Monday, April 18, 2011

Burnout Revenge

John Marine | 4/18/2011 01:24:00 AM |
Burnout Revenge was a game I rented a few years ago to play on my PlayStation 2. It is a continuation of the franchise started by Acclaim before Electronic Arts took over since "Burnout 3: Takedown." The Burnout games have been defined for the most part by all-out racing on city streets and highways. However, the series has LONG been defined by its intense crashes. This blog post is actually one that may lead to another blog post with a related subject.

For the record, this is the third Burnout game I've ever played. I played "Burnout 2: Point of Impact" and a demo of "Burnout 3: Takedown" before playing this title.

--- Burnout Revenge at a Glance ---

^ from: - Burnout Revenge's motto: "Forgiveness is for losers."

NOTE: It's been so long since playing this game, so a lot of my information is only based on memory for this 2005 game.

At its very core, Burnout Revenge shows that racing IS a contact sport. Six drivers share the track (including yourself). All of the racing takes place on city streets and highways with oncoming traffic. The goal- win at all costs.


The biggest part of any Burnout is to build up energy to get boost. Performing tasks like near-missing cars, making jumps, taking down rival racers, and other daredevil acts will build up boost. You can *BURNOUT* when your boost is full. This will make you blast at full speed through traffic. Obviously, you'll use boost to make your move to get back into races after trailing.


There are two ways to really assert yourself in racing. One such way is to land Takedowns. Simply force a racer into the wall or into an unsuspecting traffic to score a takedown. A bigger way to assert yourself is to use the Crashbreaker feature. Here is how it works: if you wreck with oncoming rivals, you can prevent rivals from passing you by using your Crashbreaker to make them pay. If timed correctly, the blast radius of your Crashbreaker explosion will be enough to prevent oncoming rivals from gaining any extra ground on you. Think of it as a method of damage control.


As I have mentioned earlier, the racing takes place (and has always taken place) on city streets and highways with oncoming traffic. One thing I can appreciate about the venues is that one of them is reminiscent of Houston- a track called Black Gold. All of the tracks are fictional, but they have various cues inspired by various locales. I recall one track with lots of Japanese influence as well as one greatly resembling Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The actual names of various tracks fail me except for the Black Gold track.


The cars in Burnout Revenge are all ficticious. There are a number of classes of racing for which each car is categorized under. I do know there are a number of classes for machines such as classic cars, tuned cars, muscle cars, and even racing cars. You can even unlock the Logitech F1 race car in this game.

Each car is featured from exciting angles in a dusty lot. You can unlock certain other cars by winning championships and clearing challenges.

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: Courtesy of the Internet Game Cars Database, you can take a look at all the cars in Burnout Revenge and what cars they most resemble by visting the IGCD entry on Burnout Revenge.


Here's what you get for music- mostly loud rock music. At one point, I even just muted the music during races. Music fact about me: I've NEVER liked Avril Lavigne, and having a song of hers in multiple languages is a crime against humanity. You do have a playlist to work with to pick whatever songs you want to have played.

I do like the Burnout theme song. I found out the version in this game is a 2002 reprise of the theme as heard in "Burnout Dominator." This is the menu music you will hear in Burnout Revenge:

There is your look at Burnout Revenge. Read on for a review of this title.

--- Burnout Revenge Overall Review ---
I am going to express my review as a racing fan and as a mostly sim racing-oriented fan. However, I do have a few critical bits to share.

Burnout Revenge is a great action-packed racing game for the most part. If you've never played a Burnout game before, get ready for a no-holds-barred racing experience that hardly any other racing game can muster. This game is certainly different if you feel bored or tired of simulation-type racing games. The environments are wonderful, whether these are dirty and dusty locales or beautiful scenic locales. The races and race types are enough to keep any racer on his/her toes for quite some time. Intensity is what this game is all about. If intensity is what you want, you're going to get all of that (and then some) in Burnout Revenge.

You can play this online multiplayer action. As you all may know, however, I do not consider myself an online gamer. So I'll leave this up to you to review.

--- Burnout Revenge Video Preview ---
Now that you've read about this game, it's time I show you what it has to offer. Here is a gameplay demo of Eliminator mode:

That was Burnout Revenge for the PS2 in Eliminator mode. There was another video I once saw for this game using the Logitech formula race car in a race. You can look around on YouTube for more videos on this game.

This concludes my review of "Burnout Revenge" for the most part. Visit the official page of the Burnout series at if you are a fan of the Burnout series. I'm not done yet with this post. I have a few critical issues to share with Burnout Revenge and the Burnout series. It also involves the glorifying of crashes in racing games and in racing in general. I invite you to read on to see my commentary piece. Click on "Read More" if you are not reading the full blog post and if you want to continue reading this post. Or, you may get Burnout Revenge on Amazon by clicking on the graphic below (it will appear again later in this blog post):

^ "Burnout Revenge." Available for: PlayStation 2, XBOX, and XBOX 360.

Of course, if you're reading the full post, disregard this entire section.

--- Final Thoughts and Critical Commentary ---
Now for a more critical opinion piece on Burnout Revenge, and I think I'll lose the respect of some people by posting these comments. Each heading proves individual points. There are headings to better state my points.

What Casual Racing Gamers Want?

It's a game like Burnout Revenge (and the Burnout series since Burnout 3) that shows what most casual racing game fans want. Nothing upsets me more as a racing game fan than when the focal point is on crashing. I know there are gamers that aren't good at racing games. It doesn't mean, however, that you continually have to play bumper cars just to make a racing game enjoyable. I know the casual racing game fan doesn't care about proper racing technique or trying to win races without being roughneck, but at some point, you have to realize that Burnout games offer intense and exciting racing, this is the kind of environment most real racing fans frown upon- encouraging dangerous and reckless racing. Classic Burnout games have had a Crash mode to them, in which you HAVE to crash your car or crash into cars to properly complete the task asked of you. But in the grand scheme of things, I feel guilty playing a racing game with a mode where you have to intentionally cause a massive pileup or rack up as many dollars in damages as possible. It's different for a racing game because it's something other than average racing, but it's just not the kind of guilty pleasure I want to partake in as a racing game fan.

Crashing = Racing?

Some people make it seem like all racing is about crashing. Racing is a contact sport, but as a racing fan, it just really takes away from the thrill of racing. Real racing is about speed and strategy. Racing does have its contact moments and moments where you may need to play dirty to win. However, Burnout games just seem like the only way to win is to wreck. I think the cars, while ficticious, are probably designed to look so ugly (there are some exceptions in certain Burnout games) so that you feel compelled to crash them. It's probably a great thing that no licensed cars are in Burnout games because what car company or racing constructor would want to see their machines get destroyed the way they are destroyed in Burnout games? That includes not only the cars players can race with, but with the non-playable cars (like the commuter traffic). Think about it from a certain fan's perspective: "a Honda Civic is in the game! OMG, I hate that car! I want to crash the hell out of that car in Burnout!!!" Now what real world manufacturer would want their licensed machines destroyed in a game like this?

The Burnout Experience.

I know this is an arcade-style racing game, but I've played several other enjoyable arcade racing games where the emphasis isn't on crashing. This game plays into the hands of people who'd rather crash cars than race with even a shred of decent racing ability. Here is the rap sheet on Burnout games: racing on city streets and public roads with commuter traffic encouraging reckless and dangerous driving. And all the while, crashing like crazy with annoying rock music playing in the background. Basically... a YouTube dream for racing gamers who care more about crashing than racing. I get sickened looking for YouTube videos of racing when a lot of them are about crashes. And to me, seeing a majority of crash videos makes it seem like all people care about is crashing cars. Yes, cars with damage is something different from most racing games, but as I always say- different doesn't always mean better. I thought the point of racing games and racing itself is to AVOID crashing. Does racing get to be too boring to some people where crashing is better than keeping a car between the white lines or between concrete walls?

A Concernable Element in Burnout Revenge.

One other thing I've taken issue with in Burnout Revenge is no disclaimer about respecting traffic rules and things like that. You're playing a game with action-packed racing on city streets with oncoming traffic, and there is no disclaimer about "do not attempt this in real life" or "when driving a real car, please obey all traffic rules and speed limits?" I find it to be a total disconnect. Think about this for a moment... you drift around corners in Ridge Racer games on city streets and highways. But because Ridge Racer games more focused on racing in actual racing environments with no commuter traffic to get in the way, the Ridge Racer series is much more fun. The Project Gotham Racing series is a great series that's all about the joy of going full speed and even doing some cool drifts on city streets and certain race tracks. But again- no encouraging of crashing or whatever. I just find it to be disappointing to have a game that features arcade-style racing on city streets and public roads with commuter traffic... and no sort of on-screen disclaimer about proper driving. Even "Need for Speed: Carbon" and certain other NFS games (since NFS: Underground) have disclaimers showing that this kind of racing is dangerous and shouldn't be attempted in real life.

Burnout Games as a Concept.

This is what I think Burnout games boil down to: "what if you could drive/race at full speed in the city or on other public roads while dodging traffic... or using the traffic to help take down opponents?" So imagine that- dealing with traffic while illegally racing on the streets. Only praiseworthy deal about Burnout games is that you're not out trying to be the hardest street racing gang or hardest street racer like in Need for Speed titles (since NFS: Underground). It's just a game, but there are many more connotations that really prevent me from regarding Burnout games higher than I'd like. Do you really have to race in a game by having unsuspecting commuter traffic pay the same price as other cars in a race? I guess EA would hate for the players to be the commuter traffic, so players can enjoy being in the fast cars and the ones capable of causing havoc at the expense of commuter traffic.

In Conclusion...

Sorry to sound like a concerned middle-aged parent in all of this, but this is why I am more into sim racing titles and other racing games that don't encourage crashing or running people over. I've praised Burnout Revenge for the amount of action it has, but part of me just thinks that people who would favor a Burnout game over any more realistic racing game (or more realistic arcade-type racing game) are those who couldn't care less about the joy of actual racing and what makes racing actually fun in games. Instead, this series is more like for people who love performance driving and racing while taking out their frustration on commuter traffic.

Go ahead and call me a hypocrite or say I'm full of crap. I know it's a just racing game. I know the actions would be too extreme to imitate in real life. The problem is just some of the extra vibes that this game series has in even remotely considerate of being considered better than most true racing games. When someone was asked back in 2004 or 2005 what his favorite racing game was, (it was a guy, so that's why I used "his"), I was expecting Gran Turismo 4 or Forza Motorsport... but he said "Burnout 3: Takedown." All of these points are just my own opinion as a racing game fan and as a racing fan. I apologize if I don't share the same thoughts as any mainstream person. It just means someone offered a different (and perhaps refreshing) perspective on this game and series as well as crash-focused, crash-glorifying views of racing.

All I'm saying is... think about these things while playing a game like Burnout Revenge.

That's just a commentary piece of mine on games like Burnout. It was a bonus section that had to be said from an individual like myself. Feel free to agree or disagree. This REALLY concludes my blog post on Burnout Revenge. Once again, here is the game on Amazon in case you missed earlier and want to buy this game online:

^ "Burnout Revenge." Available for: PlayStation 2, XBOX, and XBOX 360.

Thank you for reading! And always remember- obey all traffic laws and drive responsibly when not playing a Burnout game! :D Now show your boy some love if you enjoy my online work. Here are some ways how to show some love for me and my online work:

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John B. Marine said...

Hey man, I took the time to re-read your article again and I must say we're both a bunch of prudes :)

Burnout is meant to reach out to the mainstream "action" gamer--the one who plays God of War, Metal Gear Solid and can't be arsed into trying something a little more deep.  This is true.  I know that there are racing game aficionados who do like these games too.

I have to be kind here because I do think Electronic Arts/Criterion in coming up with new ideas for the racing genre that people want to play.  I personally don't like it, but I'm not stopping anyone.  I think they shouldn't cut out all wrecks from racing games because there needs to be that "slap on the wrist" for screwing up but this game NEEDS wrecks as part of the gameplay which is too much for me.

Anyway, I could go on but I've talked about it on my blog ad-nauseum.  Thanks for posting.

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