If it seems like you’ve heard “Burnout is back!” before, it’s because it has indeed come back already. Or at least, part of it did, in the form of Danger Zone, which was basically Crash Mode: The Game. It was a flawed attempt, for sure, but developer Three Fields Entertainment – a small UK studio comprised of some of the original Burnout creators – absolutely nailed it with their second try, Danger Zone 2.
And so they’d done it! Burnout’s most beloved mode had successfully returned, but sadly, almost nobody seemed to notice. To Three Fields’s credit, however, they have doubled down and are about to release Dangerous Driving, which is basically the rest of Burnout, outside of Crash mode. Road Rage (see the video directly below), Races, Burning Laps (evolved here to Heatwaves, where you can endlessly chain turbo together), Elimination, and an awesome new Road Rage-y mode called Pursuit (see the bottom video on this page) bring the rest of the Burnout suite to modern platforms.
The first thing you’re likely to notice is that Dangerous Driving even looks exactly like Burnout, right down to the interface and even the fonts used. The first Danger Zone seemed reluctant to brush up too close to Burnout, but Dangerous Driving completely owns it, practically daring EA (the publisher that owns the Burnout IP) to sue them. If the goal is to make it seem to the player that Three Fields has essentially rebuilt Burnout in the Unreal Engine, then they’ve succeeded.
I say “succeeded” because I suspect one of the goals of Dangerous Driving was to make the action feel fast. Well, the races move at an almost impossible pace (and I mean that in a good way), particularly as you get deeper into the six-tiered campaign. Even the tracks themselves feel lifted straight out of Burnout in terms of look, setting, and lighting techniques used.
I’ve got a lot more of Dangerous Driving to play ahead of its release next week. Look for our full review then, but if you need to scratch that Burnout itch in the meantime, pick up Danger Zone 2. I don’t think you’ll regret it!
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.