Review – Burnout Paradise Remastered (Switch)

We live in a time in which looking at anything Electronic Arts does is viewed with a pinch of skepticism. They haven’t had a very good track record over the past few years. But you have to remember that they didn’t become a giant company from out of nowhere. There was a time in which a new EA release was a cause for celebration, especially during the seventh generation of consoles. Some of their best games released during their period were The Beatles: Rock Band, BrĂ¼tal Legend, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Mirror’s Edge, and of course, Burnout Paradise.

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I hope you all have insurance.

Despite not being as beloved as its predecessor, Burnout 3, widely considered one of the best racing games ever created, Burnout Paradise was a breath of fresh air for the franchise at the time. It ditched linear tracks and street circuits in favor of a huge open world, full of secrets to unveil and collectibles. It doesn’t feature traditional linear racetracks at all, instead telling players to go from point A from point B, by whichever means necessary. This forces them to figure out the best route to use to reach said location, all while destroying every single enemy car in sight.

I totally get why EA decided to remaster Burnout Paradise to modern consoles instead of Burnout 3. Not only is this a much bigger game with a ridiculous amount of content, but it was probably developed on an engine that would allow for a smoother transition to PS4, Xbox One, and now the Nintendo Switch. I cannot complain at all; having a game like this on-the-go ended up being a lot better than I could have ever imagined.

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Dude, who the hell is driving my car???

I was worried about how well the remaster would run on the Switch. Sure, Nintendo’s console is more powerful than a PS3 or an Xbox 360, but I have seen some really disappointing ports as of late, namely the visually underwhelming Switch version of Bioshock. I was worried Burnout Paradise would run at 30fps and at a low resolution, but that wasn’t the case. It looks great, it retains a good chunk (but not all) of the visual enhancements featured in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the remaster, it runs at a respectable resolution on both portable and docked, and most importantly, it runs at 60 frames per second at all times.

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Great Scott!

That means that, no matter how busy the screen is, no matter how chaotic the action is, you’ll be constantly greeted with fast-paced gameplay and very responsive controls. Your eardrums will be fondled with this game’s fantastic soundtrack, featuring songs from bands like Guns n’ Roses, Faith no More, Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, LCD Soundsystem… and Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend“. It feels so out of place, I loved how stupid that inclusion ended up feeling.

If there is one negative I need to point out, that is the fact that Burnout Paradise loves to waste your time with un-skippable cutscenes and really long loading times. The latter is a consequence of how compressed this game is, as it barely takes up 4GB of SD space. There is a lot of content in here, as this remaster also includes all previously released DLC, so I get why the loading times are so long. What I don’t understand is why the game loves to force you to stay put while it lectures you about a new type of event being unlocked or whenever you select a new class of car. This is a momentum breaker in my opinion, and it happens way too often for me to ignore.

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Hunting down these billboards is way more fun than it should have been.

Issues aside, this is still a fantastic game. Burnout Paradise might be a bit too expensive on the eShop, but you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. A huge open world to explore, tons of cars to unlock and collect, a fantastic soundtrack comprised of some of the greatest bands of all time, and most importantly, that good old Burnout gameplay that will never get old. This is a fantastic title to own on a portable system, if you can ignore the steep price-tag and the really long loading times.

Graphics: 8.5

It already looked impressive on the Xbox 360 and PS3 days, so it transitioned pretty well on the Switch’s small screen. It runs at a high resolution and a fantastic framerate.

Gameplay: 9.5

This is the rare kind of racing game that doesn’t need analog triggers in order to work properly, so Burnout Paradise Remastered‘s controls work brilliantly on the Switch, mostly due to the tight responsiveness and excellent framerate.

Sound: 9.5

Guns n’ Roses, Jane’s Addiction, Faith No More, LCD Soundsystem, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Killswitch Engage… should I keep going?

Fun Factor: 8.5

The always chaotic and always addictive gameplay from Burnout on a big open map and on-the-go. The game is only hampered by long loading times and a plethora of unskippable cutscenes.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Burnout Paradise Remastered is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.