Burnout Paradise brings the great Burnout formula to a huge open city with loads of things to do, find and crash into.
You start Burnout Paradise at the bottom of the ladder. You are granted a learners permit from the fine folks at Paradise City DMV, and they give you a car to start yourself off. As you complete races you unlock better licenses and of course, better cars. There are three types of cars in Burnout Paradise, and they are all very different. Speed class cars have boost meter that can only be used when full, and if you use it all at once you can get another boost tank. That is a burnout, and skilled drivers can soon chain burnouts together to get lots of speed. Stunt class cars are great at doing barrel rolls and flat spins and have a large boost meter that can be used when you want. Aggression class cars can take loads of beating, and are also great at dishing it out. In the start of the game the only thing that separates the three is boost. But when the aggression class car is a Monster Truck and the speed class car is a F1 car they handle extremely differently.
The entire Paradise City is open from the outset, and you will have to explore the place. Races are not shown on the map until you have found them. Finding them is easy enough though. Every set of traffic lights in Paradise is an event, and all you have to do to start one is pull up to a traffic light and press two buttons. Simplicity is really one of the key factors in Burnout Paradise.
The great thing about Burnout Paradise is the amount of things you can do. There are 120 events in all, and there are five types of events. Race is simple enough to understand, Road Rage tasks you with wrecking enough opponents, in Stunt run it's all about pulling off cool tricks and earning points, and in Marked Man you have to get to a specified location while aggressive drivers try to run you off the road. Burning Route is the last one, it's a point-to-point race against the clock. Win the event and you'll unlock an upgraded version of the car you did the event in.
Paradise also has loads of collectibles. Super jumps are places where you get huge air, these are also ideal spots for doing stunts. Billboards are large, well, billboards. These are all over Paradise and some are extremely hard to get to, requring precision as well as the right car. Smashes are signs that are put in various places and that usually indicate that a shortcut is right behind. These three things ensure that there is nearly always something top find in Paradise. And when you've got nearly all of one thing, you may go insane trying to find that last on.
What really excels in Burnout Paradise is the online modes. You can drive around in Paradise in the so called Freeburn mode. Do the 500 online challenges for you and up to 8 friends, take on events that are in the game and you can create your own events or challenges. The online features are many, and with the downloadable content Criterion have been putting out, Burnout Paradise will easily keeped you hooked for a long time.