Burnout Paradise came out a few years ago; twelve, actually. Which, I guess is a bit of a shock. Even to me. The Paradise took the original format of the Burnout games and put it into a fairly huge, open world environment, giving the player the freedom to take on challenges in whatever order they wanted. The original release was met with positive reviews.
Now, over a decade later, the Remastered Edition has released on all major platforms, Switch included. And, while the hardware of the Switch prevents it from attaining quite the level of fidelity that it reached on the other platforms, it is still quite the upgrade from the original version and a pretty awesome game, all told.
Included in the Remastered Edition is all of the DLC content that ever released for Paradise over the course of its original development. In all, there are 150 playable vehicles, including motorcycles, trucks, and more, plus 120 unique events, the additional portions of the map that were added, and a high-octane soundtrack that will take you back a decade or so.
Probably one of my favorite things to do in any Burnout game is to crash cars. This is not lost in Paradise. Many of the game modes center around the destructibility of the various vehicles in the game, allowing you to bend, warp, and break the cars in exciting, slow-motion views. The physics of the crashes are always amazing to watch and a source of endless fun when you try to challenge yourself to create an even more epic, more explosive crash than the last one.
As you drive around the island, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for things to discover or unlock. Secret short-cut paths, smashable billboards placed in hard-to-reach locations, super-jump ramps, and places to repair, refuel, or repaint your ride are just a few of the things you’ll be searching for. The island’s design is very well done, as well, giving you plenty of different feeling locations to drive through. There is a mountainous region with a more natural, sweeping feel to the roadways, as well as a densely populated downtown area of the city that follows more of a grid-pattern to the streets.
Getting to know the island is a must, too. As one of the only things that really bothered me about the gameplay, it is really easy to get turned around or to take a wrong path when you’re racing to a certain checkpoint. There is a kind of automated GPS navigation, but the signs that pop up to assist you in making the “right” turn (even though the game stresses that there is no one “right” way to go to win a race) can be less than helpful and easy to miss. I lost more than one race because I took a turn that I thought was going to help me out, but ended up looping back in an opposite direction than I needed to go.
You are free to roam the island in whatever way you choose, in whichever of the cars you have available and can activate an event at any time you wish just by squealing your tires at any of the many, many intersections on the map. Each intersection is linked to one or more events. The events take the form of a race, a “marked man” event where you are trying to get to the end checkpoint before being wrecked by other cars that are chasing you, a stunt mode where you are trying to score as many points as possible in the allotted time, and more. As you complete more and more challenges, you unlock better racing permits, which unlock more cars and things to do.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the remaster on the Switch, which is basically just a destructive, speed frenzied playground with nearly limitless possibilities, especially considering the online and couch co-op play options. There is no split-screen racing that I know of, but you are able to challenge your friends and family by passing the controller back and forth in certain modes. Considering how much of a game you’re getting, all for a $20 price tag, it’s pretty hard to turn down.