The racing genre has been generating allot of buzz recently with a few heavy hitting titles like Gran Turismo 4, and Forza Motorsport coming out very soon. Both games share one thing in common; they both have amazingly realistic graphics and gameplay. Burnout 3: Takedown does not fit into this category. It defies everything you know about the genre and creates one of the most compelling and addicting racers to date.

The Game
Burnout 3 is one of those games that will take you in and won't let go. You can sit down to have a quick play of it and soon realize it's been 3 hours. You'll keep thinking, just one more race or just one more crash. That's the way a racing game should be, instead of intimidate you it should welcome you, and draw you in. Too many other racing games will be too challenging for the rookie player and too complicated for the average player, and some too easy for the experienced player. There's a fine line between them and Burnout 3 nails it.

One of Burnout 3's most impressive features is its many game modes. In single player you have your traditional Race mode in which two or more racers go head to head in a race to the finish, Time Attack where you race against the clock, Road Rage where you go for as many takedowns as you can, and Crash where you try to create the biggest crash you can. The campaign mode called World Tour is great, with over 173 events and different levels of beating each event how can it not be? There is easily enough variety to keep you going for months and that's not even including the multiplayer.

The big difference that Burnout 3 has over the previous games is the Takedown feature. To perform a Takedown is simple you just have to take out another racer. There are however more ways to do it; you can smash them into a wall, smash them into an oncoming car or take them out after you've crashed yourself. That's right you can takedown another racer after you have been Taken down. Each of these takedowns will show you a little clip of the other car flying through the air, or crashing into other vehicles.

After doing a takedown you get more boost. Boost is pretty much what it sounds like a boost to your speed. Boost is very important in a race and you can run out, lucky for you there are many more ways to get boost, all of them involving risk. You can closely zip by cars, drive on the oncoming lane, or drift around corners, all of these exercises in adrenaline will keep your boost meter filled as long as you practice them regularly. The whole racing experience is totally unbelievable, and exactly what you want from an arcade racer. It's fast, exhilarating, pulse pounding, you will even find yourself flying through city streets just narrowly escaping oncoming traffic and walls. You can even battle side to side against other racers and have last second races to the finish. All while trying to avoid crashing and ending up 50 feet in the air or joining a huge multi-car pile up, all thanks to an excellent physics engine.

As I said before Burnout 3 is a long game with lots of replay ability. One of the many reasons why you will want to replay Burnout 3 is to get every vehicle. There are altogether 7 different vehicle classes with about 10 or more vehicles in each all of which need to be unlocked by winning different events. There are also a massive 40+ tracks that you will want to unlock throughout the game. With all of the replay ability you're looking at about 30+ hours of gameplay. To go along with Burnout 3's amazing single player is an equally as good multiplayer with friends or over Xbox Live. The Xbox Live portion is where it's at though, with 7 online modes including most of the options from single player plus some others, you can spend hours with opponents trying to make the biggest crash or get the most takedowns. One of the most intense multiplayer modes is Team Crush where one team races and the other team tries to take them out before they can reach the finish line, or party crash where everyone competes for the biggest, best crash. Exciting stuff.

Graphics & Sound
The graphics in Burnout 3 are excellent. Each car is highly detailed and looks excellent as you fly down the tracks. The same thing can be said about the tracks, all of them look and feel like your racing through a busy city, or small country road. Each track is also excellently designed and unique so you probably won't get bored of racing them. Another thing you may notice about Burnout 3's graphics is that they are much different from most other racers you'll play. The cars are not photorealistic and the tracks are not designed exactly like real places in the world.

This is an excellent choice for Burnout 3 because it is not a realistic racer. The best part about the graphics though is the effects. When you are racing along the side barriers, or along other cars you'll be spitting out a constant stream of sparks. Another great effect is when you press your boost button and all around you starts blurring and cars only streaks along your path. The crashes are also particularly well done with cars bending around posts, windows smashing, and lone wheels rolling by. All of these effects add a great sense of speed and chaos to an already chaotic game.

The sounds are also done quite well when it comes to racing. You can hear the gearbox shifting, the tires screeching, metal smashing metal and windows shattering to the ground. You can hear the power of the cars as they gear higher and higher, and hear the swoosh of oncoming traffic as you blow by it. Unfortunately the soundtrack is not very good, good thing it takes full advantage of the Xbox's ability to play custom tracks so you can listen to whatever music you prefer. Another problem with the audio is the announcer. He's annoying, and unfortunately you can't replace him. The worst part is he can end up repeating the same things over and over. Those are however only a few problems, so the audio on a whole is still quite good.

While Burnout 3 may seem like any other racer it's not. Make no mistake Burnout 3 has its own unique style that will be totally different than any other racer you play. While it does have some similarities to other Racers- mainly in the racing mode, but you will soon realize that all the little innovations will add up to make it a totally different experience. Also how many other racing games have a mode that simply lets you try and make the biggest car pile up you can? That's right, none.

Another part of Burnout 3 that is totally different than any other racing game out there is how it rewards you for risk taking. While most games will punish you for it, and try to force you to take the route all of your opponents are taking, Burnout 3 encourages it. An excellent change of pace for those looking for something totally new in racing genre.

You will find Burnout 3 overflowing with Mojo. Taking a screaming fast car and driving it into a busy intersection creating a massive car pile up costing millions of dollars is not only fun, but addictive. Another thing that creates a high level of excitement is weaving in between cars going at 200 MPH and trying to battle with an opponent. You know one of you is going to go down, but who will it be? Finally the awesome cut scenes after each takedown that show the opposing car spinning through the air are extremely fun to watch, especially knowing that all the damage was done by you. Burnout 3 is just dripping with mojo thanks to its overly chaotic style.

Burnout 3 is the crowning jewel in the Burnout series. Fun, fast and at the same time, original and addicting, I can easily recommend Burnout 3 to anyone. Even if you don't like racing games you will probably find something to like in this incredible game. Burnout 3 is by far the best arcade racer I have ever played, and probably the best racing game to date!

Reviewed by Cameron Bourne | November 6th 2004

  • Risk & Reward: Earn boost by taking risks and battling with your competitors - through oncoming traffic, near-misses, tail-gating, getting air and drifting.
  • Crash Mode: Cause wanton destruction in a game mode dedicated to crashing. Gamers are challenged to crash into (and through) busy intersections, creating carnage, and as much damage as possible, unlocking new rewards and more features.
  • Race Modes: Featuring 9 different race modes including: Single Race, Tournament, Lap Eliminator, Burning Lap, Road Rage and more.
  • Multiplayer Modes: Race off modes including: Quick-line in 8 multiplayer race, Battle Race, Road Rage, and Party Crash, where 2 to 16 players participate in a pass-the-game-controller match up.
  • Online Play*: Race online in seven different modes, featuring up to 6 participants on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, battling through full oncoming traffic. Online modes include variations of Crash Mode, Single Race, Road Rage and more.
  • Vehicles: Over 70 cars from 12 different classes are available. Choose from European exotics, American muscle cars, mid-size sports sedans, sports cars, compacts, buses, semi trucks, and more.
  • Locations: With more than 40 different tracks spanning three continents, players can battle and takedown opponents across a broad range of conditions and environments, as well as experiencing dozens of unique crash junctions.
  • Spectacular crash technology: Burnout 3 features highly sophisticated crash technology that recreates high speed crashes with extreme detail and allows the player to use their car as a weapon and take-out rivals, controlling the car even after crashing.

Burnout 3

Sept. 2004