This week EA and Criterion have finally announced the rumored Burnout Crash!. The downloadable title headed to XBLA and PSN is a huge departure from previous entries in the Burnout series. The gameplay experience is built around the franchise’s popular Crash mode and features a new visual style, entertaining soundtrack, top-down point-of-view, and cartoony finish. I got a chance to check out some of the game modes in Burnout Crash! as well as test drive Kinect functionality of the Xbox 360 version.
The demo kicked off with Rush Hour mode (90 second free-for-all). You can either use a standard controller or Kinect to guide your car of choice as you wreak as much vehicular havoc as possible in a busy intersection. Should you opt for the controller-free experience, you’ll steer your car with both hands as if you were holding a steering wheel (similar to Kinect Joy Ride) and swerve it right into traffic. From there you’ll continually wait for your Crash Breaker gauge to fill, jump to trigger a blast within radius, and then hop in other directions to bounce your car toward new areas to destroy (feels a lot like pinball). Thanks to the simplified graphics, Criterion has been able to make everything, including buildings, destructible to help you rack up points. Even though controlling cars with Kinect worked well enough, I found more entertainment in using the 360 controller to bounce my vehicle around different points of each given intersection.
When the timer is about to run out, Crash Break overloads creating a maximum explosion, so part of the strategy near the end of a run is getting to the highest traffic area to get the most out of the blast. At the end scoring is broken down to inspire replayability with different strategies. You’ll get points for the number of cars that explode, skill shots, chain explosions, combos, property damage, etc.
A big part of EA’s racing strategy is the Autolog, which will also be included in Burnout Crash!. Autolog 1.5 features challenges that you can issue out to any of your friends who own the game. Work your way through a mode, ping a friend your score, and when they finally log in to play they’ll find the challenge you’ve sent. Once they’ve gotten their score they can dish it right back. Whoever emerges as victor wins the cup.
Any fans of Crash mode interested in downloadable Burnout?
Burnout Crash! will also be available on PSN.