We've already come to expect the plethora of ports on the 360. Lets face it: If you're a major corporation and can milk gamers for additional $60, you'd do it to. The problem is that most companies don't do this right, and EA is notorious for it. Burnout Revenge doesn't escape their port problems, but when the game was a classic to begin with, players who never played the first release have the game the way it should be played.
As countless people did when it was multi console release last year, experiencing a new Burnout is a spectacular orgy of destruction. It doesn't need mounted firearms, rocket launchers, or nukes to do it either. The vehicles themselves are the weapons, and that factor is quadrupled with traffic checking.
A controversial change, checking allows players to hit small traffic going in the same direction and push it aside. In previous Burnout's, this caused a crash. Obviously, this takes away from the intensity of constantly being in danger, though adds a lot from a gameplay perspective. This is especially true with the crash junctions, now with the addition of being able to push traffic into intersections so you can concentrate on another area of the map.
Unfortunately, it does take away a lot from the races, though the benefits here are noticeable too. New takedowns allow for players to traffic check into opponents, certainly a great way to start rivals online. This is the Xbox 360's sole grand addition, adding a sense of urgency towards taking down specific gamers that had their fun against you. It's best used amongst friends, since having a stranger as a rival doesn't mean that much.
Most of that will seem familiar to fans who spent most of their holiday season playing this same game on the PS2 or Xbox. For the new $60 price tag, Xbox 360 owners gain a slight graphical edge (including a flawlessly implemented speed blur, extra damage, and paint chipping), extra crash junctions, and some tweaks that make it harder to take people down online. With the Achievement Point system, addicted gamers will have a focus on making sure they have Perfect ratings for everything they do.
Aside from that, it's hard to say that this is a $60 game for the longtime fans. It's not the start this franchise should have for the next generation. That said, for newcomers, this is the way the game is meant to be played. The slight differences are enough to make this THE version of Burnout Revenge.
Still, there shouldn't need to be a gap between players. A truly great game should appeal to everyone, and Burnout Revenge has trouble with this. Given the sales numbers of this series, it's hard to believe there are enough people out there to justify this release. While it may seem narrow-minded to focus on the price point instead of the gameplay, in this case, it's critical. Yes, this is one of the best racing games ever made (and deserving of every award it garnered), but you can play it for $30 less and not miss much of anything.
(**** out of *****)