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. Bobsy says:

    I think I’d feel weird playing PC games with a pad. Like, a constant nagging voice suggesting I ought to be on a comfy sofa rather than a desk chair.

    I played TR: Legend and Underworld with mouse and keyboard pretty happily, too.

  2. Rei Onryou says:

    100MB/minute of play != well thought out demo. Still, if I keep hearing good things, then this may be the first racing game I’ll ever have bought (GTA games don’t count as racers).

    I think the question would still stand as to whether this is a better game on PC than console.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    I spend quite a lot of time with the 360 at the moment, but ultimately my attention span is too short to play games on a console. I need to suddenly alt-tab out to blog, email, or read about ghosts. I guess the habit of taking hundreds of screen grabs, or having a dozen chat panes open at any one time, doesn’t help either.

  4. Dinger says:

    I wonder about this:

    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.


    Anyone have any data on console controller usage for PC games? It’d certainly be informative to know the percentages of PC gamers who have and use:

    A. A console controller for PC games regularly.
    B. A game console.

    For something that’s “Indispensable”, I suspect that the majority of PC gamers — even hardcore gamers — don’t use console controllers for PC gaming. In fact, I’d be interested to see those values plotted against Valve’s hardware survey. Are there fewer systems with console controllers than with DX 10.1 cards?

    I mean seriously, reviewers have to play these things, as do software developers, so of course they’ll hook up a controller to do QA, even with embarassingly poor results. But many PC gamers, I suspect, just don’t buy games that are optimised for console controllers.

    PCs are all about wonderful Human Interface Devices, and console controllers are part of that mix. But a “multiplatform game” for which the controller designed for another platform is indispensable isn’t a multiplatform game, it’s a console port.

  5. Markoff Chaney says:

    I’m a born and bred KBD/Mouse guy, but, for some things a pad (or 2 little thumb sticks) just feels much better. Usually, for me, it’s any 3rd person game with a tweakable camera. Tomb Raider, Prince o Persia, Psychonauts and now Burnout. That, and when I’m sitting on the couch next to my wife, it’s easier to snuggle, even if it greatly limits my game selection. I had to spend money on that DVI -> HDMI cable for some reason and, for all intents and purposes, my PC can act like a console (but only if I want it to!). The controller really does work better on some gaming platforms.

    The biggest issue I have with the 360 controller is that some older games don’t work properly. I think it’s some funky DXInput thingy. Cue Xpadder for that and I even get to do my tweaking metagame. :) That and don’t try to use the D Pad for emulation. Grab an old Gravis USB or a Saturn USB for that.

  6. Drool says:

    This game is fantastic, and it looks beautiful at 1680×1050, but there are two glaring mistakes that need to be patched.

    First, there’s no text chat. This is a pretty big oversight that shows Criterion hasn’t really done PC games. Not every PC gamer has a mic, and even if we do, we don’t always want to use it. Also apparently there’s no push to talk functionality I had to mute several people who were piping their game through their headset last night.

    The second thing they left out is custom soundtracks. I know both of the previous versions had this functionality. I can’t understand why they would remove it for the PC version. I already have a hard drive full of music ready to go. This is forgivable until they patch the game since the default music is pretty good.

    Of course maybe you can do both of these things and I just didn’t find the proper menu options, but I’m pretty sure I looked everywhere.

  7. jalf says:

    Ooo, demo was fun. Let us know when this becomes available in a DRM-free version, on Steam or elsewhere. :)

  8. Drool says:


    My wired 360 controller has become indispensable since I bought it. It’s actually broadened my PC gaming horizons. Before I would just avoid any kind of platformer or driving game because lets face it digital controls just don’t feel as good for those types of games.

    If I just had a mouse/keyboard I probably would have avoided Burnout altogether. And that’s not the fault of the game or the designer, but the nature of playing a driving game with a keyboard.

  9. Flappybat says:

    Two cars, no bikes, three races… that’s kind of rubbish. Thirty minutes of driving time but only fifthteen minutes of content. You can go online though there’s not a ton of point.

    Graphics feel suprisingly out of date too. No shadows just make everything feel weird. Very flat lighting.

  10. CAW! says:


  11. Chris R says:


    A: I would never use a controller for the PC. Reason: I love the mouse too much to give it up for a contoller. Why not just play the game on a console if I’m going to use a controller?

    I play mostly shooters and RTS’ however, so that’s why I can’t stand controllers. The only “racing” I do is in GTA4 on the PC, and I think the keyboard does just fine for driving. Also, I really don’t like platforming types of games. So that’s another strike against controllers.

    B: I have a 360 (which I regret buying), and only one game for it: GTA4 for 360. I haven’t touched the 360 since last June (after I finished GTA4).

    I feel hampered and gimped by playing on a console… NO MOUSE, no mods, can’t alt-tab, no Ventrilo or Teamspeak, no keyboard to quickly type messages, etc.

    Also, my deskchair is just as comfy as a sofa… I spent $300+ on a really nice plush leather chair, so I have no trouble sitting in front of my PC for hours on end.

    If I was really into driving games, I’d probably go for a wheel over a controller…

  12. espy says:

    This is driving me mad, tbh. So far it’s been an experience in how not to make a pc game for me. First, it installs the EA downloader. Then it attempts to install plugins that are most definitely there. Then I have to regsiter online, because there apparently is no non-online way to test the game. The account creation is annoying, everything requires a ludicrous amount of clicking and pressing enter, plus tabbing doesn’t work. Then I continue, and it suddenly starts a browser and shows me a web page. The page says it is only viewable with IE7. Really? I mean, really? Come on. Then there is no discernable main menu where I can set stuff up, the game launches directly into a lengthy intro movie. An unskippable intro movie. You must be joking. Then it crashes more thoroughly than anything else I’ve ever run on this pc and does a hard reset. Yay.

    Second try.

    Reboot, first thing I see is EA Downloader telling me to install the flash plugin. I have an installed flash plugin. I’M A BLOODY FLASH DEVELOPER. Click that away. Nice that this now autostarts without ever asking me whether I want that. Start the game again, go online again, watch the bloody intro movie all over again, finally get to play. Controls are weird. You can steer with the arrow keys but not accelerate or brake. Clever. I try to change that, but there is no discernible main menu to be found. I decide to go on regardless, drive around for another 8 minutes, actually having some fun after 15 Minutes of aggrevation, only for the game to hang up so severly that I have to disconnect the mains and remove the battery to reset my notebook.

    Come on.

    And this is a new, fairly good notebook that plays Fallout 3 and Stalker and everything on decent settings. I’m beginning to understand what people like about consoles.

  13. Markoff Chaney says:

    Apologies espy, my experience has been good, albeit different.

    I ordered off the demo and just put the authorization info into the demo. It unlocked properly and I’ve been on the streets ever since, thinking no one else is enjoying Showtime mode as much as I am. I didn’t muck about with the EA downloader/manager thing. I never do trust those middlemen.

    For menus, hit Esc, then Use F1 and F2 to navigate through further menus. You should be able to modify your key presses from there. I hope your experience improves.

  14. espy says:

    Actually, half of it did. The actual driving works great, but the game really likes crashing in the menu screens :( I never got far enough to change the keys, so I just avoid the menus as far as possible.

  15. jalf says:

    I just clicked finish instead of next when it wanted to install the EA downloader. Then it skipped it, and I got to launch the game. The account creation was a pain, yes, but after that, I had zero problems. Well, except I couldn’t figure out how to quit the demo… Any tips? :D

  16. espy says:

    It does all the quitting by itself :D

  17. Heliocentric says:

    So if i buy a copy off ea’s shitservicecrap all i need is my key and i need never use their service again.

    and obviously. Not needing the disc is nice if i get retail. Criterion know how to endear themselves to the user base. I’ve tried to download the demo a few time but the server slowed to a halt last time.

    Might have to find the torrent to download it.

    I hope this model serves them well.

  18. Drool says:


    To quit go to the menu by hitting ESC on your keyboard or start on your controller. Then use the F1/F2 keys, your mouse, or the bumpers on your controller to navigate between menus. At the bottom of one menu is a “Save & Quit” option.

    It isn’t a hard interface to navigate, but it is different than your standard PC game UI. It’s a UI built for a controller modded to mouse and keyboard, but you can still click all the buttons if you want.

  19. easyE says:

    i played the demo, defiantly gonna buy it.

  20. shinygerbil says:

    That’s right, show your defiance!

    In other news..The only thing wrong from my experience is the lack of a custom soundtrack. As has been mentioned, it is fairly forgivable right now as the music is not too terrible, but still, it’s a pretty glaring oversight. Especially as they have already had to patch the PS3 version in the past to include this feature.

  21. Devan says:

    Just bought the box (yay employee discount) and will get a gamepad later today. Looking forward to some crashing and burning tonight :)

  22. KruddMan says:

    Hmm. I’m looking at the digital download on the EA website and apparently you can only download the thing once? Unless you pay an extra 6 bucks for some extended download service. And even then it only lasts for two years?

    Anyone know anything about this? I’m not going to buy this (online at least) if it’s going to disappear.

  23. rocketman71 says:

    Interface is stupid. Doesn’t use most PADs. And NO LAN!?!?!?!? (either that or they hid it really well). How stupid is that?.

    Went from a probable buy to an instant no buy after that.

  24. Gunrun says:

    Kruddman it lets you download it as many times as you want within 6 months, but you can still back it up somewhere else. Plus the demo is the full game anyway, so all you need to do is note down your CD key, and then download the demo and activate it that way in the future.

  25. bansama says:

    Hmm. I’m looking at the digital download on the EA website and apparently you can only download the thing once? Unless you pay an extra 6 bucks for some extended download service. And even then it only lasts for two years?

    EA still pull that stunt? Thankfully the EA store in Japan gives you the 6 month extended service free of charge. It’s still a horrible client though and I won’t be using it. Of course, with this game, we don’t even need to as you can install the full game with the demo installer =) I have the added bonus that EA Japan actually sell the English version of the game for $30. And at a cheap price like that, I’m sold.

    In comparison, they sell the English version of Undercover for $80. Just to give you an idea of the usual domestic prices for games here.

  26. Simon Jones says:

    Runs nice and slickly, although my PS2 gamepad doesn’t seem to be recognised at all, which is annoying.

    It’s as fun as ever, but I’m slightly surprised by the visuals. Either the PC version has been uglified, I’ve got it set up completely wrong, or the game has dated much more than I expected since I played it on the PS3 a year ago.

  27. Po0py says:

    I second Jims recommendation of the 360 controller for your pc. They just work. I have the wireless dongle and use a genuine 360 controller and not one of those wired games for windows ones. Still works. Even on Vista 64bit.

  28. kuddles says:

    I was too impatient to see if Steam would eventually get it, so I bought it off Direct2Drive.

    I must say I’m highly impressed, they’ve done a hell of a job optimizing this thing for the PC. I can run it with everything on high and 8xAA. Also, I was running FRAPS with it and the game seems to have it’s own vsync/triple buffering built in, since it ran smooth as butter with no screen tearing.

    As for the game, I’m liking it a lot. It’s probably the first arcade racer I’ve actually gotten into in a long time.

    I hope Criterion/EA gets rewarded for this effort. I have a friend who works in marketing for a game publisher who told me that the reason there’s so many bad ports of console-to-PC games is because the cost of doing a good port is much higher and yet the increase in sales is negligible, so making a decent PC port is actually seen as a bad business decision. It’ll make me sad if he’s right.

  29. unclelou says:


    I realise I am too late, but you don’t need to make an account to play offline. I’ve played it for a couple of hours before I could be bothered to try it online.

  30. The_B says:

    To be fair – the only difference between a wired XBox 360 controller and a Wired 360 controller ‘for Windows’ is the packaging.

  31. Y3k-Bug says:

    I own a 360 controller for my PC games, and I don’t even own a game console.

    Also, does the wireless 360 controller work for PC as well?

  32. bansama says:

    I hope Criterion/EA gets rewarded for this effort.

    I really want to buy this. As I said above, I’m sold on the game, sadly though, the EA store has a some unspecified Server Error which appears to only affect this game — preventing me from purchasing it. Blah. I hope they fix that next week.

  33. Argyle Warrior says:

    Anyone having a problem with the download? I keep on getting a 4kb Zip file that won’t open by my multitude of unzipping programs.

  34. Phil H says:

    @Y3K-Bug – You’ll need to get the wireless adapter(~$20), but once you’ve got that, you’re golden.

    I’d absolutely love to pick up Paradise on the PC… only I’ve already got it on the PS3 and can’t justify buying it at full price again. Doesn’t mean I won’t in the future, but I’ll wait until I can (legitimately) find it on the cheap, preferably on Steam.

    The new Party Pack’s visual refresh seems to have made things a lot clearer visually for me as I’ve been tearing through some spots that I’d been having trouble with before, but that might all be in my head.

  35. Garrett says:

    @Argyle Warrior: it sounds like you’re downloading an error page of some sort; try opening it in Notepad or changing the extension to .html to see what it says. This is probably caused by your browser not retaining the required referrer information. For some sites you will need to enable cookies before files can be properly downloaded.

    Having said that, for files this massive I’d strongly suggest using a download manager. I use GetRight, but it isn’t free (the unregistered version uses nag screens like WinRAR etc., although not nearly as frequently); FlashGet is a good free alternative. Download managers will never drop the file before the download is complete (which browsers will). In the case of GetRight if you download a web page rather than the expected file you’ll be given the option of opening it to see what’s wrong. The default configuration of both GetRight and FlashGet should be able to correctly pick up referrer information from your browser, although you may still need cookies enabled for some sites.

  36. 00 Buck says:

    I bought a Saitek P2500 Rumble game pad for my PC, they make any kind of controller you could ever want for PC. And for the guy who said it just didn’t feel right using his XBox360’s controller with his computer. What’s the difference? Same fkin thing! XBox360 is a computer. Your just too set in your ways and are not used to a change. Move your computer in front of your couch then, cause it sounds like an environmental problem.