Burnout Crash! is a fun spin off arcade version of the regular burnout series. Developed by traditional Burnout developer, Criterion Games, Burnout Crash! is a top down driving game focused on blowing up traffic and causing mayhem.
The basic formula across Burnout Crash’s three game modes is simply; drive into a busy area of a city and try to cause every car that comes through to crash. Blowing up your own vehicle multiple times will cause chain reactions with other vehicles and damage the surrounding city property. The goal of each level of Burnout Crash is to cause as much destruction as possible in quick succession while preventing any car from escaping.
Road Trip mode is the main game mode and arguably the most difficult. Road Trip plays like the formula outlined above with a designated amount of cars that need to be crashed in order to rack up cash and complete the level. Having five cars escape the mayhem results in the level ending with whatever the current amount of cash earned being the final score. There are several gameplay modifiers that come into effect once a specific amount of cars have been crashed that greatly change the dynamic of the current level. Some of these modifiers are police cars that block a certain road while some of the more devastating are meteor showers and sink holes. At the end of each level a super feature event will occur doing massive damage to any remaining structures. These super features damage depends on how many cars you’ve let escaped during the level.
As progression is made through the road trip mode new levels become available, each more difficult than the last. The levels evolve from a basic four way intersection to six lane highways with on and off ramps and medians in between. Each new map unlocked during Road Trip is also playable in Rush Hour and Pile Up mode.
Rush Hour takes away the constraints of failure, allowing a large number of cars to escape without the level ending. The goal of Rush Hour mode is to rack up as much damage as possible within 90 seconds. Exclusive to Rush Hour mode is the pizza truck which allows for a random modifier to take effect.
Pile Up mode is my least favourite mode of the three. There is a limited amount of vehicles that will enter the level and everyone that escapes detracts from your inferno multiplier. Once the last car is crashed your vehicle’s explosions will catch nearby objects on fire, the damage will then be multiplied by whatever your current inferno multiplier is and added to your total score. The reason that this is my least favourite mode is that the inferno multiplier depletes quickly after the last car and it is very hard to rack up a satisfying amount of points.
With three game modes and eighteen levels in total, Burnout Crash is a game that I will keep coming back to. The developers also added a smart hook to keep you coming back to Burnout Crash, with the addition of Autologs. In the game’s main menu there is Autolog recommends and Autolog challenge. Autolog recommends shows you which of your friends’ scores you should try to beat. It also suggests friends based upon your current friends list that you may like to add and play against. Autolog challenge allows you to accept or make challenges to friends, to determine who can score higher on a particular map. These added community functions may not seem groundbreaking but they take the traditional static leader board one step further. You can interact and challenge your friends without having to go through the hassle of sending them a message.
Burnout Crash really shines in the audio department. Each level has some zany radio announcer that gives a personality to each area and narrates events that will transpire once you’ve completed the level. The best use of audio is the small snippets of retro music that will be played to signify the beginning of a feature occurring during the level. My favourite of which is the use of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice baby” to coincide with the start of an ice storm.
The creative use of audio is one of the many ways that Burnout Crash presents itself as being quite tongue in cheek. The fundamental mechanics of Burnout Crash are very simple to understand but as the levels become more complex those mechanics need to be coupled with strategy, skill and often some luck. Burnout Crash! is a very fun and destructive arcade experience and one of the best XBLA games released this year.
This review is based on a downloadable copy of the 360 version of Burnout Crash!.