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Kai Martinez
Kai Martinez

Burnout 3: Takedown

Sophisticated crash technology allows for high-speed crashes with extreme detail. Use your vehicle as a weapon and takedown rivals, using the new Aftertouch feature to control your vehicle after the moment of impact.

Burnout 3: Takedown

Players take on multiple event types over the course of the game, including Race, Road Rage, and Crash Mode. Race is fairly straightforward--first one to the finish line wins. Road Rage sets a target number of "takedowns" for the player to reach. Crash mode pins drivers not against other cars, but rather, against set patterns of parked cars and traffic, making it feel almost like a high-speed puzzle that's solved when you find the precise spot to cause the biggest crash.

All Burnout games have provided some sort of status page as to how much of the game has been completed. This includes a percentage of the over all game you have done. To get 100% the player must get all 173 gold medals in World tour (races and crash junctions), all signature takedowns, all crash headlines, and all four Burnout trophies.

To unlock the Oval Racer Special under the Special car class, the player must get all 20 signature takedowns. Signature Takedowns are takedowns done at certain points on tracks and the player receives a [stock] photo.

The other big gameplay mechanic in Burnout 3 makes the crashes much more exciting and interactive. When you crash, you can drop the game into a slow-motion mode called impact time, which makes for a very interesting and even innovative dynamic where the pacing of the game can drastically shift for a few moments if you crash. While this slow-motion look at cars getting mangled is beautiful in and of itself, you can actually make light adjustments to your car's trajectory using the left analog stick or d-pad, which is something the game calls "aftertouch." By applying aftertouch when you crash, not only can you stack your car into trucks, tankers, and other cars--just for the heck of it--but also you can attempt to knock into your opponents during a race. If you're successful, you'll earn an aftertouch takedown, which refills your boost meter and prevents you from losing any bonus meter segments. Basically, it functions as a recovery move. The fact that Burnout 3 makes crashing--which is usually the most undesirable part of competition in a racing game--a completely enjoyable part of the game is remarkable. Burnout 3's crash mode has also been completely redesigned to take advantage of aftertouch, so you'll have to do more than just wreck into the right spot this time around. Instead you'll need to maneuver your vehicle's carcass around for best results. It's a strange and surprisingly well-thought-out addition to the game.

The other modes in the game are standard variants on the basic format. You'll face off against one other car in a race that, if won, unlocks the opposing vehicle for your own use. The burning lap is a solo race against the clock that gives you the maximum boost meter length and essentially challenges you to boost your way around the entire track to meet or beat some pretty challenging lap times. Road rage gives you a time limit and a never-ending stream of opponent cars. The gold medal is won by achieving a specific number of takedowns before time--or before your banged-up car--expires. Online, you can play road rage in teams, where the blue team tries to escape while the red team, often with infinite boost, tries to catch up to take the drivers out before a certain number of miles have been logged. Eliminator races are five lap races that disqualify the last-place car at the end of every lap, making the final lap a one-on-one showdown.

You'll earn cars in different ways throughout Burnout 3, but perhaps the most satisfying way to earn them is by reaching specific score plateaus. The game keeps track of how many takedowns you've pulled against your opponents and how much monetary damage you've caused in crash mode--and it also tracks a global Burnout score that you get for driving skillfully, crashing stylishly, and so on. Each of these different counters will get you a car from time to time, and the points can come in whether you're online or off. Some of the higher-ticket crash vehicles--like the fire truck--cost a lot of money, so you won't see these during your first weekend of play. These unlockables, combined with the lengthy world tour mode, give Burnout 3 a fantastic amount of replay value. When you add in the online support and how well it's all tied together, you have a driving game that you won't be putting down anytime soon--and not just because of its outstanding gameplay.

Burnout 3: Takedown can be counted among this small selection of enduring classics. Criterion's rip-roaring racer is a thing of beauty, building upon its two predecessors to craft a threequel that is frenetic, frantic, and so unbelievably satisfying to play. Part of its brilliance is how the game never once tries to overcomplicate itself. You have access to a plethora of disgustingly fast cars and your job is to complete races while wiping out fellow drivers with a series of sick takedowns. You can slam them into a nearby railing with a burst of speed, or flip them over your own vehicle by slamming into them from the exact right angle.

Whenever you pull off a successful takedown the entire screen shifts into a brief period of slow motion, allowing you to marvel in your own personal destruction before immediately drifting back into the action. Flawlessly completing a race while wiping out each and every competitor you come across is a thing of beauty, even more so in modes that reward you for murdering fellow motorists on the road to victory. Future games like Paradise and Revenge would build upon the tight formula that Takedown pioneered, but in its purest form it still can't be beaten.

Racing is just as much carnage as it ever was, and in fact has been ramped up to include six drivers in the race from the off, as opposed to the four of previous versions. Knowing full well that online play would be full of idiots driving the wrong way and trying to be annoying as they always tend to do in online racing games, Criterion struck upon the realisation that basing the entire racing mode on the concept of 'takedowns' would solve this annoyance.

Stuck for a 'language of crashes' Criterion has taken inspiration from Tony Hawks and SSX with each successful takedown given its own specific name, such as 'Wall Takedown' or 'Psyche Out', while each track gives opportunities to come up with your own Signature Takedown, for example sending your opponent down a cliff side or other unique, one-off spectaculars. Boost, as ever, is a key part of the proceedings, and can be gained from the usual dangerous manoeuvres that previous players will be well and truly familiar with, like driving into oncoming traffic.

That is when Burnout 3 came along two years later, tightening up the crash events, refining the racing, and of course (with the help of EA) creating a soundtrack that ruined my music tastes forever. With whiny pop-punk, angry racing, and a whole lot of pixelated sparks as you speed down the highway, scrubbing the barrier on the wrong side of the road, I was in heaven. Of course, Revenge goes a touch further to refine the racing, the crash events, and the takedowns. Takedown gave birth to my love of the racing genre. That and the soundtrack grew up a bit in that year, featuring The Doors, of all bands.

As Game Informer put it, the graphics and slo-mo replays transformed every crash into "a work of art fit to be framed and hung on the walls of Paris' Louvre museum." With every takedown your meter would go up as you tried build a takedown streak into a "Takedown Rampage." All these terms seem ridiculous on paper but My God they were addictive. Of course you were as susceptible to a "Psyche Out" or "Wall Takedown" as anyone else but even when that happened it gave you the chance for payback and that tremendously pleasing "Takedown Avenged!"

In this mode, you are asked to achieve a specific number of takedowns. The game ends either before time runs out, or you total your car. You can see hen you are about to wreck it when you see "Damage Critical" flash up. 041b061a72


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