October 3, 2001

BURNOUT INTERVIEW

Acclaim Talk About Their Latest Game, Burnout


It's one of the hottest games due this year. Criterion are just to complete development on Burnout, which is to be published by Acclaim, and it promises to provide thrills rarely experienced in a video game. With over 300 cars on the circuits there are plenty of collisions. Acclaim have been kind enough to spill all the latest details on the game. Oh, and you must download the trailer below. Stunning.
Click here to view the stunning Burnout Trailer (11MB) or right click and save.

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What did you expect? It's a burnout.
Very briefly tell me what it's [Burnout] all about?
Choose car, go fast, avoid traffic until you crash. Vrooom...screeee...keerrrang!

Okay, a little less briefly then.
You hurtle down the busy street, pedal to the metal as you thread through the oncoming traffic like some speed obsessed adrenaline junkie. Buildings blur past somewhere beyond the blare of car horns as you run the red. The gap in cross traffic narrows fast - too late to pull out, gun it! It's going to be damn close!
A white blur breaks into your peripheral vision. Where did that bus come from? Twitch the wheel - don't think, just react. Wheels locked, the bus clips the back of your car just as you burst from the junction but you've made it. Your Burn meter jumps up a notch. The rear view mirror tells a different tale for your opponent. he bus lurches onto two wheels as your competitor smashes into the front and spins away. Glass shatters, metal grinds, wheels screech, rubber burns. Oncoming traffic tries to brake but it's too late for the people mover whose front collapses as it slides into the path of your spinning opponent.
Like I said, "Vrooom...screee...kerrangg!"

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It really could be a scene from GT3.
So who are the speed obsessed adrenaline junkies responsible for Burnout?
That would be Criterion Games.
Founded in 1993, Criterion Software is a rapidly expanding organization, which currently employs over 160 people in its software technology and game development divisions. The company is headquartered in Guildford UK, and has offices in Tokyo, Austin, Paris and Derby. Criterion Games is dedicated to the development of accessible and rewarding games for next-generation console systems such as the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, Microsoft's Xbox video game system and Nintendo's GAMECUBE. Criterion Software is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon, Inc. Further information on Criterion Games can be found at www.criteriongames.com.

What, you want personality as well as information?!? Jeez you guys are demanding..
The programmers and artists at Criterion eat, sleep, breath, drink and have sex with games (well maybe the don't actually drink them). They also love their cars, and it shows.
Fiona Sperry is Vice President of the company and Studio Head. She rocks, and has this to say about Burnout.
"We set out to create an exciting, rewarding and intuitive arcade racing game that would appeal to the masses. Burnout has already generated excitement among the European media and was well received at E3, where we demonstrated the product behind closed doors."

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2-player split screen will be fun.
Alright you know it's fast and exciting, and now you know Criterion are car racing game nutters, but what about details, Daniel? Details!
Okay... some details.

Courses
There are 14 courses. Each course is set in a realistic American or European styled city with bustling traffic, and beautifully created backgrounds that immerse you in the environment. Several tracks will be available to play from the outset, but you will have to earn the rest in Championship Mode. Even when racing a track in the reverse direction the time of day and the traffic set-up will be different guaranteeing a fresh experience and challenge.

Traffic
Over 300 vehicles can be present on each track at any given time, varying from taxis, cars and vans up to huge articulated trucks. The traffic is different for every lap, even when racing the same course in a different direction or in 2-player mode; thus ensuring the experience is always fresh and challenging and that there's plenty of different vehicles to crash into.

Player Vehicles
Vehicles range from the Supermini (she handles like she's on rails!) to the ferocious Muscle (looks tough, goes fast), to a zippy Sports Coupe and bulky Pickup Truck. You may be briefly disappointed that they are not officially licensed vehicles, but when you see how they crash, crumple and fold then you will forgive all. These babies are built to endure full crash damage! Isn't that exactly what you've always wanted?

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Collisions will play a major part.
One-Player Game Modes
Championship: The player races against three opponents over a series of tracks through the traffic and against the clock. The rewards for scoring high (ie going damn fast) include things such as unlocking further championships, opening new tracks and game modes, and earning duels with other vehicles. This mode forms the main progression through the game.
Duel: Duels are races against a single computer opponent where success will earn the player a new vehicle, which they can drive in any other game mode.
Single Race: In this mode, the player can race any course which has been successfully unlocked via the Championship mode. Each race places the player against 3 randomly selected computer opponents and they must race through the busy streets or along the highways.
Time Attack: Whilst there are no computer opponents in this mode, the player must race against the clock through the traffic.
Survival: The player must complete 3 laps without a single crash; otherwise, they are out of the race and it's game over. This might sound easy but believe me, it really isn't. Mind you if you're soft and use the brakes on corners it might increase your chances, but what's the point in being soft? It's all about speed..

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2-player split screen will be fun.
Multi-Player Game Modes
Head To Head: 2-player split-screen game mode allows players to race each other (with an optional extra two computer opponents) to the finish. Players may select 'survival rules' for their head-to-head where it's last man standing that counts.

Drive Dangerously
You will be rewarded for impressively reckless and death defying driving. Each time you have a near miss, drive into oncoming traffic or powerslide the car, your Burn meter increases. When the Burn is at max you can Burn Baby Burn! Burn is a wicked burst of speed so intense that motion blur distorts the road ahead. A major rush, and if you can hold onto it, major-mega-max speed!

The Crash
Burnout features incredibly spectacular and realistic crashes. You will wince at the force of a collision and the ensuing aftermath. Unfortunate traffic often gets caught in the chaos of a crash resulting in a multiple pile-up. In fact, the amazing physics model means that vehicles are damaged based on the situation so every crash will be different depending on the exact circumstances of impact.

Greatest Hits
Each crash is followed by an immediate Action Replay from multiple angles using up to 16 special cameras - but the race clock is still ticking. When the replay is over, the player is placed back on the track with an undamaged car - ready to go, but 5 behind! Time to play catch up.

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Trackside detail is also impressive.
Relive The Moment
Aside from the full race replay there is a comprehensive Edit Suite designed specifically commanding 16 cameras at 3 different speeds. Forward, rewind, position the free camera, zoom in and out - catch every glass shattering and metal crunching moment. Players can even save their best crashes to memory card so they can show them off and re-live them again later.

Sexy graphics
The race vehicles are highly detailed models and use particle systems to simulate smoke, dust, broken glass - all the fallout from a good car smash. Localised deformation guarantees realistic crash damage and real-time lighting models and reflective surfaces produce realistic daytime & wet/night effects.

Brainy Traffic
The traffic cars are controlled by fully reactive AI, which respond to your actions and their opponents. If you get too close, they'll blare their horns, flash their lights, and try to dodge out of the way. They are also fully reactive to their environment and other traffic on the road so that they stop at red traffic lights, try to avoid piling into a crash and more. In fact, they're almost too human when they slow down to rubberneck and admire nearby crashes, we like that.

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Collisions are wonderful to watch.
Difficult Opponents
The race opponents use advanced spatial awareness techniques which gives them intelligent & 'human' behaviour which changes based on the proximity of other cars, race position, and so on. They understand how to slide, know how to thread through traffic and they want to win. They also understand how to run you off the road if you seem to be doing too well.

Crash, Smash, Crumple, Bash!
Collision and crash sound effects are dynamically generated in real-time based on the actual crash physics and the damage caused. Also, the in-race music tracks are fully reactive to the action, changing in tempo according to the current situation.

There you go, if there's anything else you need to know about Burnout... well tough.


Criterion can be found at : http://www.criteriongames.com
Acclaim can be found at : http://www.acclaim.com

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you have any comments or questions E-mail me at : admin@futuregamez.net.