Burnout 3: Takedown rewrites the rules of the road with its aggressive racing action. Get behind the wheel and experience real high-speed action.
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Use your car as a weapon and battle your way to the front of the pack — by taking down rivals and instigating spectacular crashes.
Fast-forward to September 2004. Burnout 3 is now here, and I am now sending them my sincerest apologies. I now invite them to send me a very nasty “We told you so!” response, because they’ve managed to not only prove me to be completely and utterly foolish for doubting them, they’ve made what is hands-down the best arcade racing game we’re likely to play.
- Drive more than 70 cars from 12 different classes — from European exotics to American muscle cars, mid-size sports sedans, sports cars, compacts, buses, even semi trucks
- Experience new racing conditions and environments, as you race on 40 different tracks across 3 continents
- Spectacular crash technology recreates high speed crashes with extreme detail — you’ll even be rewarded for creating the most massive pileups
- Use your car as a weapon and take out rivals, controlling the car even after crashing
- Online action in seven different modes, with up to 6 participants — racing through oncoming traffic in Crash Mode, Single Race, Road Rage and more
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Criterion has managed to tap into some kind of suicidal primal instinct all of us seem to have – the urge to fly through populated streets at near the speed of sound in a sleek automobile (or firetruck), careening headlong into anyone and anything in our path. Better yet, Burnout 3: Takedown now adds the lovely feature of a dream made virtual reality: smashing into pieces that no-good idiot who dared to try and tap you into the guardrail. We’ve all had those fantasies, right? Now you can live em in the comfort (and safety!) of your own living room.
For those of you who are skeptical, one thing should be made clear up front: Burnout 3 is very different from the first two games in the series. You’ll still race through beautifully rendered courses at brain-searing speeds, missing traffic by millimeters. But even though B3 now focuses on making your race opponents wreck in the most ghastly ways possible, the intensity and rush is still here…no, it’s actually been ratcheted up to a realm of insanity no racer has ever attained. It’s different, but still more than worthy of attention.
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One thing Burnout vets will appreciate is the single-player mode has been greatly expanded. There are a huge number of race events – close to two hundred, ranging from single races to burning laps to eliminations to crash junctions to….well, it doesn’t get old. Add a ridiculous number of unlockables (including fake headlines, signature Takedowns, forty tracks, seventy cars, etc etc) and suffice to say you could finish the first two Burnout games twice each before seeing all B3 has to offer. You still progress by earning medals – only getting golds will unlock everything – but it’s no longer just about finishing first. Peforming Takedowns is essential, and well-worth it, as the game lovingly displays the mechanical carnage you create, but it’s not always easy. The AI is wicked this time round, and will even gain grudges for you……and go after you. If you do fall victim, you can always choose to enable the Aftertouch, a brilliant feature that allows you to control your wrecked car, and steer it into the path of your opponents. Revenge has never been so sweet.
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Screaming down a Hong Kong-ish crowded street, golden Buddha statue looming overhead, desperately trying to keep your lead when two guys in F1-type racers are inches from your rear bumper…..yeah, it’s exhilirating all right.
Crash Mode returns in all its destructive glory, but now it’s deeper, and larger. Power-ups litter the course – yes power-ups, ranging from temporary boosts to points multipliers. Add the Crashbreaker – in which your car becomes a literal bomb that you can detonate at any time, and we’re talking serious mayhem. And oh yes – this mode can be played co-operatively now. One more thing – there’s 100 crash junctions now.
The multiplayer madness continues with Road Rage Mode (whoever takes down the most opponents wins), Elimination (whoever’s in last place at the end of a lap is disqualified), Burning Lap (boost as fast as you can without crashing once), and normal Single Race, and there’s a lot more meat here than before.
The bad? Well, the default soundtrack can leave a lot to be desired (and turn the announcer OFF, trust me), but this is easily fixed by lovely custom soundtrack support. HINT: Causing wrecks to bluegrass is poetry in motion. EA Games – who now owns Criterion – has plastered advertising signboards all over the courses, and they’re kind of distracting in an annoying way. There are also many minor details (you race in car classes now rather than picking any you want, the scoring system is different, no nighttime races or weather changes, no licensed cars (like any respected auto manufacturer would let their lovingly crafted creations get dismantled like this!), Crash Mode repeats junctions) that one could complain about, but the core gameplay is so sublime, well-done, and addictive, it’s silly to dock the score for any of them.