Some people just want to see the world burn - fans of the Burnout series's Crash Mode especially. Released today, Danger Zone 2 by ex-Criterion devs Three Fields Entertainment looks to recapture some of those mindlessly destructive thrills. From the looks of the new gameplay footage below it's an improvement over the original (which constrained the action to bland, boxy concrete crash testing facilities), but I still remain unconvinced.
While this bit of footage does look far more accurate to the Burnout crashing experience, complete with the ability to punt slow traffic out of the way as if it were made of cardboard and polystyrene, I can't help but feel that there's something missing. The powerups are in, the crashbreaker (letting you re-explode your car for extended property damage) is there, but I'm still not quite sold.
And some slightly older footage featuring a big, messy, repeatedly exploding crash:
For reference, let's take a peek at what Burnout 3's Crash Mode looked like, credit to YouTuber ChemEngPaul, who has assembled an entire gallery of high-scoring Burnout 3 crashes:
I feel a lot of the difference is in the camerawork. The camera in Burnout was a fickle creature, but it did well keeping track of whatever was the latest vehicle demolished by the chain of explosions you set in motion. Even if the angles used were impractical, they felt stylish - like having your own tiny Michael Bay, directing your latest incomprehensible tangle of steel and fire. While I was never the biggest fan of Crash Mode, I'm interested in hearing what more veteran car-wreckers think is the difference.
Danger Zone 2 is out on Steam for £15.49/16.79€/$20, although I balk at the idea of paying over £15 for what is effectively a remake of a bonus mode from a much older driving game.