Burnout Paradise was the seventh, and arguably the best, game in the Burnout series. It took the Burnout formula of racing events with the added ability of being able to quite literally destroy the competition (or be destroyed by them), and brought it to an open world for the first time.
Burnout Paradise Remastered on the Nintendo Switch is the same exact game, with most of the previously released DLC thrown in to boot. It finally provides Switch fans with an open world racing game that’s not only robust and packed with content, it’s one of the most beloved in gaming history.
Burnout Paradise Remastered
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (original version on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360)
Release Date: June 19, 2020 (Nintendo Switch), August 21st, 2018 (Windows PC), March 16th 2018 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) (original version January 22nd, 2008 [PlayStation 3, Xbox 360])
The Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered is an essential game not only for Burnout fans like myself, but anyone looking for the platform’s equivalent of Forza or The Crew. While it’s not a Nintendo property full of well-known characters and Easter eggs, it’s still a bloody good game, and the best in the genre you’ll get your hands on right now.
Everything about the game has been ported over to the Switch extremely well. You can race through the tightly packed streets of Paradise City at insane speeds, causing more crashes than your Nan when she pops to the shops. It gives you a world full of shortcuts and roads to learn, making you feel smarter the longer you play and learn the city’s layout.
All but one piece of previously released DLC is also included, which means you start the game with a plethora of vehicles at your disposal. All the vehicles feel great to drive, though the limited view options does make if feel dated somewhat. Still, there are few better feelings than driving around in pristine cars and watching your opponents smash into a wall as you drive by them unscathed.
Something that could be an issue for new players is the lack of a sense of progression caused by the addition of all this DLC. In the base game you’d begin with an awful car, and slowly unlock more through gameplay.
With the game as it is right now, you get some incredible cars right off the bat, so progression almost feels pointless in some regards. However, there are still better cars to chase, and loads of collect for completionists.
While the game is based on the remaster that launched for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018, it definitely doesn’t look as good as either of them. Given the game world’s size, and the sheer number of vehicles on offer, this didn’t bother me too much.
However, the Burnout series has always been one that looked incredible, and sadly this game doesn’t quite live up to the original. Instead, it reminds me more of the visuals of the PSP release, Burnout Legends.
When in docked mode the game does look slightly better, and has a solid framerate of 60FPS. Sadly the game does chug in handheld mode, but this is more to do with dynamic rendering than the framerate, which is also solid.
What did make me pause and turn on the lights, to no effect, was the day and night cycle. This game gets ridiculously dark at night, to the point where it’s almost unplayable. In a game where you need to drive fast and avoid obstacles, night time needs to be just a little brighter.
Another visual issue I encountered is more to do with the Switch than the game. The smaller screen means that the UI becomes cramped, and almost impossible to keep track of at times.
The shortcuts and collectibles also seem to almost blink into existence because you can’t see them from great distances anymore. It’s not the end of the world, but it is a shame. Of course, you can turn night time off, but it feels like a cop-out.
This game first released in 2008, when there were a lot less expected norms in open world racers than there are today. Unfortunately Burnout Paradise Remastered now suffers from how badly the lack of those features ages it.
For example, there’s no waypoint option on the in-game map, and it’s incredibly hard to work out which events you’ve already completed. You also can’t fast travel, and without waypoints this can make getting to your next race a real mission.
Changing vehicles, something that The Crew 2 prides itself on, is also the bane of my existence. You need to find a Junk Yard if you want to swap your car out for something else.
Once you’ve managed to track on down on the map and drive there, the loading times between viewing cars is ridiculously long. This, sadly, is a loading time you have to sit through though, even if you want to drive away in the car you’re already using.
I don’t feel great about pointing out all of this port’s flaws, because this is a fantastic game in spite of them. Most of the issues are barely noticeable next to the fun you’ll be having whilst racing around Paradise City, at speeds that should make you pass out.
The game is still one of the greatest open world racers of all time, but on the Switch it suffers from more than just its age. However, you’d be remiss to avoid it just because it doesn’t look as good as other versions, because being able to take this game on-the-go and play wherever you want is a phenomenal feeling.
I can’t end this review without talking about the brilliant soundtrack, which I’m happy to say has aged incredibly well. The Burnout series is responsible for forming the musical tastes of every gamer who played at least one of its entries, and Burnout Paradise is where the music was at its best.
Driving around Paradise City whilst listening to Paradise City never gets old, but every other track fits the game and makes you feel great while playing it as well. This is something that I’ve never been able to understand, but something about the combination of a Burnout game’s soundtrack and the noises of the cars and crashes is just unbeatable.
Thankfully the Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered does support multiplayer for up to four players. The caveat is that there is no local multiplayer, which would have made this game so much better.
Being able to compete in a Burnout game in 2020 on the Nintendo Switch makes up for the fact that I can’t force my wife’s in-game car off the road and into a wall though.
Overall, Burnout Paradise Remastered on the Nintendo Switch is a very good game. It has everything that you need from an open world racer in terms of gameplay, and while some of the systems are dated, you’ll barely noticed them once you’ve experienced the driving.
Burnout Paradise Remastered was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a review copy provided by EA. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.