dennis;;callmebackdraft;;big;;red;;timemachine;;burnout;;racing;;crash;;2001;;criterion Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers


By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on March 23, 2018

Hello there, my fellow time travelers! Here we are, once again, ready for another ride in the wayback machine... or ,yeah well, I guess that name has already been taken but you get what I mean don't yah?

Let me tell you something; rebuilding and repopulating a Headquarters for this organization never gets any easier, maybe we should be more careful with our stuff this time. Yes, Sadhonker, I know, I know! Yea... yu... ok, are you ever going to stop reminding me I was actually the one that blew up the last HQ?! I haven't forgotten that and, yes, I am very sorry. I simply didn't have the time to rescue that pink dollhouse you had set up in your office from the raging inferno. You know what we should do? We should go check up on the place sometime soon and reminisce about the good old days with those crates of beer I did manage save. Oh wait, I didn't tell you I saved those, did I? Oh well, I guess just I forgot to mention this while being tied up in that mansion of yours... Well if you are looking for them, they are over there behind the 23th door in corridor 12A in the North wing, there are about 99 of them in there on shelves on the wall, so if you ever n... Oh nevermind, he's gone already.

Don't be afraid, my dear readers, we aren't actually fighting; just some friendly bickering now and then. We do that now and again to let off a little steam while we are working on fixing the Yell-O problem our last batch of droids had, also known as the Big Green Mishap, which we reminds me; we got the funding for our new headquarters in order by selling those Droids to a super-secret government organization. You know: one of those 3 letter companies. And the best part is that we even told the buyer about that specific bug. Or, as I recall calling it: a unique feature ??.

Anyway, we ditched the droid project for now and we have started a hiring process to get our hands on some new minions, I mean valued colleagues. Sadhonker and I are actually pretty stoked about the prospect of sitting next to each other while one after another person walks in and we get to make them sweat it by asking the strangest of questions... oh, the fun times that we will have!!!

But, although this is all good fun, it's not why you guys are here, are you? It is about time to get back into wrecking some more stuff and one thing I fondly remember is the times I sat down behind the wheel and purposefully tried to create the biggest Car pileup possible, in order to rack up the most amount of, hopefully, insurance claims against you. Of course I am talking about the one and the only Burnout. A game series that was as much Arcade race game as it was a Digital wrecking ball. Huh, what Miley? No, get the hell out of here because I sure as heckfire didn't call you. And put some damn clothes on, will you?! Okay, now that's fixed, let's set our time dial to 2001 and make our way towards the first game in the aforementioned series, simply called Burnout.

Burnout was unique in its style in that it not only put you behind the wheel of a car like pretty much any other racing game; it actually tried to get you to do dangerous stunts in order to accumulate Boost, which in turn can be used to go faster. When yopu've collected enough Boost, it was time to do dangerous things at extremely high speeds. The dangerous actions I am talking about is stuff like: nearly missing (oncoming) traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and all that fun stuff. And, on top of that, one could always try to crash one's opponents in order to set them back a few miles.

Even more high-speed fun was to be had no more than a year later, when Criterion Games launched Burnout 2: Point of Impact. This game brought back pretty much all of the previous game's modes but also brought in a new one called Crash mode. Oooow, when I think about the hours spent in that mode it still hurts a bit. But then I remember of the fun that I had, trying to hurl my car at just the right angle at exactly the right time in order to make that one big truck explode and take everyone on the highway with me to the high heavens in, what I can only explain as, the surface of the sun down on earth. Molten metal, fire and turmoil right there on the road, enveloping me in a nice warm shroud of smoke and burning oil!

Two more years passed before Criterion games gave us more of that delicious, yummy Burnout action with Burnout 3: Takedown. Again, it brought back more of the same cool stuff that the previous two games had also brought, and nobody complained there! If you look at the reviews from that time, everybody threw 9's, 10's and 5 star reviews at this release. And it is arguably still the best game in the series, the new game mode that was introduced this time around was called Road Rage and a better name could not have been found for it, because your main objective was to "Takedown" as many of your opponents as you could.

What, pray tell, is a takedown you ask? Well, you know when you are playing a game like need for speed and the you just wished you could sent your opponents into oncoming traffic and watch the aftermath and seeing the car get crushed, twisted, bent and burnt to a crisp? Well, in Road rage you could do just that! Oh wait, did I say could? I meant that's just what you had to do. It was up to you just how to bring about this mayhem. You could, for instance, clip their back ends and watch them spin out of control against a guard rail or simply push them into oncoming traffic. And then, when the crash finally happened, you saw it in beautiful slow motion, so you could savor the moment that much more.

The Crash mode in Burnout 3 was also a bit more polished, allowing you to use aftertouch. This basically meant using the momentum the car still has after a crash to move the wreck around just a bit more. This, of course, causes even more damage than a crash alone. You could try hurling the wreck at other cars that thought they survived the initial crash and, in the process, probably cause another pile-up somewhere else on the track. Mind you; you didn't have full control over the wreck, you could merely exert a little force on it for a couple of seconds. But, then again, these couple of seconds could, and did, result in more glorious carnage!

All in all, it has to be said that Criterion has created something truly beautiful here and a lot of people probably got a lot of their road rage out by just waiting to get home and demolishing some poor unsuspecting AI's. However, for now it is time to go back to the future, or should I say present, because another day of travels has come and gone, my friends!

Hmm, I guess that's our first applicant for the job openings we have posted online. Now where is Sadhonker? SADHONKER!!! HEY HONKER!!! Where the hell is this guy?! Ah, there you are! Wait, what happened to all those beers on the wall? One fell down, you say? Okay, let's assume it did. So, what happened to the other 98? You saved them? You saved them?! How?!?! Wait, what... You drank them all!!! Okay, come on, let's get you freshened up; our first victim... I mean potential new employee is here.

For now, guys and girls, all I can say is fare thee well and until next time when a, hopefully sober, Sadhonker will take you on another trip to the days of yesteryear!

Criterion Games
2001, 2002 & 2004