TomChick - :60 Reviews - Comments - 10/08/04
Within the first hour of playing Electronic Arts' slick shiny loud fast revved-up spark-spitting bullet-time rocketdriving oily-controlled crashing aftertouchable arcade game, it had secured a place on my list for the top ten of the year. After a couple of hours of play, a bit of dinking around with Xbox Live, and some split screen multiplayer, it had climbed to one of the top spots on the list.
That list is the Top Ten Most Disappointing Games of 2004. I loved the genius of the first Burnout games, which is still buried somewhere deep in Burnout 3, but I'd just as soon go back to one of the earlier games than trudge through the ubiquitous meaningless unlockables, the rubberbanding AI that makes whatever I do pretty much inconsequential, the glib physics that feel more like driving a boat than a car, and a camera that's completely antithetical to how you're supposed to play the game and how you could have enjoyed the spectacle. Criterion is the Wachowski Brothers of racing games: they don't seem to have any idea what made their previous games so good. I understand the appeal of Burnout 3 as an attractive superficial diversion, but ultimately I prefer a little more gameplay in my racing games.