Burnout Paradise Remastered (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 05.07.2020

Review for Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch

It has been a good 12 years since Burnout Paradise was released on the range of 7th generation consoles, and while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One got a remaster back in 2018, Nintendo gamers have had to wait until 2020 before Burnout Paradise even appeared on a Nintendo console whatsoever. It has been a long time coming for Nintendo Switch owners, has it been worth the wait?


 

Burnout Paradise stormed the racing genre scene in 2008, and re-wrote the playbook for the Burnout series, making it a sort of sandbox, open-world adventure. In 2008 this wasn't quite the norm, and really in 2020 there aren't many racing titles that take the approach of a free roaming journey, especially on Nintendo Switch. Previous Burnout games would be mission-based, with race-after-race, or a particular challenge set out. Instead, Burnout Paradise Remastered has a number of different challenges to take on, and in any order the player sees fit. These are triggered by driving to almost any intersection on the large spanning world map and activating the challenge, which could entail anything from racing, stunt runs, driving from point-to-point while other cars try to intercept, and also Road Rage, where the player has to try and take down as many opposition cars as possible.

Screenshot for Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch

If this sounds different from previous Burnout games (although it shouldn't) then never fear. The same high-octane, dangerous driving escapades are all still part of the core experience. The Burnout series is all about getting in front of the other cars, and a pivotal game play mechanic to this is to get that boost meter filled to the top, and there are multiple methods to achieve this - namely; shunting opposition cars off the track and into barriers, driving on the wrong side of the road and narrowly missing on-coming traffic, and by taking risky jumps or performing stunts. Choosing when to execute these moves is imperative to winning races, although most Burnout players will be doing a combination of all these things throughout every race, as that is part of the whole fun of Burnout in the first place.

Burnout Paradise Remastered takes place in the, titular named, Paradise City. Additional to the aforementioned missions are other sub-missions dotted across the city such as a number of objects to be found, including billboards that can be ploughed through, shortcuts to be unlocked and super jumps to be boosted over. There are also a number of hidden locations scattered across the world that aren't highlighted on the map that can be a great place to muck around in. Throughout the course of the game, DJ Atomika, who narrates the in-game radio station, Crash FM, has some helpful tips on how to navigate and explore should the player ever find themselves in a pinch.

Screenshot for Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, this remaster doesn't come with some quality of life improvements that could have really been done to smooth over the experience, namely, the annoying fact that there is no option to restart a race or event, other than driving back across the city to find the same intersection where the event was triggered from in the first place. This can make it a little bit frustrating, as the map of Paradise City is quite sizeable and convoluted... which is a good thing, but just not when trying to search for a particular mission. Navigation, particularly at the beginning, can also be a pain during races, as there are multiple routes to get from the start to the finish, and there is no particular method to set a route on the in-game map, and the compass, while useful, doesn't take into account that certain roads will actually deviate away from the target. Instead, during the review process, races would often have to be paused multiple times just to establish which route to take, unfortunately slowing the pace down. This is compounded by the previously explained issue of not being able to restart a race, as one wrong turn towards the end of a race, or an event, can cost the player dearly.

Another issue that could have been somewhat solved within the remaster is the ability to be able to change cars during gameplay. This isn't executed through a pause menu, but instead by one of the five Junk Yards strewn around the city. Driving through a Junk Yard will trigger a pause menu to select a new car, all of which are gradually unlocked throughout the game, although a number of DLC cars are unlocked instantly, somewhat breaking the game by offering super-powered cars from the offset. Nonetheless, certain types of cars are better for different types of event, so if certain missions feel somewhat difficult, then swapping the current set of wheels for one that is more applicable is advised. Each type of car handles differently, and while it is great that there are more cars to choose from, it does feel less fun in certain types of vehicles, such as the lacking in ability to go blisteringly fast, or being able to steer as effectively. The balance is somewhat off, therefore it is probably just as well certain missions can only be activated by certain car types, otherwise players would be very reluctant to swap out a speedster or a heavier car that has poor steering.

Screenshot for Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch

As to be expected, the visuals are not quite up to scratch when compared with the PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC versions, which include top quality graphical fidelity and hi-res textures, but to be fair, the Switch it is a different type of beast. In docked mode the Nintendo Switch is able to run Burnout Paradise Remastered at a smooth 60fps and at 900p, and 60fps and 720p in handheld mode, although lower res textures have definitely been used to achieve this. Despite it not being as graphically superior to its Xbox One and PS4 counterparts, it is still a marvellous game to look at, and low-res textures are hardly an issue when travelling at such blistering speeds. Given them high speeds, there is also no sudden pop-in or poor draw distances, which is incredible considering how populated Paradise City is with buildings, cars, and scenery.

This is even more amazing to recognise, when realising that other than the initial boot up there are no load screens or stuttering to load new areas - instead it all smoothly rolls from one area to the next, impressive when it is all compressed into just a 3.9GB file! Fans of the original will be pleased to hear that the OST is in place with the slight omission of just two tracks. This is quite a feat given various licencing laws normally trip up re-releasing titles such as these. The soundtrack is something to behold, with Guns 'N' Roses, Killswitch Engage, LCD Soundsystem, Alice in Chain, N.E.R.D, and others to make up a soundtrack with 40 licenced songs, plus another 50 original themes from past Burnout titles to help add to an already stellar list.

Screenshot for Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Burnout Paradise Remastered does not change the formula too much from what players will remember from the original, which is good news all around, despite missing the opportunity to insert a couple of quality of life improvements. Having Burnout Paradise Remastered on the Switch is highly refreshing and totally suited to handheld play, especially given the short mini bursts that this could be played in. Visuals do take a hit when compared to other platforms, but this is something that is quite the norm when opting for a Nintendo Switch port - and on the plus side the frame rate and overall performance is still highly reliable. Buyers are going to be more worried about the premium price tag, which is uncomfortably high at launch, and may unfortunately put off many players from ever taking this home.

Developer

Stellar Entertainment

Publisher

EA

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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