The Burnout series has a lot of goodwill behind it, all of it merited. Paradise was brilliant, and made even more so thanks to the oodles of free DLC given away by Criterion. And although this digital effort is no replacement for a fully fledged title, its smash-happy take on the Highway Code does the franchise no harm.
Played from a top-down perspective, it’s part-frantic action and part-puzzler – but all destructo-phile delight as you attempt to cause as much monetary damage to a city area as possible during either a set time limit, or before a certain number of cars escape your intersection of death.
There are three game modes, but each round starts off the same way: drive a car from the bottom of the screen into an intersection of traffic, maxing out the insurance premiums of whichever poor sap happens to be in your way.
After that, your driving’s done (unsurprisingly, given the likely state of your axles), but you then control your car using an explosive aftertouch called Crashbreaker.
Your meter reloads both over time and through you causing mayhem, and utilising it properly is crucial.
A tap of X blasts you into the air, enabling you to position your vehicle in the way of any oncoming cars.
Strategy comes by way of the fact that you have to maintain enough of a pile-up to stop cars getting past the intersection, but also continually blow things across the map to keep your delicious destruction tally rising.
It doesn’t take long before things start spinning out of control – literally – with a range of special vehicles and power-ups making their presence known. These range from bulldozers that come and plough all your hard work out of the way, to jumbo jets that wipe out the entire level and add serious dollar to your total.
This instalment of Burnout strikes just the right balance between addictive and repetitive, especially as it features big bro’s groundbreaking Autolog system for competing against your buddies.
At £7.99, it’s a fine way to get your automotive destruction fix until the next proper Burnout – and it’s clear that Criterion hasn’t lost any of its sense of fun while the series has been away.