When Burnout Paradise Remastered was first announced for other platforms back in early 2018, Electronic Arts had Nintendo Switch owners scratching their head in confusion as to why it hadn’t made its way over to the portable home console. The original Criterion-developed Burnout Paradise is a last-gen gem after all, and one where its world, game design and mission structure just seems so perfect for portable play. Well, the good news is that it’s finally here and is as thrilling as ever been. The bad news? You’re expected to pay over the odds for the privilege.
Sometimes I wonder if EA makes some of their decisions based on simply wanting to prove themselves right. In the past, they have been very vocal on how they feel that their software doesn’t quite fit within the Nintendo consumer market. Yet, the little support they have provided almost comes across as though they are trying to sabotage any potential for success. Just take a look at the recycled, stripped-down FIFA 21 Legacy Edition and those that came before it as a prime example.
Thankfully, Burnout Paradise Remastered has all its bodywork intact, and with the exception of 4K, it provides very similar results to what is seen on other consoles. However, calling it a remaster could be stretching the liberties of what the subtitle suggests, as it’s merely a slightly tidied up rendition of the original 2008 release, along with every bit of downloadable content included.
Out of the gate the biggest kicker, of course, is at £44.99 ($49.99) the much-loved title is sold at a premium. Thus, making it at least £10 more expensive than it was when released on other systems, and comparatively over a whopping £35 more than it is currently offered on the PlayStation Store at the time of writing this review.
If this was sold as a collection with the excellent Burnout 3: Takedown and/or Burnout: Revenge included – two very different games to Burnout Paradise – then its price point wouldn’t be an issue whatsoever. Instead, it just more gives the impression that EA is happy to segregate its market to witness the willing fan cough up the price to prove how grateful they are for the release.
Regardless of a few grumbles though, Burnout Paradise Remastered still happens to be an excellent experience on the Nintendo Switch and arguably one of the best arcade racers of all time. Screaming around corners across an open city begging to be smothered in rubber is still satisfying and fulfilling today as it was back in 2008. The gameplay runs as smoothly as it always has at a silky 60 frames-per-second with a screen resolution of 1080p when docked to the tv.
While it can sometimes look dated at times, both Paradise City and the later added Big Surf Island can often be a beautiful place to cruise, with both areas that make up the complete map rightfully regarded as one of the top dogs of the genre. Every nook and cranny is filled with exciting shortcuts, ramps, billboards to smash and road times to beat from every junction. And not forgetting to mention keeping the sandbox online portion alive for more years to come.
If you’re brand new to Paradise City, it may seem daunting to know what to do and how to find your way around at first. However, with a little experimentation and understanding that it’s simply a giant playground made to doss around in, it doesn’t take long to notice just how well constructed the environment is. While the map of the bottom of the right-hand screen does little to aid the player in learning the routes, the game still does a good enough job to help the player in finding their way to the finish line. You can follow the goal marker and flashing street signs sat at the top of the screen help suggest which turns to take, along with blinking indicators on the car itself as a neat visual touch.
What was once a game that demanded hours sat in front of the TV now becomes a bite-sized play as much as you want experience. All your choices are your own with a huge list of objectives and modes that are ideal for a portable system. Jamming headphones in the ears with knees tucked up, head down, eyes transfixed to a six-inch screen sets the immersion further, as the player wheelspins at traffic lights to kick off races at their leisure, or tear through the streets smashing the opposition to pieces, letting off some road rage steam in the process.
This is a remaster after all, so it is a bit disappointing not to have seen more effort made in entwining a portion of the DLC as unlockable content. All the premium DLC is available from the get-go, providing some of the more overpowered cars to kill the challenge at the earlier stages of the game. Personally, I would have preferred it if Paradise City radio jockey DJ Atomika would inform me that the DeLorean replica is now roaming the streets. Then when the time was right, it would be ready and waiting for me to hunt down and knock it off the track to claim as my own.
The only exclusive addition for the Nintendo Switch version is having the novel ability to pinch the map with your fingers on the pause menu screen. Unfortunately, there’s no HD Rumble that has been added – a feature that particularly worked well in GRID Autosport – and no motion steering should the mood ever strike. The lack of analogue triggers on the Joy-Con and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller alike would seem it could dampen the experience when bringing Burnout Paradise Remastered to the portable home console. However, this never really became an issue, especially if you take into account that most of the time you will be hitting incredibly high speeds with arcade cornering anyway.
With Electronic Arts finally promising more support for Nintendo Switch in the coming year, having a classic such as Burnout Paradise Remastered leading the pack does set the tone for what other possibilities from the past are to come. My biggest concern here is that many will probably wait for a big sale to deliver a price drop to take advantage of. With that said, it still shouldn’t take away from the fact that not only is Burnout Paradise Remastered a solid port, but this classic racer also proves itself to be a fitting game to take on the road.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Electronic Arts