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Burnout Paradise Review

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Taking down Paradise City...

★★★★★

You’ve got to admire Criterion’s balls. Despite creating the perfect arcade racer with its deranged Burnout, the plucky coders have gone back to the drawing board to rebuild its chart-topping hit from the ground up. And the results are stunning.

Unlike the series’ familiar event-based structure, the latest Burnout is staged in the open-ended world of Paradise City, a sprawling metropolis that can be fully explored from the off, and where you can take part in any race you want at any time. Naturally, cracking the tougher cross-town scrambles is impossible until you’ve earned the best rides, the game in turn packed with incredible motors that are unlocked as you progress and allowing you to amass an enviable collection.

The game’s terrifying sense of speed and delirious crashes also help make Paradise one of the most engaging speedsters around, but it’s online where the game really shines; simply pressing a button brings up an online display that allows you to invite friends to a race, sidestepping the chore of ploughing through menus to kick off multiplayer sessions and making the infectious action seamless and genuinely gripping.

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