Game Review: Burnout: Takedown

by Pat Johnson

When the Burnout series began it was touted as a racing game with great wrecks. Just like all racing games, you tried to inch out your opponents while racing around various tracks, only here you get a satisfying slow-motion death scene. It may not seem like much of an improvement to some. But I'm always in favor of this line of thinking. When I race, wrecks happen. Making a constant reminder of my sucking a pleasurable distraction is a great idea. And other games should take a page out of this book (but that's an argument for another day). But the Burnout series has evolved beyond its original gimmick. Now wrecking is a central part of the game. The racing remains, as do the glorified insurance nightmares. Only now you have wrecking challenges. You are given a car and asked to cause as much damage as possible. Crush a group of parked RVs or slide into a busy intersection and wait for fate to crush you. And if you'll excuse the sexual innuendo, you get the climax of a great explosion when you do it right. This aspect of the game doubles as a car bomb terrorist simulator. Only without the political or cultural guilt. You can even control your wreck. It's called crashtime and it allows you to drive your flaming carcass. It's a hoot. As is the whole game. It includes online and multiplayer capability. And, at 20 bucks, it a bargain for any player. Even if you're not a racing game fan, this one is worth playing.

9 overturned flaming buses (out of 11)