Danger Zone is a spiritual successor to Burnout 3’s Crash Mode

A couple of Criterion founders abandoned the EA owned studio back in 2014 to go their own way, forming the unenigmatically named Three Fields Entertainment. So far they’ve released the wonky Dangerous Golf and the entirely unnoticed Lethal VR. But no one wanted those. What people want from anyone with the word “Criterion” in their resume is some more Burnout. And ideally, some more Burnout 3: Takedown. Hey, guess what Three Fields just announced is coming out next month? And they’re calling it Danger Zone [official site].

Wow, these people are not good at names.

Meanwhile, ask me for one of my favourite gaming memories. Go on…

“John, tell us one of your favourite gaming memories!”

Oh, since you asked. Burnout 3’s Crash Mode. I’ve never once played it, but I’ve watched so very, very much of it. Back a million years ago I once lived with Gamer Network’s Jon Hicks, and so many splendid evenings were whiled away lying on the couch watching the beanbag-based Jonty chock up idiotic scores as he smashed cars into one another in the PS2 game’s masterful mode. The aim was to drive your car into a busy junction and cause the most outlandish car crashes imaginable. It was gloriously messy, explodey and silly, and kept me ridiculously entertained even without picking up a controller. So I’m rather delighted that two of the people responsible are aiming to recreate that aspect of the game for modern machines.

This is Fiona Sperry and Alex Ward, who respectively were head of the company and director of design at the time Burnout 3 was released, back in 2004. They were GM and creative director for Burnout Paradise too. These two are car-smashing royalty, so while the unfinished feel of Dangerous Golf isn’t an inspiring milestone, Danger Zone (oh God that name) is far more in their wheelhouse.

It promises all the bits and bobs that made BO3’s version so compelling, with bonuses to pick up, lorries to blow up, and high scores to rack up. And that’s it, it’s worth noting – there isn’t a larger game surrounding it here, it’s purely a smash and grab. Extra good news is they built it on PC, then reworked it for PS4, so we’re not getting the port for once.

The £10 price and incredibly short time from announcement to release (Eurogamer report that Three Fields started it in December) does suggest to me this isn’t going to be a massive game. They say it’ll feature 20 different “scenarios” in which the crash-testing excuse for car crashing will take place, but I wonder if this might prove a little light. I do hope not.

Built in Unreal, the shots look very pretty. Here’s hoping they can recapture the same daft fun. We’ll find out at some point next month. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to think of some even more bland, forgettable titles they could have chosen for such a bright, explosive game, to see if it’s even possible:

“Car Drive”
“Accident Sim”
“Beige Paint”

No, I think they win with “Danger Zone”.

21 Comments

  1. ColonelFlanders says:

    Driiive me tooo the, DANGAHZONE!

  2. Diziet Sma says:

    Dangerous Golf was dumb, but for me the price point was right and I got my monies worth of enjoyment out of it even if part of my brain was going “I can’t believe I’m playing this, why am I smashing up a kitchen with a burning golf ball?”. I’ll be up for taking a punt on this, Crash Mode was pretty much what I wanted from Dangerous Golf anyway.

    For anyone reading this absolutely wanting crash mode style shenanigans, Dangerous Golf doesn’t provide them.

  3. N'Al says:

    Awesome name.

  4. Curg says:

    Lana, lana, lana, lana LANNNNNAAAAAAA!!

  5. Guvornator says:

    Was the Crash Junction mode in BO:3 different to the one in 2? Because that was the first one with the Crash Junction in. A lot of fun in 8 player mode, dropping this for that toss that was in Paradise was a serious mistake.

    • ulix says:

      If I remember correctly only Burnout 2 had a crash mode without power-ups, which makes it the best in my opinion.

      When you have a 4x score-multiplier at a specific point on the track, of course you try to get it.

      These power-ups suggest an ideal line through a junction, which is bad. You should be free to choose how to tackle a junction.

      So I REALLY hope they do not put in upgrades here. Or at least make them optional.

  6. LaundroMat says:

    I’d buy it only to support them in the hope they’ll one day be able to go back to the spiritual (ie non-EA) roots of the BurnOut franchise (1 and especially 2).

  7. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    would you call it Zone of Danger?

  8. Pich says:

    I just want a new Burnout, 3 and Paradise are some of my favourite games.

  9. macropickle says:

    If they did this before Dangerous Golf I would of been excited. Sadly I will have to wait and see. With Dangerous Golf, they talked a lot about capturing what was fun from crash mode, and then completley failed to do that. Makes me hesitant that they can really do it again.

    There is also part of me that thinks crash mode was great in a that time and place, and playing alone as an adult will kind of suck.

    Negativity aside, I hope it works!

  10. battles_atlas says:

    Why isn’t someone doing Crash Mode with more money? It was awesome back then, throwing in proper physics, great scale and shiny GFX can only make it better.

  11. Daymare says:

    I was gone for all those days
    But I was not all alone
    I made friends with a lot of people
    In the danger zone.

  12. Premium User Badge

    zlionsfan says:

    This sounds a bit like what they did with Burnout Crash, only (presumably) returning to the traditional Burnout camera angles instead of the top-down view in Crash. (It’s been a while since I played Crash; what I think I remember of it is that it was kind of frustrating.)

  13. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Hey maybe when some people hear Criterion they want a new Black. It could happen. They could be out there somewhere.

    This game just seems backwards to me. The crash mode in Burnout 3 was good because there were so many puzzles to complete and they were able to accomplish that by using the tracks from the racing part of the game. This just seems like it will be too limiting. The best puzzles were always the ones where you tried out different methods. Do I slam a big expensive bus and try blocking traffic that way or do I take a speedy car and try going for precision? I can’t see them doing that in 20 levels.

    I’d also like to see either a remaster or a spiritual successor to the first Burnout. That one based its car crashes off the movie Ronin so you always had these massive pileups. When you were in first place and you inevitably crashed the people behind you had the challenge of navigating the mess you made. I liked the 3rd one but the crashes just become salt on the wound because it could be so hard to catch up again if you get behind the pack. The first also had a crash replay mode after you finished a race which was almost as good as the crash mode and sorely missed in the later games.

    Burnout 2 I can’t remember at all.

  14. Outsour says:

    *Archer Reference*