Traffic Attack isn't quite the innovation that Crash mode was back in Burnout 2, but it's still an entertaining addition to the World Tour. A timer ticks down while you plough through as many vehicles as possible, taking them down yourself, or by sending them flying into other lanes of traffic and doing the dirty work for you. Once the timer hits 20 seconds you're up against it, with every take down adding vital seconds to the timer. It's a constant struggle, moving from one car to the next, like some crazed bull in Santo Domingo during July. It's fast, intense, action-packed stuff, that's for sure.
There's support for two-player split screen that runs surprisingly smoothly, but online play is the big focus of this Xbox 360 version. There are some great online race and crash modes for up to six players, but the real star is the new online rivals system. The game tracks all your online races and lets you know if you've created a rival in the online arena. Before each race you'll be told who you need to focus on and also which driver is the current event leader. The talk of online rivals seemed like a minor thing before the game was released, but it gives online games much more of an edge than they did on the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The achievements tied to the game also focus quite heavily on online play, hammering home how much time Criterion spent on this aspect of the port.
The other major addition is the ability to view, save and share replays. 30-second clips can be recorded and then made available for friends and other players to see. The top twenty most downloaded replays are showcased, so it's up to you to make sure your classic video is given to as many players as possible. The whole interface is designed pretty well, and the sharing process doesn't take all that long, making it ideal for capturing incredible Burnout moments - of which there are bound to be plenty.
Burnout Revenge looked phenomenal on the Xbox and PlayStation 2, and it looks surprisingly brilliant on the Xbox 360 too. The game moves at a blisteringly fast pace and the colours are so vivid they literally smack you in the face. The crashes look more spectacular than ever here, with much improved explosion effects and high-poly car models that show every bump and scrape, but the difference between this and the previous-gen versions isn't exactly night and day. If you're running a hi-def display then the 720p support makes a huge difference - in image quality and in spotting distant traffic - and the draw distance seems slightly improved, but the frame rate drops a little from time to time. It's such a small problem that it could well have been left out of the review, but seeing as this is a port of a game from a previous-gen system, it's worth noting.
The game's soundtrack is a huge improvement over Burnout 3, with a collection of tunes that fit the game far better. The sound effects have actually been totally reworked for this 360 port, and somehow the game manages to sound even better than the already incredible sounding Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions. Everything just sounds that bit meatier, making the intense nature of the game even more dramatic. If you haven't already played Revenge on an older system, you'll be glad to hear that the awful DJ from Burnout 3 no longer offers his words of wisdom during races, rounding off a great audio package.
Something that must be mentioned is the rubber-band AI. This means that your opposition rarely stretch that far ahead or fall too far behind. In most games this would be a huge problem, as no matter your skill, you could be punished on the final corner. In Burnout the best part of the game comes from taking down the opposition, so, had you been able to pull large distances ahead this element of the game would have been lost. Sure, a last second crash can be costly, but keeping things close makes races thrilling from start to finish.
Whether or not you should buy Burnout Revenge on the Xbox 360 is a tricky question. If you don't already own a version of the game, then there's no question - pick this up today. Even with its previous-gen roots, Burnout Revenge is a brilliant Xbox 360 title that deserves a place in your collection. If you own or have played a lot of the Xbox or PlayStation 2 version, it's a much harder decision to make. With the main additions being made to the online game, this should be your deciding factor, along with some nicely sharpened visuals for anyone with a hi-def display.
VideoGamer.com Score8 Score out of 10
- Nicely improved next-gen visuals
- Great online system
- Some minor slowdown
- New content is minimal