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Burnout 3: Takedown Review

Burnout 3: Takedown
Electronic Arts
Criterion Software

Xbox Live:

Burnout 3: Takedown 
Friday, October 08, 2004 

Burnout 3: Takedown is all about the twisting metal, glass breaking, and sparks flying extreme racing. It is the third game in its series of three and by far the best out of all three. This racing game is not your average Project Gotham Racing game, it is more of an arcade type game You have boosts for the majority of the time and taking out your opponents is pretty much required if you want to win the race. Dodging oncoming traffic and taking risks on the streets is necessary to get ahead of your fierce rivalries that are just waiting for the chance to shove you off the road.


Burnout 3 is an extreme racing game that takes some quick thinking to avoid the normal everyday traffic on the roads. You race on the streets throughout three major continents and get to drive and unlock a good number of different cars cars in a number of different categories. The two main parts of the game is crash modes and racing modes. In a crash mode you want to cause as much damage you possibly can to other vehicles. In race mode you will want to place first out of a number of other racers and fighting traffic, objects in the road, and the other racers all play a big role in the final outcome of the game.

Using your boost is a huge part of the game. If you are not boosting you will be passed up pretty fast. The game is based around 'Risk and Reward'. Meaning the more risks you take the more boosts you get. Your boost bar will go up for a large number of reasons, such as driving in the wrong lane of traffic, near misses, drifting around sharp turns, or catching some air. If you are able to crash, or takedown, an opponent your boost bar will be doubled.

Everyone's favorite part about this game is using the aftertouch. The aftertouch allows you to control your car after you have crashed. By simpily pressing A after your car has crashed everything around you will slow down and you will be able to control where you are crashing to a certain extent. It is also possible to get aftertouch takedowns, which is one of the main purposes of the aftertouch. If you crash you can enter the aftertouch mode and steer your car toward oncoming racers. If you are able to run into any of them, or you get lucky and they run into you, you will be awarded a aftertouch takedown. If this happens your boost bar will go up as soon as you get back on your feet... er.. wheels.


Under each racing mode there are also a number of different events based on how you and the computer racers will race the race. For example, in a Road Rage event the object of the game is to take out as many cars as possible and finishing in first does not matter at all. Here is a list of the different events in the racing mode of the game and what they do.

Race - This is a traditional race. First one to cross the finish will win. Your car will not take damage and it is not possible for your car to breakdown.

Eliminator - This is just like a normal race only there are around 5 laps. At the end of each lap the last place person is eliminated from the race. If on the last lap you place ahead of the second place person you will win the eliminator. Your car will not take damage and it is not possible for your car to breakdown.

Face Off - This is a one verse one against a computer car. These races are usually difficult especially if the opponent has a faster car. If you win the race you get his car.

Road Rage - As described above, the object is to get a high count of takedowns during the time allotted. This is the only event where you can actually crash your car to the point it will no longer run. If this happens you end the road rage with the number of takedowns you have already got.

Burning Lap - This is a race against the clock and nothing else. If you finish the course within the time limit you will get an award.

Grand Prix - A grand prix consists of a number of races (usually three). Each race is a normal race and the overall winners are based on the overall placements in each race. So if you screw up your first race there is still a chance for victory. There is also the option to redo any race before moving on to the next.


Unlike the racing events the crash modes do not have separate events, however each crash event is set up very differently and is enough to keep you playing through them all. The main idea of the crash mode is to rack up as many crashes as you can. At the end of the crash event the game will count up all the damage you have caused in dollars. Then based on the amount of damage you caused to the traffic in the area you will be awarded a medal, and if you did extremely well and got somewhere around one million dollars in damage you might even make it into the newspaper. This is another neat feature about the game. If you get into every newspaper article available you will unlock a fire tuck which you will be able to use in multiplayer modes.

If you think it sound a little crazy getting around one million dollars in damage with just a car you might be right. But added into each event is a number of bonuses in the form of icons on the road. Some of them are at ground level and some of them require you to use a ramp to get to them. The most important of these icons is the times two and times four multipliers. At the end of each crash event, if you got a multiplier, it will multiply your final score by either two or four depending on which one you got. If you were able to get both of them the game will only take the highest multiplier, which would be the times four. There are also a few coins scattered around the levels that will give you extra money when totaling up the final score. With all these good bonuses in the game it is very easy to get your score up so a heartbreaker was added into each level. The heartbreaker will cut your score in half as well as cancel out any multipliers you picked up. The heartbreakers are usually continually placed next to the times four multipliers or in an easy to hit place. If you end up hitting one of these you might as well restart the level because your chances of scoring a gold medal are shot.

The last bonus that is included in the crashing events is the crash breaker. In each crash event you must have a certain amount of car crashes before you can use this feature. This feature allows you to explode your car by simply pressing the A button. You can either use this to create more damage by sending a few surrounding cars airborne or you can use it to go a few feet down the road to get a multiplier. There are also one or two crash breaker icons in each level. If you are able to hit one of them your car will explode without having the required amount of crashes, it also does not cancel out your chances of getting your normal crash breaker.

Because of the amount of icons and bonuses in the crash modes there are quite a few ways to control how much damage you will do after you have initially crashed. For example, you could crash into the traffic and then use your crash breaker and aftertouch to get to a number of bonuses, even including another secondary crashbreaker. Both the crashbreakers and the aftertouch gives you a way to control the amount of damage you do after you have already crashed into something.


Many good games today get crushed because they have no multiplayer capabilities. Luckily Burnout 3 does not fall into this category and has a wide range of events you can play with a friend or with others over the Internet.


Overall the graphics are just as glorious as the gameplay in Burnout 3. With everything that is happening at one time and how fast it looks like you are traveling, everything still looks well detailed. Also the details involved in each crash is truly amazing and like nothing you have ever seen before in previous games. The amount of metal and other car parts that fly off each car is incredible. Even the damage that shows up on your car such as cracked glass and sparks flying is extremely well done.

The only negative about the games graphics would have to be that none of the cars in the game are actual produced cars. Meaning each car and design was just made up. Although this is its main flaw in the graphics department it is not even noticeable because the detail in the car models look so realistic you can't really tell that they just made up the design for the car.

The environment is also a major plus in the game graphics. Although it zooms by extremely fast it is well detailed and looks almost as good as the cars. There are also a number of things you can see moving, such as flags.


Just like the rest of the game the audio inside the game is overall well done. Just like in similar racing games, like Project Gotham Racing 2, the Burnout 3 soundtrack has a built in radio host. The hosts characteristics seem to match the mood of the game very well and makes a few funny jokes. However after a while you might find him to be a little annoying and would rather listen to some of the good music included in the game.

The actual sound effects on the cars such as tires squealing and cars crashing are excellent and sound very realistic. When you first start your car and begin to speed up you can even hear the engine in the car switching gears. Another neat sound that you will discover while playing is the whizzing sound of passing cars. A bunch of small sounds like this contribute to the overall great sound effects of the entire game.

Burnout 3: Takedown is by far the game that you will have the most fun with since Halo came out. Seriously, even if you are not into racing type games, this game is definitely worth purchasing. The gameplay is always filled with action and the entire game has a real sense of speed. Both the racing and crashing aspect of the game are extremely fun and if you get board of racing, you can always try out some of the crash events. The graphics are well done as well.

Overall Score

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