Look, we’re not going to get another Burnout game. At least, not with Electronic Arts’ current mentality of going with bigger and better games. We knew that ship has sailed the minute the company left behind NBA Homecourt for whatever NBA Live turned out to be.
But there is solace in the fact that someone wants to bring Burnout back to some mentality, even if it’s not an official game. That’s where Three Fields Entertainment comes in. After somewhat trying to convert the series’ Crash mode into two Danger Zone games, it decided to hit the road all out with Dangerous Driving, which hits the road on consoles this week…
The bad news is that it’s not quite the Burnout experience we’ve been waiting for, as certain AI issues and the lack of online competition leave it somewhat limited. But the good news is that the feel and the look of the game is close enough; so if that’s an experience you’ve been wanting and dying for, you’ll find DD to be a pleasant fill-in. Dangerous Driving features a number of modes that harken back to the good ol’ Burnout days, but present them through classes. You’ll start off unlocking a number of Sedans before moving up to faster and sleeker vehicles. It’s a decent progression system, one that will take some time to make everything available.
That said, you’ll need to do some grinding. DD has some issues with the rubberband AI, as the cars seem to be too good when it comes to beating them; lest you unleash a huge boost to catch up. Not only that, but if you wreck– and you will, often, in this game– there’s a chance you’ll fall too far behind, forced to restart just to get back on an even level. Once you get past this hump and accept the game’s difficulty curve, however, you’ll find the feel to be just right. Dangerous Driving is vintage Burnout at its best, from the sleek drifting system to the insanely fun ability of being able to crash other cars with nudges. And the traffic adds an extra dose of challenge, particularly when you realize that cars you wrecked earlier in the race are still there. Oof. The Aftertouch system also works to an extent, so you can wreck fellow cars trying to get the jump on you.
The game’s presentation is rock solid, too. The visuals move at a speedy 60 frames per second, though you’ll be best sticking with an outer car view so you can see turns and oncoming traffic a bit more easily. The car models look terrific, and some of the wrecks are a lot of fun to watch. But, really, why doesn’t the game have a soundtrack? There’s a wonderful intro tune to get you revved up, but then it’s surprisingly mute throughout. You can blare your own soundtrack through Spotify, which I highly recommend. But Three Fields should’ve worked a little harder to add some form of rock to the game, even if it was from bands we never heard of. At least the sound effects are spot on, with revving engines and a lot of wrecking noises to get you in the mood for trashing others.
And like I said, Dangerous Driving has content to spare, with lots of modes to dig into, including ones for quick play. It’s sad there’s no multiplayer at launch, but Three Fields is already working on something for later on, ahem, down the road. In the end, Dangerous Driving is an easy recommend for those of you that need a good arcade racing game, especially if you grew up with all things Burnout 3: Takedown. And even while the feel isn’t entirely there — and the challenge level may leave some folks frustrated rather than liberated — the look of the game is right, and it feels fantastic. And, that’s entirely admirable in the least. 3.5/5 Bibles.