Criterion aims for "real" crash action

Criterion believes gamers have become "desensitized" to the game's endless impact action, and are going "back to square one" with Burnout 5 in order to push the next-gen reinvention of the blistering racer "beyond anything [Criterion] has ever done," according to director of design, Alex Ward.

"The first crash on PS3 has got to go way beyond everything you've ever seen," Ward told Newsweek recently, stressing that making us believe in the reality of each crash is vital. "If you don't believe the crash is real, then it's not going to frighten you," Ward explained.

Ward had further words to explain Criterion's ambition with the new installment in the Burnout series, saying that the developer's goal "is to make [Burnout] look like a year two PS3 game in year one," suggesting that Burnout 5 will put even Xbox 360's newer games to shame.

Above: Criterion is looking to top their Burnout Revenge (shown here on the Xbox 360)crash efforts in Burnout 5.

At the same time, Burnout 5 is still some way from being unveiled to a baying public. Ward explains that Criterion has "just got traffic in the game" and that "it's still quite early" in terms of the game's development.

Finally, when quizzed about Burnout 5's open-world setting, Ward replied: "but we could have done an open world on Burnout 2. It's not 'cause we didn't know how to do it." For him, and for Criterion, the focus is not on Burnout's new setting, but on making the crash scenes utterly visceral and believable.

December 14, 2006

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.