Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island - review

After countless game-enhancing updates, is the premium content worth it?

Really like jumps and shortcuts? Always pushing the environment to squeeze out a new stunt? Then you’ll be in your element here. Armed with the virtually indestructible and super-speedy Carson Dust Storm buggy from the off, Big Surf is rammed with more jumps, stunts, hidden areas, billboards to collect and tunnels to explore than the most trick-jammed corner of Paradise City.

In fact, the very moment the game kicks off and you drive across Paradise Keys bridge (the umbilical cord that connects BSI to Paradise City) you’ll see a massive triple jump high up in its superstructure, andyour first thoughts will be: ‘I’ve gotta try that!’ You will, and you’ll be whooping like a beered-up trucker at the rodeo when you nail it.

Big Surf's action is split into five preposterously jam-packed regions – Paradise Keys, North Beach, Midtown, South Coast and Perren’s Point. If you don’t fancy sticking to the ATV buggy, there are nine island cars to find (including the Hunter Olympus Governor – tricked out with a stunt-boost system), 15 events (including all new Island tours) to own, a slew of roads to rule, 15 mega jumps and 45 billboards to nail plus 10 new freeburn challenges. That’ll keep you busy.

Checkpoint races give you plenty opportunity to go off-piste to try aerial shortcuts, while it’ll take a Herculean effort not to detour and smash through each new billboard you pass on route to the finish line. You can’t hang a right without spying a shortcut begging to be tried out or a ramp ready to be exploited for more mid-air madness. Our preferred warm-up routine is to head straight to the construction yard and see how many hoops we can jump in five minutes.

The best Paradise DLC yet? Pretty much. BSI unleashes a concentrated Burnout hit with more of the ‘stunt and explore’ stuff you know and love from the Airfield, Quarry and Beach regions of Paradise City in a tricked-out sandbox the size of Downtown. You’ll still want to bash DJ Atomica about the head with his ’board, but you can’t have everything.

Big Surf ticks all the right boxes and pushes your Burnout buttons longer and harder with a ton of jaw-dropping stuntage and challenges over a fresh-feeling, yet familiar selection of tracks, with subtle surround effects and Adam & The Ants’ Stand and Deliver on the soundtrack. Your money or your life? Both, surely.

Jul 23, 2009

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