The StarSoldier

Videogames101's Game of the Year 2004


Artist touch: The cover has good placement of these wild cars and the stand out logo really help to explain what this title is all about. All the white space is the negative I see. Cover art rating: 9/10

Month it won: February 2005

(EA Games, 2004)

Special note: This is the first Burnout game to go online!

Introduction and Story:

2004 was a very amazing year for the video game industry, eh? Just take a look at all the heavy hitters like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Halo 2, both were selling so many copies that they were making more money then most of big budget Hollywood movies. We also can't forget about other huge games like Half Life 2 and Metroid Prime 2, both of these games are winning lots acclaim as well. Unfortunately with all these big titles stealing all the spot light some gamers may missed one of the most action packed video games to come out in a long time. Here is my pick for 2004 Game of the Year: Burnout 3 Takedown!

The Burnout franchise has been around for awhile and it has been getting a good cult following despite not getting a lot of hype. The reason gamers love it so much is because the game actually awards you for driving like a complete maniac. Burnout 3 is no different because if a rival computer controlled driver is getting on your nerves why not ram the guy into the guard rail as hard as you possibly can? I would love to do that to some of these morons on the road but in real life but it almost means I would scratch up my super pricey car and get arrested again. In the game though you don't have worry about any of that junk since it's just a game. Burn Out 2 was great but now that EA Games has the license they improved the graphics and sounds so it feels more like a Hollywood movie. They also added in a huge World Tour mode and some extra controls during a big crash then it is easy to see why this sequel brings the series to a whole new level.

Controls and Game Play:

Sure, you still have to win races to be successful in the World Tour mode and all that stuff like most lame racers but this game actually rewards you with speed boosts for doing crazy things like doing jumps, near misses, ramming into another cars, and even driving on the wrong side of the road. You can't do that in Gran Turismo! When Burnout 3 first starts out there isn't too many cars to pick from but at least they still control quite well. One big issue I have with tons of these newer driving games like highly disappointing Auto Modellista is that they begin with such horrible controls that it makes them unplayable.

Just like in Burnout 2 the Crash mode also makes it big return. In the Crash game you get the chance to create the biggest, craziest, and messiest multi-car pile up on a busy town-down intersection. It sounds unbelievable but it is true and I love it. The more costly the overall damage is, the more points you get! OK, must hasn't changed from the last game but now you have more control during a big hit so you can try to do even more carnage plus if that wasn't enough you can even blow yourself up when the time is right. Blowing yourself up after you already did your damage is like sick icing on this demented sugar rush cake.

Graphics and Sounds:

When you first play this game looks incredible but it really looks like standard ultra realistic 3D driving title you played a hundred times before, that is until you see some the heated action here. One thing you'll notice right away is that the car damage is highly realistic; sparks fly when there is a collision, metal debris shatters all over the place, and the explosions are incredible. There are no license cars in the game but do you really think a evil multinational company like Dodge or Nissan would be part of a game where you are encouraged to destroy your car even if you don't like them (for some reason I don't like Ford)?

Unfortunately when EA Games required the Burnout license they didn't add any of the big band names you would expect from one of the biggest games companies in the world. Your announcer is way too annoying and a lot of the Heavy Metal/Punk music is from no one I recognize here and some of songs sound down right terrible. To be fair a lot of these tracks are very fast paced and they fit this game well and the Xbox version will let you use your custom soundtracks if don't like any of the music here.

The Bottomline:

Although other big driving games like the Gran Turismo titles and even EA Games other big killer app Need for Speed series are getting the most attention and hype for your gaming dollar, these awesome games just can't compared with the awesome feeling of literally seeing your opponents car getting ripped to shreds after you crash into it. Burnout 3 not only improves on the two amazing prequels in both graphics and sounds but this game adds more control options during a crash so you feel like you are a bigger part of the action. Burnout 3 Takedown is just pure evil fun and it is excellent example what video games should be all about!



*Online ready

BURNOUT 3 Takedown
overall rating: 97/100

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen

graphics: 10/10
sound: 7/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 9/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

See the other Games of the Month