In the last few years, we’ve seen the number of remaster titles go through the roof, with games being remade all too soon after the original release. In some instances, like the Bioshock trilogy, the game was created just before technology could really do it justice, so a polished version really shows up a difference. This isn’t one of those occasions, as we should have come to expect from EA, as Burnout Paradise was a game nobody really wanted remastered and didn’t really gain anything from it either. Despite it being 10 years, there seems to be very few improvements. If anything, I’m just more surprised that they didn’t find a way to include loot boxes. This feels like it is a complete cash grab, though, and one that should only be picked up if you’ve never played Paradise before.
For those of you that haven’t, Burnout Paradise is an open city playground, with the titular Paradise City full to the brim of races and events for you to partake in, from Stunt Runs, to races to challenges taking down as many opponents as possible in a time limit. The gameplay is simple and fun and while not keeping some of the more traditional Burnout modes such as Crash Party, it’s still got enough of the core gameplay that it’s extremely satisfying and frustrating in equal measure. In the years since it’s first release, though, there have been games that show you exactly what Paradise does wrong and these issues just seem to be amplified by time. The fact there isn’t a way to restart or retry a race or event other than driving back to starting point is frustrating. More than once I’d find myself pipped at the post, or taken down one too many times, to find that I was just too far from the start point to be bothered finding my way back. This is made more frustrating by the lack of a waypoint system. You’d literally need to find your way back to the same event to give it another shot. Also lacking is any sort of fast travel system. The map is big enough that even the 8 “compass points” that act as the finishing lines would be sufficient enough, much like in Forza Horizon when you can fast travel to the festivals.
That’s not to say it’s an inherently bad game, by any means. On the contrary, Burnout Paradise is an adrenaline rush of a game that we’ve only seen the likes of a few times since. It’s a flawed classic, one of which I’d have liked tweaked just a little more than graphically, because quite honestly, I’m not sure I really remember Paradise looking much worse than this in the first place. It’s still bright and exciting, with the upgrade to 4k on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro probably not doing as much as EA maybe hope that is does. Truth be told, this is only really worth it for the gameplay rather than the enhanced graphics. A big part of me enjoyed blasting around Paradise City again regardless of how it looked and while the price tag may be quite high, you do get all of the eventual DLC included here and best of all, no loot crate system to have to go through to get extra cars.
With Burnout Paradise probably meriting a 7/10 now as a game, the remaster is highly unnecessary and the graphical update doesn’t really add anything to the experience. If you’ve never played this before then you’ve missed out, but if you have, you’ll know already if it’s worth the price of admission. This drags it down a little bit as a 2018 release.