A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Burnout Paradise Remastered is a fast-paced racer that glorifies reckless driving for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PCs. Players are rewarded for driving in oncoming traffic, slamming into other vehicles, and creating overall citywide carnage. Parents of new teen drivers might want to consider that research suggests that playing some racing games can increase your willingness to take risks while driving in real life. Collision carnage is shown in great detail, but no person is ever shown injured. This game also features an online component that allows for chat, so kids will be exposed to whatever other online racers care to say. The Remastered version includes content from eight previously released downloadable packs, as well as enhanced visuals to take advantage of 4K TVs. The Nintendo Switch version doesn't output in 4K, but will display in full HD when docked. It also runs at 60 frames per second, just like the other versions of the game.
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What's it about?
BURNOUT PARADISE REMASTERED takes the concept of causing mass highway carnage a step further, replacing the linear driving campaign with the open-road world of Paradise City. Players can navigate a large map, choosing their own path to conquering this large metropolis. Each stoplight in Paradise City represents a different event. Challenges vary from races to road rage, with the latter being an event where you must wreck a specific number of opposing cars. In Stunt Run, you'll speed over ramps and through billboards to rack up points. Each victory earns you points on your license. After completing a certain number of challenges, you'll get an upgrade. The Remastered version adds in content from eight previously released downloadable content packs as well as visual enhancements to take advantage of 4K TVs. On the Nintendo Switch, while the game doesn't run at 4K, it displays at full HD, while maintaining 60 frames per second to keep the action fast paced and smooth for racers tearing up the streets.
Is it any good?
For kids old enough to know that reckless driving only has a place in video games and not in real life, this game can be an exciting fantasy to explore. In Burnout Paradise Remastered, cars are categorized based on speed, strength, and stunt ability. This also determines how to increase their boost meters. Stronger cars, for example, will use an aggression boost meter, which rises with overly assertive driving. The natural fallout of this aggressive driving are the explosive crashes. Wrecks look cinematic, as glass shards and chunks of metal shoot across in slow-motion before the full effects of your collision are realized. Sometimes this can be accidental, like when you turn a corner and accidentally collide with a car or a ramp. In other cases, you have to cause as much mayhem as possible, like Road Rage events where you need to take out as many competitors as you can before your car is demolished.
Burnout Paradise Remastered's greatest achievement is eradicating almost all downtime. Load screens and menus are rarely seen. Cars can zip into repair shops and gas stations with no break in action. The gameplay has been significantly expanded with the inclusion of the eight previously released downloadable content packs as well. Now drivers have access to 150 cars and motorcycles to race through the streets. The inclusion of Big Surf Island adds new challenges and new roads to tear up as well, further expanding the racing mayhem. Plus, the enhanced 4K visuals makes the gameplay look incredible, whether its the vistas of Paradise City or the slick sheen of the paint on each car. The Nintendo Switch doesn't have the same fidelity that the PS4 or Xbox One versions do, but it manages to run at 1080p when it's docked and at 60 frames per second, which just feels buttery smooth. The biggest downside on the Switch is that in handheld mode, the screen can appear to be a bit darker than normal, which can make judging the distance of oncoming vehicles and some hazards harder than it needs to be. (Much of this issue is alleviated when you dock the Switch to a TV screen, by the way.) If you're a racing fan, Burnout Paradise Remastered will easily rev your engines.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of this type of driving game. What makes a title focused on reckless driving like Burnout Paradise Remastered so entertaining? How do it compare to more realistic racing titles? Do you think there is any connection between playing this kind of game and becoming more reckless when driving in real life?
Which do you like more: arcade-like racers where there are no consequences for your high-speed driving, or simulation-styled racers closer to the real-life sport? Why?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: June 19, 2020
- Genre: Racing
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence
- Last updated: June 26, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.