Eric Blattberg of PSU writes: Burnout, the latest installment does do differently from past Burnouts - and in fact, from all other racers on the market - is give the player a completely open world in which to play. Criterion took a major risk when designing this game by eschewing the industry standard, and their decision has undoubtedly paid off.
Burnout Paradise is a prime example of 'flow' in games. There are nearly no menus to navigate, and the few that are present work seamlessly into the title. For example, the "Easy Drive" online menu is relegated entirely to the D-Pad, thus the player can continue driving while controlling it. Another aspect that helps the game flow lies in the complete absence of loading; there is essentially no loading to experience after the initial start-up screen. What truly creates flow though isn't nifty ideas or technical tricks. Only through freeform gameplay, in which the player can create his or her own experience, can this concept of flow develop, and Burnout Paradise contains exactly that.
+ Remarkable "flow," especially regarding the seamless online integration
+ Incredibly detailed graphics with spectacular crashes
+ Sheer amount of bang for your buck
- Paradise City is more accurately a Paradise Ghost Town
- Showtime, while fun, is no replacement for the old Crash mode