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Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island on Game and Player

Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island

Rich Johnson  //  June 24, 2009

More, more and more.


here is no question that Burnout Paradise is a great game. With countless hours of compelling gameplay in a budget priced digital download, it's hard to find fault in its intangible confines. Free content, along with enhanced user prompted improvements, solidified an incredible confidence in the franchise. Paid downloadable content has ranged from top-notch to average, while never making you feel as if you were cheated in the equation. Few others titles have received support at such a high level or frequency. It's as if Burnout Paradise can do no wrong.

If you can see it, you can
drive to it and jump off.
Chalk up another A for the star pupil.

When asked for input on such a title, the requests will range from what amounts to bigger, better, and faster. So Criterion delivers exactly that. Bigger jumps of a nature never seen on the mainland of Paradise City. If you can see it, you can drive to it and jump off. Better races with much clearer waypoints, which was a very pronounced complaint of mine. An emphasis on proper path selection lead to attention being drawn away from the road unto the mini-map. Towering cylindrical markers have been made unabashedly obvious to point the way, making this flaw nonexistent.

In fact, every detail of the new content seems brighter and more vibrantly pronounced. Fast cars and faster roads make Big Surf Island a pure joy to navigate. The new buggy vehicle is a pure joy to control. Fast and maneuverable, its only weakness seems to be its fragility. Other vehicles additions appear to be only rehashed versions of those already available. With 100+ vehicles to choose from, this flaw is made inconsequential.

Standard yet enjoyable fare, such as smashing billboards and barrels, is carried over to the island. These addictive endeavors are bound to suck in the completist in you. The new Island Tour races offer a more dynamic and challenging mode. These events tend to span the entirety of the Island along with bits of the mainland while channeling you down the path less traveled. Integrating such a complete experience into the entirety of Paradise City is pure bonus. I fully expected new landmass to be instanced separating the experience. Instead, events can span all roads without limit, giving new flare to the mainland for grizzled Burnout veterans.

Criterion Games claims five hours of gameplay in the Big Surf package. It's worth noting that this statement in purely false. Five hours of event and challenge is even an understated claim. Countless hours can and will be spent enjoying this expansion and its cohesive additions to Paradise City. From online play to exploring every inch of the landscape, the Island delivers a wealth of variety worth its cost well over.

My only complaint feels gratuitous. I want more of anything Criterion is willing to give me.

Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island



Criterion Games


Electronic Arts

NA Release

June 11, 2009


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Bigger, better and faster
  • Improved visuals
  • Substantial content


  • Selfishly, I'd like more

G&P Rating

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