So far, our favorite parts are the Takedown races, which are consistently fun and look better than ever. Having a pickup truck or van to use makes them even spectacular as your behemoth ploughs into smaller, more vulnerable motors. Excellent stuff! This is amplified by the simply amazing damage model in Paradise. With enough speed, your car will crumple like an empty bag of chips, sending the hood back into the cabin, and sending wheels and debris scattering across the road.
To emphasize the feeling of just you and the road, Criterion have been keen to employ racing without interruptions. Aside from the car selection screens or a brief screen showing you your race route (commentated by DJ Atomica, last heard in SSX 3), you’ll never leave your vehicle. Simply drive up to a designated set of traffic lights, hit both shoulder buttons and go. At the end of the race, just burn off again in the search of more action. If this is the first tarmac we hit in 2008, then it’s going to be the start of an excellent year… We can’t wait to see more of it - watch out for our review next month.