|a game by||Electronic Arts UK Ltd.|
|Platforms:||PSP, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games, Burnout Series|
Racing games have been around since the infancy of video games. However, they have generally stuck to a pretty rigid format. Usually, these titles will have a time trial mode, versus mode, maybe a campaign mode and if you’re lucky, a photo mode. This was the norm for the longest time with few games coming along to mix things up. Then out of the blue, the Burnout series came along to bring fast-paced, destruction based racing to our screens. Burnout Dominator was just another attempt at bringing high octane road racing to the masses.
This game plays much like other more modern racing games that mix conventional track racing with fresh mechanics. Games such as the Need For Speed series, Onrush, Motorstorm or Horizon Chase Turbo. All these titles have a focus on demolition, car damage and fast-paced racing which Burnout arguably paved the way for.
Hello Old Friend
What will be very apparent if you have played for recent iterations of the Burnout series, is just how different this handheld and console friendly version feels. Perhaps due to the platform or simply due to a design choice by the developers, this game plays very similarly to older titles in the series. The more intricate mechanics have been scaled back and a focus on track racing comes to the forefront once again.
It’s a change that really supports the gameplay on offer. Burnouts are back with a vengeance in this title, with players being encouraged to boost infinitely around the track, running the controlled risk that you could easily smash into a wall or oncoming traffic. It’s this focus that really amps up the arcade vibe, with players being urged to rack up points and drive dangerously to get ahead of their competitors.
The only real criticism to the refined and perfected gameplay on offer is the game modes included here. The fan favourite ‘traffic attack’ fails to make an appearance along with other strong additions from Burnout Revenge. However, there are new inclusions such as ‘maniac mode’ that aims to be a straight swap for this. On paper, this wouldn’t have been an issue but in practice, it feels like the better parts of the predecessor have been swapped for lesser versions.
Fails to Innovate
Burnout Dominator is great at providing the same brilliant arcade racing that the series is known for and that should always be praised. However, aside from small inclusions such as new car models, an upgraded soundtrack and a new track design focus that allows you to take advantage of shortcuts through breakable objects and surfaces much like Need for Speed: Carbon or the successor to this title, Burnout Paradise. There is little else available that notably pushes the series forward.
The game uses the Burnout Revenge engine and for that reason, the visuals feel the exact same. It’s a decision that ensures the game runs well and supports a smooth frame rate, however, it feels lazy and offers nothing new in the way of slick advances in graphics.
This coupled with the lack of new impressive game modes and essentially offering core gameplay that harks back to an older interaction of the series rather than adding a new fresh feel all feels a little cheap.
Great but not revolutionary
The majority of the praise that this game receives is down to past successes rather than building on it to create new, innovative gameplay. Yes, there are new additions such as game modes, car models, tracks and shortcuts and for someone looking for an update on what was already available, this is perfectly fine. However, for long time fans of the Burnout series, this will feel like a damp squib in some respects. The only saving grace in this respect is that this game comes on the PSP, meaning you can now take Burnout on the go which is amazing.
However, as a fully-fledged console title, this is more of the same which although not bad by any means, is not what we were hoping for.
- Burnouts are back
- New tracks, cars and soundtrack
- New game modes and a shortcut feature
- Uses same game engine as predecessor so visuals aren’t stunning
- Some popular game modes are scrapped
- Fails to innovate