Burnout Crash! review

Not what you expected, but maybe better for it

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That said, we have to admit that Crash's single-player is pretty limited. Levels have three modes, each with their own set of objectives to complete. Most of the objectives are pretty similar (Think “Get a score of 30,000,000,” etc), although – once again – there's a surprising amount of variety between the modes. Rush Hour, for instance, gives you 90 seconds to revel in gleeful carnage, while Pile Up requires a much more measured approach. Road Trip, on the other hand, is basically Peggle – right down to the gloriously bombastic ending backed up by classical music. Even so, we were able to unlock every area and car within about four hours. Really though, that's not such a terrible thing. Given the general structure of the game, we imagine anything longer would have rapidly worn out its welcome.

Above: As with everything else in Crash, giant smokescreens are thwarted by only one tool: explosions

Fortunately, Criterion's brought back Autolog after its pioneering debut in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and that adds a bit to Crash's long-term appeal. This time around, it allows you to directly challenge friends to turn-based score battles. So you enact your vision of the Carpocalypse at your leisure, and then your friend does the same. Afterward, Autolog records win-loss records and alerts you when any of your high scores have been hammered down to – gasp – second place. It also recommends new lambs for your score-based slaughter and hands out glossy trophies for your troubles. Kinect, meanwhile, opens up a team-based party mode that's standard fare for these things (Make hadouken motions, flail like a lunatic, squat, and generally look silly to activate Crashbreaker), but it's still a goofy good time if you've got a few friends and little-to-no shame on hand.

Beyond that, Crash's inherent flaws are relatively small, but – taken together – they're still nits worth picking. For one, there's a bit of a trial-and-error element to Road Trip, and – while it rarely brings the fun to a screeching halt – it can be frustrating to restart repeatedly because you didn't ricochete a few initial cars just right. That issue, meanwhile, is compounded by the fact that steering's floatier than a flotilla of rootbeer float-themed parade floats – making normally simple driving maneuvers even clumsier than that simile.

All told, though, Burnout Crash is quite a pleasant surprise. It's short, sweet, and compulsively addictive while it lasts. Better still, if you're all about chasing high scores and roundhouse-kicking your friends off the winner's pedestal, you can ring quite a bit of value from this one. No, this isn't the old-school Burnout crash mode you remember, but we doubt it's one you'll soon forget.

Sep 20, 2011

More info

Platform"PS3","Xbox 360","PC"
US censor rating"Everyone 10+","Everyone 10+",""
UK censor rating"","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)