Developer: Criterion Games
Platforms: iPhone (Reviewed), iPad, PSN, Xbox Live
Release Date: 11th April, 2012
Price: $6.49 USD/AUD – Available Here
You can check out the Xbox Live Arcade version of our review here
Well, this was like nothing I expected, but I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much, I didn’t know too much about this version of Burnout. Given the intensity of the Burnout series, which I love, something like that can’t be emulated on the iPhone without some sort of compromise. The title makes the game pretty self-explanatory; it’s all about the crash, from a top-down view. This game started out as a PSN/Xbox live downloadable title, and was ported for iOS, but tilt controls don’t work for it unfortunately.
I basically went into this blind, knowing nothing of the previous downloadable titles or what it was all about. I’ve heard the console iterations are quite enjoyable, but the transfer to touch controls didn’t really do it for me, the game is basically like the Matrix with cars. If you can handle the absurdity of flicking a car around on the screen, trying to make it cause as much damage as possible, then this Physics Puzzle type game can be fun.
Easy to learn, difficult to master, would be one way to describe the mechanics of gameplay. Annoying could be another way, depending on your preference, but it maybe because of the lack of a tutorial. Apparently the console versions have a tutorial, why they dropped is for iOS is beyond me. You’re basically thrown into the game without any real direction, you’ll figure it out, but it deters you from an otherwise decent game.
You can take control of one of several vehicles ranging from pick-up trucks to sports cars (different vehicles are unlocked as you achieve more goals). You basically accelerate into steady streams of traffic in different intersections and create maximum mayhem with explosive “crash breakers.” These are explosions that emanate from the car and hurl it in the direction you swipe on the screen, this is where the Matrix style absurdity comes into play. The car only moves on its own as it initially drives into the intersection; after that it is only moved around by swipes, explosions, bumps from other vehicles, and its own crash breaker explosions.
If destruction is your thing, it’s no doubt watching the mayhem can be fun, that’s the whole appeal of the original burnout and Crash! stays true to the roots. There are several different game types playable on each level meaning Crash! has reasonable replay value, considering it’s $6.49, you would hope so. Some modes also include insanely over the top special events like super tornados or giant lobster monsters (see above), which adds to the absurdity. Each intersection is unique with its own distinct traffic patterns, buildings, and features, so the level design is varied.
Visuals and Audio
All similarities to the original GTA games aside, the game looks fairly decent compared to it’s console counter parts. A few gripes, some of the textures in game look low-resolution on the iPad, and the colour palette is abit muddy for my liking. The explosions in general are pretty good, and things get alot more interesting once special events come into play. Most noticeably for me was the frame-rate drops as you approach intersections, other than that, it’s not a bad looking game.
The constant boing! sound effect when you swipe is probably the most annoying thing, that definitely needs to go, but the general feel of the soundtrack is cheesy arcade game. It’s intentional, so it works for the game and Burnout in general, but quite a bit of the voice-work from the console version is missing. The game currently sits at 146MB, maybe they were aiming for 3G downloads? Unsure, but I doubt most people will notice what’s missing and what’s not from the console version. Another thing, Game Center issues occur sometimes, the game often tells me that the game is not recognized by Game Center. There’ll probably be a fix for this at some point, but it’s sort of annoying right now, especially just after opening the game.
Burnout: Crash! isn’t a bad port, there are a few issues, but it’s a good fit for the iOS pick-up and put down style of gameplay. It’s more suited to the iPad, with the iPhone feeling a little too small for the mayhem, but that’s a matter of preference. Overall Crash does a decent job for the swipe and tap interface, at times it can feel as though the action is playing out by itself, a little absurd and out of control. But that’s vintage Burnout everyone has known since yesteryear, total mayhem and out of control destruction linked to high scores is what it’s all about.