Game Review: Burnout Paradise Party Pack

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We don’t normally review expansions, but… there’s no rule against it.

Visually stunning, suspiciously addicting (possibly laced with nicotine?), and supported by its developer WELL after it’s release, Burnout Paradise is a game that never gets old, and deserves a place in everyone’s collection.

Get our take on the downloadable add-on for Criterion’s Burnout Paradise.

This new expansion (available for download, $9.99 U.S., PS3 and XBox 360) adds an entirely new ‘game’ to Burnout Paradise, although it is built on the same framework.

The Party Pack essentially turns Burnout into a party game, in the vein of Mario Party, or Wario Ware. Up to 8 players can compete using a single controller, each taking a turn, then passing to the next player.

Each game is split into 1 to 8 rounds, with each round comprised of a challenge that all players must complete or compete in.

‘Skill’ challenges involve ‘who can do the most’ given a certain set of goals and conditions. An example would be: ‘Get the highest drift distance while your boost and accelerator are locked on’. All Skill challenges are timed, and many will end prematurely if you crash. At the end of the round, points towards the overall game are doled out based on which player did the best, with the lowest ranked player receiving zero points for that round.

‘Stunt’ challenges have each player attempting to pull off a specific move. The way these challenges are set up, you only get one chance, and if you blow it… you fail that round. No points for you.

‘Speed’ challenges are races to specific places, with the fastest player garnering the most points.

You can set the number of players, rounds, and types of Challenges for each round, including an option for Random selection of Challenge types.

Trophy Whores will probably want to pick this expansion up for the SEVEN EASIEST TROPHIES EVER DESIGNED.

Really. It took just under an hour to unlock them all… and I took smoke breaks.

I was disappointed that there were no ‘Showtime’ or ‘Crash’ challenges, but hey… they gotta leave something for the next bit of DLC, right?

Another downside of the expansion was the color pallette and sounds. Pop-up windows and indicators, as well as the menu system, are all done in pastels with festive streamers and confetti. Seriously? When did Burnout take visual cues from fabric softener ads? While in the menu screens you’ll notice an annoying amount of background chatter, applause, and party noisemakers. I’m grinding my teeth just thinking about it.

The new game type is a welcome addition for current Burnout fans who have real-life face-to-face friends. With no online elements, I can’t recommend this to anyone who games alone, but if you have company at the house, and they are gamers, you’ll want to pick this up.

Don’t Have Burnout Paradise Yet? Get It Here.

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