Light theme

Burnout 3: Takedown review
by RobbieRLH

This game is as close to perfect as an arcade racer can be. I'll get straight into it. 

The main mode is World Tour. This sees you complete different types of race/event in three separate parts of the world: US, Asia and Europe. You'll compete in standard races, road rage events (take out as many opposition cars in the given time limit), eliminator races (every lap the racer in last place gets eliminated until it's a 1v1 race to the finish), Face Off races (a 1v1 race where you win your opponents car if you best them) Grand Prix tournaments (4 races in a row and the best racer overall wins), Burning Lap/Special Event races (complete a lap as quick as possible in a specific car) and Crash events (cause as much damage as possible). The amount of variety is absolutely insane. The three most interesting ones are Road Rage, Burning Lap/Special Event and Crash. The takedowns in Burnout look incredible and Road Rage makes the most of this. Having events dedicated to wiping out every racer you see is about as mindlessly fun as this game gets. Burning Lap/Special Events are races aimed at veterans of the game. You will be expected to never take your finger off the boost button to get gold in these races, and some of the latter events require you to boost for 3 minutes straight, around cars and obstacles, hitting every turn absolutely perfectly, and a single crash will ruin your chances of getting gold. Oh and you're driving a Formula 1 car, which means so much as grazing a pavement will make you spin out. Then there's crash mode. I... don't like this mode. At all. The crashes look fantastic and Criterion pushed this heavily in advertisements for the game, but it boils down to luck a lot of the time. Also, restarting an event takes you to a loading screen, then to the race start menu, then there's a three second countdown, THEN you get to retry. What a slog. 

I could talk about this forever. The gameplay is as tight as it gets. Learning courses inside out is rewarding and knowing exactly which lines to take when you're boosting around is the most satisfying feeling ever. The courses look fantastic and take you through beaches, forests, mountains and cities. This also came out just before racing games started obsessing over open worlds. This is a matter of taste but I much prefer linear racing games that focus on the actual RACES over driving around a boring hub world. 
I never played the multiplayer barring some split screen with my brother so I won't talk about it much but I highly recommend finding someone and playing a few races with them.  

The graphics hold up well for a game that came out in the early 2000's. Nothing mind blowing but great for the time, especially the Xbox version. It runs at 60fps and never dips, which is impressive and important for a game with such a heavy emphasis on high speeds and tight turns. The blur effect can occasionally be a bit heavy but when you're driving at 180mph it's to be expected. 

The sound effects are again, decent, but nothing amazing. You'll get absolutely sick of hearing the engine revving when you're going max speed whist boosting, especially on Burning Lap tracks where you're not expected to stop boosting at all. People will either love or hate the soundtrack. Much like the Tony Hawk games, fans of indie/rock/metal will probably love this. It's got everything from The Hives, to Fall Out Boy, to From First To Last. But I suspect the much maligned Stryker FM will land firmly on the 'hate' side for most people. The charismatic radio host will comment on your race as you progress. It's fun.. initially. Then he starts repeating himself. And for a game you can sink 30 hours into, he doesn't have nearly enough lines. That being said, I don't mind him, and you can turn him off in the settings. Fret not. 

There are some negatives - there's zero customisation available, the car selection is limited and there are far too many Crash events in my opinion. But none of these affect the experience much. 

Not gonna talk about this anymore. It's the best racing game ever. And it's like 4 quid. Buy it
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Beaten more than once»

Other reviews2

As a kid I loved this game, but after playing it again a decade and a half later, it isn't really that good, nostalgia is a wonderful thing and I'll always remember this game, but the gameplay is very simple and repetitive and that's why as a kid I enjoyed it but now it bores me