but I am not quite as hooked as I’d like to be. I am not quite feeling the love I felt for Burnout 2 yet. :)

  38. Jim Rossignol says:

    Worth getting chums to join in for multiplayer on this.

  39. Markoff Chaney says:

    This is a fantastic port (Menu issues aside, but I’m using my wired 360 controller and it works like a dream) and it’s one of the new breed of ports that changes on-screen prompts based on prior input. e.g. – You hit a key on the keyboard last, so now I show Mouse/KBD keys for prompts. The 360 controller plays this very well. I get a full 60 FPS Vsynced with everything maxed (except that funky AOSO stuff or whatever) and am very pleased with performance.

    The one thing I was worried about was the apparent lack of some form of crashing into stuff for fun and pleasure. Then I hear you can hit LB + RB and it opens up another world of crashing bouncing goodness (I don’t think this works in the demo though).

    I notified the wife last night we will be procuring our copy soon. I’m thinking of doing it through the demo to support the shareware model Criterion seems to have brought back. Also to try to show them that some of us will do the right thing.

    Sadly, EA seems to have tied online play to an EA account which has no License Key info tied to it so, if you create a random account based on a free email address you can play the cracked Burnout or Mirror’s Edge online. Seems to be quite an amateurish mess up, imo. Unless you want freeloaders stealing your bandwidth after they stole your game too, tie the online portion of the game to a freaking code, EA! That’s the one place where DRM seems to work as it should, with server based authentication checks. The way it appears to be integrated with this game, with instant drop in-drop out playing and leaderboards continually being updated, it’s a huge component of play.

    Regardless of the DRM (or somehow lack thereof even online), great port. Great Game. I still miss some of the crashbreakers, but I can fire up 3 if I need to. Great work, Criterion. Thanks for the demo.

  40. Kakrafoon says:

    Hi there, Burnout crowd!
    How, how can I access the blasted MAIN MENU in that damn game? So far, the only solution I have come up with is to start the Game in “Party Mode”. From there, I can change key bindings, change graphics and sound and all that, but HOW THE HELL can I do that in single-player mode? The only options I’ve got there are “driver statistics”, and there is no “Options”-option in the Main Menu, either – just Burnout Shop, and Paradise City. Am I missing something?

  41. hydra9 says:

    @Karafoon: Press ESC, then use F1/F2 to flick through the various stats screens and menus. It took me a bit of getting used to, but it works. And you can use the mouse to select menu options.

    I agree with Markoff and others: This is an excellent port. Real care has been put into it. Also, it runs perfectly with everything maxed out on my (somewhat antiquated) system!

  42. mrrobsa says:

    Could any of you lovely people inform me if I can somehow use my stock 360 or PS3 pad with my PC to test out this mutha? Or would I need special wires? I think maybe I saw a PC specific 360 pad in HMV? Thanks for any tips anyone can offer.

  43. MarvintheParanoidAndroid says:

    Damn, much as I’d love to buy it from the in-game store and keep playing, I’ve ordered it from for £5 cheaper and now I have the painful wait for it to actually arrive. Definitely looking forward to trying this online as well.

  44. AndrewC says:

    link to

    Go to the above link, choose ‘controllers’, ‘xbox 360 controller for windows’ and then your operating system and download the drivers. Then all you’ll need to do is plug the controller into a USB port.
    It works and is wonderful.

  45. Gunrun says:

    There is actually a decent chance it will work by itself when you plug it in, without the need for drivers.

  46. AndrewC says:

    Then Mrrobsa has no excuse not to plug in and rock out. I really, really like being able to use my 360 on my PC.

    *cough* especially when i’m emulating Nintendo games *cough*

  47. Markoff Chaney says:

    I’m using a stock USB 360 controller and it works perfectly. If you have a wireless one, you need the receiver that plugs into the USB port, but you should be golden. I have no PS3 on PC experience.

  48. Irish Al says:


    Having played both GTA4 and this extensively on 360, I think it’s a mistake to compare them. This is a racing game pure and simple, and while it’s more sandbox-y than most racing games, it is nowhere near the level of GTAIV in those terms. Also while the city is nicely modelled it really is just a series of racetracks that look like a city, as opposed to the realistic modelling in GTAIV. And there are no peds, no drivers, in fact no biological entities visible at all – it’s a sunlit ghost down with robot cars driving round. This means there can be spectacular crashes without having to deal with bloodied ragdolls everywhere, thus opening up the under-18 audience. The only things that die in this game are cars.

    Having said that it’s still a fantastic console game although I’m not convinced it’ll do as well on PC.

  49. iainl says:

    This is a wonderful idea. I was hugely unimpressed to the point of being a bit angry at what they had done to my lovely Burnout series when the far more restricted 360 demo came out. I only bought it in the end because it was cheap, and loads of people convinced me I was being foolish.

    It is wonderful.

    But the only thing I’m missing on the 360 is the Party mode stuff, and who wants to play pass-the-joypad on the PC instead of in the lounge in front of the big telly? So I’ll grab the PC demo out of curiosity to how well my new computer fares up against my 360, but I can’t see me paying money for the full thing.

  50. Jim Rossignol says:

    The USB 360 controller for PC is pretty much a must-have addition to a gaming set up. I was actually thinking about posting to say: “guys, just get one of these, save yourself hassles.” It makes that much difference, particularly in games which are cross-platform.

    Burnout, like the recent Tomb Raider and a bunch of other games, immediately sense a 360 controller and automagically updates on screen prompts. It’s one of the gaming functionality things that MS got really right on PC.