Review: Burnout Dominator

The Burnout franchise is brilliant for gamers who aren't very good at racing games for at least one reason: you get points for crashing. But is the series starting to lose its shine?

I have a fairly long history with Burnout, having been a devoted fan since Burnout 3. Just the fact that you get rewarded for both aggressively driving your competitors off the road, and for crashing cars, meant that I couldn’t help but love it. Plus there’s a button that essentially means “I’d like to blow my car up now, please”, which is always a plus.

Disappointingly, though, Burnout Revenge was a little less good than Burnout 3: Takedown, and Burnout Dominator is … well, also a little less good than Burnout 3. The points and scoring system have been overhauled again, but it’s still way too easy to move up the ranks; and the events in Dominator are really non-events.

Dominator does away with the Crash Junction events, which I’ve never been a particular fan of anyway, but they were at least something a bit different, and the lack of them makes the other events feel very samey. The familiar Race, Road Rage, Eliminator and Grand Prix events are still in place, but Burnout Dominator also tries to turn standard Burnout skills into events. So there’s a whole stack of events like Drift Challenge, Maniac, and Burnout Challenge, which basically require you to … do the things you have to do in Burnout anyway.

So that’s not particularly fun.

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To be fair, the graphics have improved again, and the new roads are mostly very cool. The soundtrack is as emo-tastic as ever (though it does include Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne in about five different languages, which gets tiresome fast) but EA haven’t reinstated Stryker, the DJ everyone but me hated from Burnout 3. I miss him.

Another thing that’s a plus for Dominator is that it stops you crashing into same-direction traffic the way you could in Burnout Revenge, but couldn’t in Burnout 3. This forces you to be a bit more skilful in your driving, which is a plus, but does at the same time remove the Traffic Attack game, which was fun.

Swings and roundabouts, really. It’s alright, I suppose.