EA Games @ NYC '08: Burnout Paradise Bikes (Hands-On)
FOREWORD: You may have noticed that we didn't cover any EA game during this past E3. That was all with good reason. You see, EA invited us to their New York City showcase at the W Hotel, and so we chose to save the best for last. Last night, at EA's "Holidays in July" event, we were able to go hands-on with all of the games present at E3, in addition to two that weren't.
Burnout Paradise featuring the Bikes Expansion is one of those games. Okay, so it's technically not a game, but it does add an all new dimension to the franchise - one we've never seen before. On top of getting to know the bikes, we also saw the night-time mode playout, as well. And there's definitely no doubt about it, we were impressed.
Normally, bikes in games, be it adventure (like GTA) or racing (like Moto GP) are unusually hard to control, no matter the physics type. But Burnout's implementation of two-wheeled motos is nothing short of flawless. The controls are immediately intuitive, as the bikes respond to your touches precisely as you want them to. You won't find yourself correcting your analog stick repeatedly to compensate for floaty or overly sensitive inputs.
This, in turn, made it very easy to navigate Paradise City for an extensive period of time without wiping out. Wipe outs tended to occur more during extremely sharp turns, or stupid driver error such as not paying attention, as opposed to control error. Definitely a job well done here, Criterion. And of course, what good is would an addition of bikes to Burnout be without hair-raising speed? In this case, the bikes demonstrate superb sense of speed, keeping the flow of the game as swift as possible.
The selling point with the Burnout Bikes expansion is that...there isn't one! The price of admission is free, folks. So unlike other games that force you to pay for downloadable content, this expansion is free of charge when it launches in the coming weeks.
Related Game(s): Burnout Paradise
7/31/2008 Arnold Katayev