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Burnout Revenge review

Faster, shinier, smashier... the latest Burnout's better than ever

Picture the scene: Joel's staring at the TV screen, not blinking. Dave enters and speaks: "What's that, Joel?" "It's... SMASH! the fourth... BOSH! Burnout game."

Dave: "It looks a lot like the last one."

Joel: "Well... Criterion have obviously WALLOP! realised that everybody liked smashing things up, so they've EEEOW! made it even more violent by letting you smash other cars off the road by ramming into the back of them."

Burnout Revenge is all about the crashes. If you've played previous versions, you'll be used to fast-twitching your way through the traffic, and deliberately smashing into cars instead of avoiding them takes a bit of getting used to.

Track design is a pleasing blend of new areas and remixes of Burnout 3's cities, with a few surprises. Stick some spitefully intelligent opponents into the mix and things get really nasty.

The computer seems to cheat a bit, though, ensuring that you can never build up a really commanding lead. Of course, it's a bit tricky to keep track, because everything's hurtling past at frightening speed.

Burnout 3 was easily the fastest game on Xbox and PS2, and Revenge feels even faster.

The most exciting mode is the revamped Eliminator, where the rear car's disqualified every 30 seconds (instead of every lap), prompting desperate struggles at the back of the pack and moments of joy when you overtake with one second to go.

There's little chance to get bored, too. Even a Bronze unlocks new stuff, but more obscure cars require specific goals such as finishing a race unscathed or getting signature takedowns.

Any problems? The menus make it tricky to instantly restart a race, and it's still a bit easy to scrape your way around corners instead of drifting properly. But apart from that, Burnout's virtually flawless.

Criterion has even sorted out niggles such as the extensive loading times on last year's Crash Junctions, and fixed the online mode.

And anyway, the smash-o-centric gameplay doesn't detract from the zen-like pleasure of pulling a flawless burning lap in the Nixon Special.

The stupid dance remixes of Bravery tunes get drowned out by the screech of metal when 20 cars plough into each other. Burnout's utterly, utterly brilliant.

More Info

GenreRacing
DescriptionThe power of the Xbox 360 is put to brilliant, vicious use in Burnout Revenge, and it's one of the most thrilling racing games we've played.
Franchise nameBurnout
UK franchise nameBurnout
PlatformXbox 360, PS2, Xbox
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
Release date7 March 2006 (US), 1 March 2006 (UK)