Burnout Paradise (formerly known as Burnout 5) by Criterion Games is the seventh game in the Burnout video game series. It was released in January 2008 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and on February 5, 2009 on Microsoft Windows. It was also released on the PlayStation Store in September 2008 and via Xbox Live Marketplace's Games on Demand in August 2009. It has an open world set in the fictional Paradise City. The song "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses is the game's title music and also featured on the in-game soundtrack. The game soon became added to the library of Sony's Greatest Hits titles.


According to Alex Ward, creative director of the game at developer Criterion Games, this game is a "complete reinvention" of the Burnout series.[3] He also said "To create truly next-generation gameplay, we needed to create a truly next-generation game from the ground up". The game is set in an open-world environment.[4] Initially day and night cycles were not included in the game but a software update entitled "Davis" added this element to the game. Records are now kept on players' drivers licenses and there as well as statistics such as fastest time and biggest crash for every street in the game. Unlike in previous Burnout games, "Crash Mode", now called "Showtime", can now be initiated at any time and place in the game.[5] While racing players may take any route to get to the destination. Races and other events are started by simply stopping at any of the traffic lights and applying the accelerator and brake at the same time. The game features multiple customisable game modes, [6][5] such as determining whether or not there is traffic in an online event, selecting race routes, and including/excluding cars based on their boost types.

The damage system has also been reworked. There are now two different types of crashes based on the car's condition after the crash.[7] If the player's car manages to retain all four wheels and does not break its chassis the player can drive out of the crash and continue playing; this is called a "driveaway". If a player's car loses any wheels, the engine is damaged too much from an impact, or winds up outside of the game's map, the car is in a "wrecked" state and the player will have to wait until their car is reset. Cars will compress and deform around objects they crash into.

Cars now have manufacturer and model names, which are loosely based on real-world cars. Cars may not be "tuned up"[8] or customized apart from color changes, which may be done in real-time by driving through the forecourt of a paint shop, which will randomly assign a color to the car, or by selecting the color in the Junkyard during vehicle selection. Other real-time changes include driving through the forecourt of a gas station to automatically refill the vehicle's Boost meter, and driving through the forecourt of a repair shop to automatically repair the vehicle.


The online lobby system used by most video games has been replaced by a streamlined system known as "Easy Drive". While driving, players simply hit right on the D-Pad and the Easy Drive menu appears in the corner of their screen. From there, players are able to invite other players from their friends list. Once friends have joined the game, the hosting player can select the event to play. A "Mugshots" camera feature is available for the PC via webcam, PlayStation 3 using a PS3-compatible webcam, and Xbox 360 using Xbox Live Vision. When a player is taken down, their photo, or 'Mugshot', is shown to the aggressor, and vice versa. These photos can then be saved to the PC or console's hard drive.

Release and MarketingEdit

A demo was made available on December 13, 2007 for both PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Store and Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Marketplace.[34][35] On January 4 through January 14, Criterion raised the maximum number of players for the online Freeburn in the Paradise demo to 8 players (which has since returned to 4 players). With it, a total of 13 new Freeburn challenges were made available for players to attempt – 3 challenges in 5, 6 and 7 player sessions, and 4 new challenges for those playing in 8 player sessions.[36]

On the 25 September 2008, Criterion announced that Burnout Paradise would be made available for download on the PlayStation Store.[37] Upon installation and first execution, all updates would also be downloaded and installed, allowing the player to have the latest version of Burnout Paradise.

Burnout Paradise features in-game advertising for a number of brands.(Burger King, JL Audio, Gillette and CompUSA) From October 6, 2008, in-game billboards featured ads for the then United States Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. Electronic Arts confirmed that the Obama campaign paid for the advertisements, marking the first time that a United States presidential candidate has bought in-game advertising.[38] The Obama campaign ran only on the Xbox 360 version of the game. [edit] PC release [hide] System requirements Requirements Microsoft Windows Operating System Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista CPU Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (XP) Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz (Vista) Memory 1 GB (XP) 1.5 GB (Vista) Hard Drive Space 4 GB of free space 8.16 GB for EA Download Manager Users Graphics Hardware DirectX 9.0c compatible 3D accelerated 128 MB Video card with Pixel Shader 3.0 (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or higher,ATI Radeon X1300 or higher) Sound Hardware DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card

Burnout Paradise is the first game in the Burnout series to be released for the PC. Criterion are making use of high-end graphics cards and have introduced enhanced visuals and the ability to play the game across multiple monitors to enhance widescreen playing. When using three 4:3 monitors allow the player to play in a Polyvision aspect ratio. PC users are also able to download a trial version of the game for free. It includes the whole map and 2 cars but will expire after thirty minutes. All saved data will be carried over if the user decides to purchase the full game.


Burnout Paradise was well received, earning (among other things) the Editor's Choice in GameSpot. Metacritic has the game calculated at 88 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 release[41] and 87 for the PS3.[52] Game Rankings calculated an 88% for the Xbox 360[40] and an 88% for the PS3 version.[53] GamePro, Giant Bomb and Game Chronicles gave the game a perfect score.[41] Reviewers praised the game's open world, stating "Burnout Paradise is an amazing open-world racing game that stays true to the Burnout legacy", but that the large world may "feels a little daunting at first."[54] New gameplay mechanics such as gas stations and body repair shops were also praised which "mitigate potential frustration when the heat is on."[42] Hyper's Daniel Wilks commends the game for its "great sense of speed and things that go boom".[55] IGN's Chris Roper praised the vehicle unlocking system, which gives the player a new vehicle with each license, and also gives the player the opportunity to "take down" certain vehicles, earning them as a reward if completed.[45] He further lauded the game as "controlled chaos".[45]

While the game was well received, some reviewers were disappointed that there was no option to restart a race or event.[45] Instead the player had to either fail the event, or cancel the race by pulling over and stopping for a few seconds, and then return to the specific place on the map to try that particular race or event again. Criterion responded to this criticism by stating that they don't feel that this is a problem and that adding a "retry" option would introduce loading screens, which they "hate with a passion".[56] Despite this, the option to restart an event was later added to the game via a free software update.[17] One reviewer found DJ Atomika, the game's guide, to be "instantly dislikeable".[42]

Paradise won several awards in 2008, with Spike TV, Gametrailers and GameSpot all awarding it Best Driving Game.[48][51][50] Additionally, Paradise won GameSpot's award for Best Downloadable Content by in 2008.[49] Burnout Paradise became 2008’s Most Decorated Driving Game

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