I’ll be honest; I never had high hopes from Burnout Crash especially when you add a top down perspective to Criterion’s excellent racing franchise. Making matters worse was the god awful ad released by EA that really was insulting to watch as both a gamer and a consumer. However when I booted it up on the iPad, I was pleasantly surprised at how addictive and enjoyable this game actually is.
Miniature destruction FTW!
The entire concept for this game is based around the Crash mode you’ve seen and played in previous Burnout games, Paradise not included. Your goal in that mode (and throughout this game) is to cause as much chaos as possible by flinging your ride through traffic. And surprisingly, the move to 2D doesn’t really hamper gameplay. Burnout Crash boasts of three modes - Rush Hour, Pile Up, and Road Block – spread out over multiple tracks, each of which are themed differently so in one you could be smashing stuff along the beach while in one you could be causing chaos outside an airport. But no matter what the mode or the map, you’re still smashing everything in sight.
Choose your mode and then thrash it all up
If you’ve played any of the previous Burnout games, you’ll feel right at home with Crash. Even if you haven’t, it really isn’t rocket science. As any mode starts, your car slowly starts careening towards traffic and you guide it across your handheld device using your finger. Once you do cause a crash, you have to frantically move your ride all over the level trying to hit as many cars as possible. Wreck enough and you’ll fill up your Crashbreaker meter that allows you to detonate your car causing even more damage. Wreck even more cars and you’ll be able to trigger absurd but totally awesome environmental hazards like tornadoes, hail storms or something as random as a UFO attack.
Causing huge pileups may require a bit of planning on your part as certain shortcuts open up different venues for chaos. Of course you can always replay a level as many times as you want and post your scores on Autolog, EA’s online stat tracking system introduced in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
There isn’t much to fault in the control department because honestly there isn’t much to control over here. However the aspect of bouncing your car all over the map doesn’t feel as smooth as it felt in the console iterations. It’s like you really have to swipe the living daylights out of the screen to get your car moving. It just doesn’t feel responsive.
Who called ET?
While I do appreciate the content this game brings to the table, I can’t help feeling a bit embarrassed at the way EA has positioned this game. It’s like they’re trying to appeal to the most juvenile gamers out there who would be impressed by the words “Cool” or “Awesome” constantly being uttered a few thousand times throughout the game. The overall presentation just feels excessive and over-the-top and I can’t help but wonder that if EA have played it cool, this game wouldn’t have had so many people hating on it.
Idiotic marketing and a few minor issues aside, Burnout Crash is actually an enjoyable slice of Burnout on your iPad/iPhone. Of course this is still no substitute to a full-fledged Burnout game because it is a one trick pony at the end of the day but it does get the job done when you have a hankering for chaos and have no more than ten minutes at your disposal.