Burnout 3: Takedown is all about "twisting metal, glass breaking, sparks flying" extreme racing. It is the third game in its series of three, and by
far the best one yet. This racing game is not your average Project
Gotham Racing game; it is more of an arcade type game. You have boosts a majority of the time, and
taking out your opponents is pretty much required if you want to win the race.
Dodging oncoming traffic and taking risks on the streets is necessary to get
ahead of your fierce rivals that are just waiting for the chance to shove you
off the road.
Burnout 3 is an extreme racing game and takes some quick
thinking to avoid the normal traffic on the roads. You race on the
streets through three major continents, and get to drive and unlock a good
number of different cars which fall in a number of different categories. The two main parts of the game are the crash modes and racing modes. In the crash
mode, you want to cause as much damage as you possibly can to other vehicles. In the
race mode, you will want to place first out of a number of other racers, and
fighting traffic, objects in the road, and the other racers themselves all play a big role
in the final outcome of the game.
Using your boost is a huge part of Burnout 3. If you are not boosting, you will be
passed up pretty fast. The game is based around 'Risk vs. Reward', meaning the
more risks you take, the more boosts you get in return. Your boost bar will go up for a
variety of reasons, such as driving in the wrong lane of traffic, near
misses, drifting around sharp turns, or catching some air. If you are able to
crash--or takedown--an opponent your boost bar will be doubled.
Everyone's favorite part about this game is using the aftertouch. The aftertouch
allows you to control your car after you have crashed. By simpily pressing "A"
after your car has crashed, everything around you will slow down and you will be
able to control where you are crashing to a certain extent. It is also possible
to get aftertouch takedowns, which is one of the main purposes of the aftertouch.
If you crash and steer your car toward
oncoming racers--and are able to run into any of them--you will be awarded with an aftertouch takedown. If this happens,
your boost bar will go up as soon as you get back on your feet... er.. wheels.
Under each racing mode, there are a number of different events based on
how you and the computer racers will race. For example, in a Road Rage
event, the object of the game is to take out as many cars as possible and
finishing in first does not matter at all. Here is a list of the different
events in the racing mode of the game and what they do.
Race - This is a traditional race. First one to cross the finish line wins. Your
car will not take damage, and it is not possible for your car to breakdown.
Eliminator - This is just like a normal race, only there are around 5 laps. At
the end of each lap, the last place person is eliminated from the race. If on the
last lap you place ahead of the second place person you will win the eliminator.
Your car will not take damage, and it is not possible for your car to breakdown.
Face Off - This is a one on one against a computer car. These races are
usually difficult, especially if the opponent has a faster car. If you win the
race, you get his car.
Road Rage - As described above, the object is to get a high count of takedowns
during the time allotted. This is the only event where you can actually crash
your car to the point it will no longer run. If this happens you end the road
rage with the number of takedowns you have already gotten.
Burning Lap - This is a race against the clock and nothing else. If you
finish the course within the time limit you will get an award.
Grand Prix - A grand prix consists of a number of races (usually three). Each
race is a normal race and the overall winners are based on the overall
placements in each race. So if you screw up your first race there is still a
chance for victory. There is also the option to redo any race before moving on
to the next.
Unlike the racing events, the crash modes do not have separate events. However,
each crash event is set up very differently and it is enough to keep you playing
through them all. The main idea of the crash mode is to rack up as many crashes
as you can. At the end of the crash event, the game will count up all the damage
you have caused in dollar value. Then, based on the amount of damage you caused to the
traffic in the area, you will be awarded a medal--and if you did extremely well
and got somewhere around one million dollars in damage you might even make it
into the newspaper. This is another neat feature about Burnout 3. If you get into
every newspaper article available, you will unlock a fire truck which you will be
able to use in multiplayer modes.
If you think it sounds a little crazy getting around one million dollars in
damage with just a car, you may be right. But added into each event is a number
of bonuses in the form of icons on the road. Some of them are at ground level
and some of them require you to use a ramp to get to them. The most important of
these icons is the times two and times four multipliers. At the end of each
crash event, if you got a multiplier, it will multiply your final score by
either two or four depending on which one you got. If you were able to get both
of them the game will only take the highest multiplier, which would be the times
four. There are also a few coins scattered around the levels that will give you
extra money when tallying up the final score. With all these good bonuses in the
game, it is very easy to get your score up so a heartbreaker was added into each
level. The heartbreaker will cut your score in half as well as cancel out any
multipliers you picked up. The heartbreakers are usually continually placed next
to the times four multipliers or in an easy to hit place. If you end up hitting
one of these, you might as well restart the level because your chances of scoring
a gold medal are shot.
The last bonus that is included in the crashing events is the crash breaker. In
each crash event you must have a certain amount of car crashes before you can
use this feature. This feature allows you to explode your car by simply pressing
the "A" button. You can either use this to create more damage by sending a few
surrounding cars airborne or you can use it to go a few feet down the road to
get a multiplier. There are also several crash breaker icons throughout each level.
If you are able to hit one of them, your car will explode without having the
required amount of crashes, but thankfully it does not cancel out your chances of getting
your normal crash breaker.
Because of the amount of icons and bonuses in the crash modes, there are quite a
few ways to control how much damage you will do after you have initially
crashed. For example, you could crash into the traffic and then use your crash
breaker and aftertouch to get to a number of bonuses, even including another
secondary crashbreaker. Both the crashbreakers and the aftertouch gives you a
way to control the amount of damage you do after you have already crashed into
Many good games today get crushed because they have no multiplayer capabilities.
Luckily, Burnout 3 does not fall into this category and has a wide range of
events you can play with a friend or with others over Xbox Live.
Overall, the graphics are just as glorious as the gameplay in Burnout 3. With
everything that is happening at one time, and how fast it looks like you are
traveling, everything still looks very well detailed. The details involved in
each crash are truly amazing, and like nothing you have ever seen before in
previous games. The amount of metal and other car parts that fly off each car is
incredible. Even the damage that shows up on your car such as cracked glass and
sparks flying is extremely well done.
The only negative about the games graphics would have to be that none of the
cars in the game are actual cars. Meaning each car and design was just
made up. Although this is its main flaw in the graphics department, it is not
even noticeable because the detail in the car models look so realistic you can't
really tell that they just made up the design for the car.
The environment is also a major plus for the game's graphics. Although it zooms by
extremely fast, it is well detailed and looks almost as good as the cars. There
are also a number of things you can see moving, such as flags.
Just like the rest of the game, the audio inside the game is well
done. Just like in similar racing games, such as Project Gotham Racing 2, the
Burnout 3 soundtrack has a built-in radio host. The host's characteristics seem
to match the mood of the game very well, and he makes a few funny jokes. However,
after a while you might find him to be a little annoying and would rather listen
to some of the good music included in the game.
The actual sound effects of the cars such as tires squealing and cars
crashing are excellent, and sound very realistic. When you first start your car
and begin to speed up, you can even hear the engine in the car switching gears.
Another neat sound that you will discover while playing is the whizzing sound of
passing cars. A bunch of small sounds like this contribute to the overall great
sound effects of the entire game.
Burnout 3: Takedown is by far the game that you will have the most fun with
since Halo came out. Seriously, even if you are not into racing type games, this
game is worth purchasing. The gameplay is filled with action,
and the entire game has a real sense of speed. Both the racing and crashing
aspect of the game are extremely fun, and if you get board of racing you can
always try out some of the crash events. The graphics are some of the best yet on Xbox, too.
| The Core Score