Burnout Paradise Remastered (Switch) Review
Burnout Paradise Remastered is a massive game for several reasons. It’s the first home console Burnout game on a Nintendo home system in 18 years, and it’s the beginning of EA’s seemingly renewed push on the system. It’s also massive for one other reason: Paradise City. The fictional city where this game takes place is a vast playground for cars filled with content, with lashings of DLC over the top, sprinkled in with some ‘remastered’ goodness.
Burnout Paradise is a little bit different from other Burnout games, and some fans weren’t too keen on it being ‘open-world’ — and the removal of a traditional Crash mode was a sore point. But if you take Paradise for the open-world playground it is, you won’t have a problem.
If you hear open-world and it turns you off, remember you’re in a car – so it’s a lot more fun to travel around the massive map; still, some fast travel wouldn’t have gone astray. Aside from the lengthy intro which you can’t skip, the game pretty much tells all you need to know in the opening hour or so, after that it’s up to you to speed around the city, picking off events, unlocking cars, and just causing mayhem. Most intersections in the game have an event to start, and you end up in one of 8 different finishing locations each time. These events can be a race with one or multiple cars, a Marked Man event where you have to avoid being taken down, or others where you have to take down as many people as you can. There are also stunt runs which you chain tricks together for a high score. See Paradise City isn’t just a regular city; it’s one of the cool ones. A city with ramps, pipes, and things to crash through. There are hundreds of gates to crash through, jumps to launch yourself off, and stunt jumps to flip and spin your car off. No matter where you end up, you’ll find something to do.
You begin the game with a fairly crappy car, and by finishing events and unlocking a better licence, more cars become available. Some cars you’ll need to hunt and take down as they’re roaming the streets, others are gifted to you. In the original release of Burnout Paradise, you had to grind out and eventually unlock the faster and more powerful cars, but because the Remastered version comes with a bunch of DLC cars you could theoretically jump into a higher spec car and cruise away. Doing this makes the game way too easy, and feels more like a grind than actually grinding to unlock the better cars. Be sure to not just jump into the DLC cars, although a flying not-a-Delorean is hard to ignore. The range of fictional branded cars in Paradise is immense; you’ve got racers, muscle, and hot rods. There are the Bikes as well if that’s your thing, and then there’s toy cars, dirt buggies and more. Some cars are just fun, some are more suited to different events, and you’ll need to pick them.
Every street in Paradise City can also be an event; you can set the best time, and compare it with your friends. The game is “always online” and keep the records up to date. If you’re not online, that’s alright it’ll update the times when it can. Paradise might not have Crash mode, but there’s a substitute of sorts – Showtime. In Showtime, your car bounces around in an explosive state. You then try to crash through and into as many things as possible. It’s fun, but it’s not the Crash mode you remember.
Like all things in Burnout Paradise, the online modes are layered into the city. To jump online, you can start your own Freeburn, or join another. In this online mode, you can cruise around with other players until the host decides on an event. These can include races, Stunt Runs, Marked Man and Road Rages. There’s also a Cops and Robbers mode which is capture the flag. It’s enjoyable if you can get the people together for it. The Freeburn Challenges, which aren’t events and just stupid things to do, is where you’ll probably have the most fun. Freeburn Challenges could be as simple as making a jump in reverse, doing flat-spins, or flipping your car so many times. These challenges lean into on the game’s playground theme.
The question you’ve all be asking, so how does it run on Switch? Even in it’s remastered form, which added a tonne of polish to the game, it’s got that early HD generation vibe to it. But that works in its favour here on the Switch, because the game runs excellent. The framerate is smooth, it’s not perfect, but most of the time the game is at that locked 60FPS. As you zip around it all just works, there are no loading times, there’s no pop-in, it feels great to fly from one end of the town to the other just hooning around. The other consoles already did this of course, but now it’s in the palm of your hand. Handheld is a little blurry, but nothing as Vaseline as we’ve seen with other Switch ports, and at 200km/h – it’s hard to see it anyway. To have the full Burnout Paradise experience, not some cut down, a portable specific version of the game is still surreal.
One thing that hasn’t aged a day is the game’s audio design. The rip and snarl of engines are throaty, and you can feel them with a nice setup. The crashes are exceedingly realistic, helped by crazy damage engine which crumples and twist the cars but also helped with the audio feedback. The game’s soundtrack, it’s not going to be for everyone, and you can’t listen to the titular Paradise City from the Gunners on loop (well you could), so you’re just going to have to put up with it.
We couldn’t talk about a Switch port without talking about its price either. Now, at launch – it’s too costly – not because it’s not worth the asking price, but because the game is cheaper elsewhere, and because of its age it’s always on sale for much less than EA are asking here. This will be unpopular, but if a Switch port is well made, I don’t mind paying for it — maybe not this much, but you can do a lot worse for a lot more. If you want to play it portable here’s your chance, if you want it to look better, it’s available cheaper elsewhere. It’s what you value.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is nearly everything you would want from not only a racing game but a Switch port as well. Paradise City is a car playground and filled with fun. The Switch port looks, runs and sounds almost perfect. Glad to have Burnout back on a Nintendo system, and in such good form.
+ Blistering performance
+ Exhilarating racing fun, it's poetry
+ Every mode, DLC, and online option is here
+ Flying Delorean
- Expensive, comparably to other versions
- GPS and waypoint system still a bit crap
- UI for voice chat left in but doesn't seem to work
- DJ Atomika