Burnout Paradise has taken several huge gambles in altering the already-winning formula of the franchise. For the most part, Criterion and EA have a winner on their hands. Veterans initially put off by the changes to Crash Mode and Aftertouch will find that Burnout Paradise is just as good as any game in the series, and in many respects Paradise is superior.
In a sub-genre dominated by third-person adventure games, it is ironic that a racing game would set a new precedent for free-roaming games. The transition from racing offline, to racing while being aware of what your friends are currently doing in-game, to being able to seamlessly run into players online in the streets – all without skipping a beat or waiting through a single loading screen – is an amazing experience. With so much to do, unlock and complete, Burnout Paradise is a blast.