Ignoring the motorcycles – for which this situation is unavoidable – Burnout Paradise involves no people. Watch the wrecks as the camera pans the melee of crunching steel – no drivers. Sidewalks lay empty. Buildings appear abandoned.
It’s questionable that a depiction of interactive paradise involves no humans and a bonanza of jubilant violence. It’s a comical thought – the ideal circumstance involves zero human beings, and some other stuff. Mostly cars. Burnout Paradise uses no regulations, no safety measures, and why anyone bothered putting stoplights up shows a disconnect between city administrators and citizens (if either exist). Hair metal beams in through the radio (Guns n’ Roses “Paradise City” of course). The DJ eggs on drivers to smash stuff. Hit barriers. Blast through street signs. A red billboard? That’s like a bull facing down a bullfighter. Drive like an idiot, generally. Life without consequences; such is paradise.
That utopia involves adrenaline surges. Extreme speed smears color and distorts backgrounds. Imagine heaven, but it’s a figure 8 resting on clouds with clunky metal vehicles sputtering around waiting on impact. Too literal? Probably. This is Burnout Paradise, the zenith of the series according to the title. A massive city map butts against that idea though; Burnout’s get in, get out arcade energy is missing. This wasn’t the Burnout that needed a resolution upgrade – that was Burnout 3, but no matter. Paradise still has power over an audience, captivating in its caffeine-and-anxiety high, even if it’s spread over wasteful, greater distances.