Burnout

aka: Driving Hero, Grand Heat, Heaven's Drive, Shiny Red Car
Moby ID: 6417
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Burnout is an arcade style racing game in the mold of the Test Drive or Need For Speed series. In this game, you are racing on realistic streets with real traffic to contend with.

There are 6 courses on which to race, 3 of which are reminiscent of Europe, and 3 from the USA. There are several vehicles to choose from, ranging from compact cars to pickups. However, they are not based on real makes and models.

One notable feature of Burnout is the "Burn Meter." The Burn Meter is a gauge that is filled by performing reckless stunts, like racing into oncoming traffic or power-drifting through corners. Once the Burn Meter is filled, your car gets a super speed boost. If you crash, however, the Burn Meter is reset and must be filled again to achieve a boost.

Spellings

  • 横冲直撞 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Screenshots

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Credits (Xbox version)

58 People (52 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Xbox Lead Programmer
Conversion Programming
Additional Artwork
Senior Producer
Concept Designer
Lead Artist
Lead Programmer
Game Designer
Course Design and Modelling
Vehicle Design and Modelling
Original Programming
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 61 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 3 reviews)

Showing its age, but still crashtastic!

The Good
First of all, I apologise for using the phrase 'crashtastic' - I promise I'll never type it again. Now onto Burnout! Most of the reviews on MobyGames of this game are a little too harsh. Yes, its a bit old now, yes, the tracks are a bit long and dull and yes, there aren't any licensed vehicles, but really, lets look at the positives here! Burnout is a racer that simply reeks of arcade wholesome goodness, and was the closest PS2 gamers could get to Outrun 2 arcade perfection upon release. The handling is fine if a little simplistic, and range of cars is big enough. The tracks are fine, the music is nice, and its no eyesore. So far, so ho hum. But then you slip up and hit a vehicle... The crashes are quite superb, with lots of debris, smashing and kinetic movement that was incredible at the time and still impresses now. It even lets you save crashes and tots up a total damage stat with which to chastise you with at the end of the game, so you can feel secretly proud of yourself. The other cool thing is your Burnout bar. Fill it up by doing near misses (like Crazy Taxi's but you need to be a lot closer!), by driving on the wrong side of the road or by drifting. When its full, simply hold R1 to engage an eyebleeding (at the time) turbo that makes you feel just too cool - til the eventual crash. Hold on to a Burnout without crashing while staying on the wrong side of the road to get another lot straight away! The first time this happens you'll feel fantastic - this is a game that satisfies those primal urges. The crashing and turbos create a game that is perfect for multiplayer action as well, although its a shame that only two can dodge traffic at once.

The Bad
Really, the game now is showing its age, especially compared to series highlight Burnout 2. It just isn't quite OTT enough, and the game engine and handling seem massively outdated now. Even the crashes are nothing compared to the stunning debris of Burnout 2 or crazy physics of Burnout 3.I know its rude to compare, but really you shouldn't buy this game now unless you want to catch a little piece of racing history (and this game revitalised the arcade genre in the face of nothing but po-faced Gran Turismos). Also, the initial selection of tracks and cars isn't really good enough, and the rather modest single player is damp squib, with frustrating races that soon prove too much and checkpoints that end your race after a bit of bad luck - unfair!

The Bottom Line
Really, this game, while still fun, has been bettered by others and this makes it now an unwise purchase. Go buy one of the later titles in the series, particularly the sublime second one. But unless you want to see where a classic series began, as a purchase now this piece of the past just doesn't make sense.

PlayStation 2 · by Searly (26) · 2006

The humble beginning

The Good
The best version of the first Burnout is this one on the Xbox. 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, progressive scan support, bump mapping on all of the road surfaces, true volumetric shadows on the environment and other vehicles, real-time cubic environment mapping, anti-aliasing, tri-linear filtering and other tech lingo means it looks and sounds the best.

Though its a short ride it is definitely a fun game while it lasts. There's a great sense of speed and weaving through traffic, chaining burnouts really gets the adrenaline pumping. (Note: boost works a little different than in later Burnout titles, here you have to fully fill the boost meter before it can be used. But unlike the second game you don't have to use it all in one go). Controls are tight and responsive, and the frame rate is rock-solid even when there's a lot going on. The crash physics engine is undoubtedly the star of the game and very impressive for the time. Plus after races you can watch all the crashes in slow motion with 360-degree control of a camera and even save them to hard drive.

The Bad
As the Xbox and GameCube ports came out 5 months after the PlayStation 2 original, you'd think Criterion add some extra content and not just improve the graphics. Unfortunately that is not the case. As it stands the game is way too short compared to other racing games released at the time, not to mention its sequels. Complete 6 championships (14 races in total) and 4 Face-off races and that's all there is to do. Sure, you can try and get the record times & scores in all courses but what's the use if it doesn't unlock anything. There's also Time Attack, Free Run and Survival modes. Survival is by far the toughest mode in the whole game where you have to do three laps on a track without crashing once. For all the effort it could have at least unlocked extra paint jobs for the cars or something.

Speaking of cars, there are only 9 vehicles to choose from, including special vehicles like the bus and tow truck. And none of them go over 150 mph (when boosting). The game features 16 courses in total which might sound decent on paper but when you take in consideration that more than half of the tracks are either reverse/different time of day versions or "marathon" tracks (where two or three courses are combined), the actual number of unique tracks is just 6.

Burnout employs a semi rubber band AI, but I personally found the opponent cars unable to put up much of a fight, always crashing in certain scripted spots. As long as you drive without crashing too much you don't even have to boost and you'll still win. Hell, most of the time if you crash a lot it will be the time limit that will be your main nemesis and not the AI. In the sequel Point of Impact the AI was much more competitive without sinking to ridiculously abusive rubber-banding like in Takedown.

Music is rather dull and there's no custom soundtrack support. Another minor gripe is that pushing the left (and right) analog stick sounds the horn. It's not like there's a lack of buttons.

The Bottom Line
The first Burnout is still a fun game but compared to later games in the series this one won't hold your interest for very long because of its limited number of cars, tracks and stuff to do. There's very little reasons to go back to it as the sequels pack way more content and perfected the formula in every way. For a much better introduction to the series check out Burnout 2: Point of Impact (the Developer's Cut for Xbox packs 15 additional crash junctions and 21 new car skins so it's the definitive version).

Xbox · by Infernos (43578) · 2015

Sleepy Little Racing Game

The Good
The only real draw to this game is the "insurance crashing". Players, during the course of a race, can try an create the largest accidents possible in order to amass insurance damage ratings. The idea is very clever, but it doesn't play out terribly well. Large crashes are hard to achieve, leaving the player with numerous fender-benders of little replay worth.

The Bad
The race courses are extremely long and not terribly interesting. An entire 3 lap race will last about 9 minutes, and there are few gaming devices along the way to make it interesting. When games like Mario Kart offer 3 minute races and fill them to the brim with action, a 9 minute race is extremely tedious.

The controls are a little clunky too. I often felt like I was driving a mini van, not a sporty little car.

The Bottom Line
The crash concept doesn't create enough of a gaming experience to make this title worth while.

GameCube · by Game22 (35) · 2004

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  • MobyGames ID: 6417
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, samsam12, Victor Vance, firefang9212.

Game added May 18, 2002. Last modified February 20, 2024.