|System: PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Electronic Arts UK||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
When a multi-award winning game developing company releases a new addition to their multi-award winning game series, it seems to stir up a little bit of excitement. Such is the case with the new EA UK developed Burnout Dominator. Burnout 3: Takedown really caught the attention of American gamers. It captivated us with an ample amount of carnage and a tremendous dose of "As Seen on TV" styled recklessness. So from one gamer to another, I was somewhat excited to learn more about this March 6, 2007 release.
If you're looking for no-frills racing that's heavy on the thrills but short on depth, then Burnout Dominator may be your ticket to racing Nirvana. It's more of a "best of" than a continuation of the series. It incorporates many of the best features of past games while eliminating some of the more superfluous elements. Unfortunately, it also eschews a number of popular features such as Crash mode and any online play. There are some new features, and while they are similar to the modes that they replace, there is a decided lack of depth to the entire presentation. This is purely an arcade racing game and should be approached as such. It's great when taken for what it is, and it doesn't lack in fun. It just won't hold your interest for more than a few days.
What I really like about this game is that the tracks are more spacious, allowing you to exert more control over your vehicle in terms of burnouts and drifting. There are not many moves at your disposal, but like real racing, it should just boil down to how skillful you can manipulate what control you have. In Burnout Dominator, you'll have to worry about traffic again. You're not going to be let off the hook if you start hitting cars. Of course, you'll be rewarded for coming dangerously close to traffic and driving like a maniac, since there is actually a Maniac mode. This brings steering back into the equation as an essential move since you won't be able to hit traffic that's going in the same direction as you.
Burnouts play a major role in the gameplay and considering that it's the namesake of the game, it's good to see the developers focus on it once again. Burnouts are speed boosts which can be accessed when your boost meter is filled. As your vehicle spews a blue-colored flame, it will move at incredible speeds. While you're in Burnout mode, you can collect more boost by driving like a maniac in an attempt to sustain your Burnout as long as possible. Each time you chain a Burnout, you'll multiply your points. Speed into oncoming traffic and swerve at the last second. That will rack you up plenty of points. Pull off some drifts and other reckless stunts, and you'll be boosting your way to the finish line. The gameplay practically dictates that you chain these boosts in later races. Failure to keep your finger on the boost button can put you so far behind that you might as well crash and burn, and start over. By the way, the crashes look spectacular. So even if you're the one involved, it's comforting to know that while you were dying, at least you looked good
Takedowns are downplayed. You can still nail your opponents into the scenery but this time it's for shortcuts. Slamming other vehicles into certain parts of the track will open up new shortcuts for you to use. These shortcuts can save you a great deal of time, and they can be opened up early in the game. Takedowns can also be performed when you want to add a new car to your collection. Instead of just unlocking random vehicles, you can attempt to get the vehicle of your dreams.