At its core, Burnout Paradise is filled to the brim with fun, fast-paced action wrapped in a myriad of things to do. While EA is extremely criticized for almost every move they make, I have no bone in that fight as I remain a bystander and lover of all things video game related. Without getting too much into the politics of this titan of a company, I can definitively say that Burnout Paradise Remastered for the Nintendo Switch is an amazing game, albeit with a questionable price of entry.
The premise is simple. Here’s an open world full of discoveries to be made and events to take part in, and it is traversed exclusively behind the wheel of some pretty cool cars. Paradise City is appropriately titled, boasting one of the coolest open worlds I have ever experienced. Each detail can become marred in the blur of break-neck speeds however, effectively making each detail put into every turn almost superfluous. Yet it is very much appreciated whenever I choose to simply explore the nooks and crannies at a more reasonable velocity. There is a lot of detail put into this game, yes, but it can also look very grainy at times. Be it the blur in the distance, or somewhat jagged lines detailing the game, this isn’t the best looking game on the system; but it is serviceable and it’s important to note that this was a last-gen game, up-resed to look and perform better by today’s standards. The car destruction is rather visually pleasing, but again, it is nowhere near what the capabilities of today’s technology can achieve. The pieces that fly off the car have about as much detail as low-quality voxels from a bygone era in video games. Burnout doesn’t look completely terrible by any means, but it only attains a caliber that is acceptable to the average gamer.
The fun to be had here mostly comes from the high-octane action that is found throughout. While I, and many other gamers of my generation will agree; Burnout 3: Takedown was the franchise’s climax that has yet to be replicated or achieved by any of the newer entries. In this fashion, I am sure the open world will turn off some purists; however, I found it to be enjoyable and events are still as bountiful, regardless of how they are accessed. In fact, it adds value to the game by allowing discoveries to be made that a traditional Burnout lacks. You will be flying through billboards, mowing down fences, and jumping over impossible ramps in an attempt to discover everything this game has to offer. In this sense, the gameplay has been amped up to 11, with so much content available to whoever chooses to experience its intricacies.
As far as events go, there are six, or arguably seven varieties to participate in. There are standard races, stunt runs, and marked man missions to name a few. Burnout Paradise provides a lot of different gameplay options to really test your skills in many different forms. My least favorite was the point accumulating stunt runs which tasks you with scoring enough points in a set amount of time. The game shines brightest in its standard races that offer incredible arcade racing action, filled with near-misses and takedowns that veterans of the series are accustomed to. There is something here for everyone, except for those expecting simulation. This is nowhere near a simulation, but it does contain a set of mechanics and physics that are geared more toward fast fun rather than simulated racing, and it may be the pinnacle of arcade racing, especially since they are few and far between on the Switch.
There’s no real story present in this game, with the objective being simply to win enough races to upgrade your license and expand your roster of cars so that you have access to even more events. Honestly, the story is not missed in this title. There is enough action to drive this game forward that the addition of a story is grossly unnecessary. I realize that it, as a parameter I include to gauge the overall score and quality of any game, creates somewhat of an injustice to my approximation of the quality of Burnout Paradise Remastered. I nonetheless have to include it in this review as it is a standard I have, and will continue to uphold in the conception of my video game reviews. I apologize if this hurts the score of the game, but it will make up for it in other criteria.
From the onset, as Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses queues up on the title screen, it was clear that this game would have a phenomenal soundtrack, and it didn’t disappoint. Everything about the music in this game screams high-velocity gameplay. I enjoyed the music thoroughly, but its sound effects also shine through here. The crunching of the car crashes, the revving of the engines, it all amounts to peak racing quality. There is no other way to describe it other than simply incredible. Jamming out to a song while going 200 km/h and crashing in slow-motion as the song gets muffled a bit is sound mastery at its finest. I absolutely loved it.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is highly replayable, and I found myself going back and completing races I have already won just to experience the same routes that have been perfected through shortcuts I discovered along the way. It is a masterpiece in many ways, even though I think enjoyment may vary depending on the players’ own inclinations and expectations. I loved my time with Burnout Paradise Remastered for the Nintendo Switch, and it has locked in a permanent spot on my micro SD card. I’m sure I will be coming back to this one regularly. I also forgot to mention that this version of the game is the definitive one as it includes all the DLC previously released for it, including Big Surf Island being accessible at the very beginning. While it is rather expensive upon release, it will likely be marked down in the near future, and I would recommend everyone to wait for a discount. I mean, the game can already be found for under $20 on other platforms. If the Switch is the only thing you have though, and you really want an arcade racing experience, this title will not disappoint.
Replay Value: 5/5
Total: 19/25 or 76/100