I have to say, I wasn’t too ecstatic when EA announced the next title in the Burnout franchise would be a top down arcade title. While blowing stuff up is somewhat entertaining, it quickly loses its appeal unless you’re the type of person who enjoys conquering high scores over and over. Not to say Burnout Crash! is a terrible game, but it’s not a great one either.

The game consists of six intersections in a variety of different environments, which are unlocked by obtaining a set number of stars earned through each event. Each main intersection has an additional three intersections based around it. Each event offers the same three game modes but must be unlocked by earning at least one star in the main event.  You’re also granted a decent range of vehicles that differ in how big of an explosion they cause and how far you can travel once you activate your Crashbreaker.

Boom, boom, boom, score goes up, that is all.

Road Trip serves as the game’s primary mode, which you’ll play to unlock the other two: Rush Hour and Pile Up. In Road Trip, there’s a set amount of traffic that comes and you must prevent each vehicle from escaping the intersection by crashing into it. Let more than 5 escape and the round instantly ends. With each crash you complete, you’re Crashbreaker meter will fill. Once fully charged, you can tap A to unleash an explosion — which differs in size based upon the vehicle of choice — and freely move about the intersection causing more havoc.

You’re essentially playing a top-down, less pretty version of the Crash mode from previous Burnout games. The game does a nice job of mixing things up by adding in certain triggered events when you obtain a high enough score; Good cops will provide roadblocks to help crash other vehicles, Pizza Trucks will give a spin in a wheel of various different effects, and some even play against you. Bad Cops will try to “Bust” you if you don’t take them down quick enough, sink holes can work either way, and bigger events like a Tornado cause mass amounts of destruction.

Big triggered events like these are awesome, it's just a shame they only happen at the end of the level.

My personal favorite game mode is Rush Hour. You have 90 seconds to cause the biggest crash you possibly can. What’s great about this mode is you cannot fail no matter what. This gives you the ability to crash into the environments more, resulting in mass explosions and tons of debris going everywhere. Chances are once you finish the campaign, you’ll end up right back here playing this mode over and over. Pile Up is very similar, but instead you have a limited amount of traffic. Both of these modes I found to be more enjoyable than the game’s main mode, Road Trip — t’s nice at first, but the fun factor quickly wears off.

The main problem with Burnout Crash! is that the entire single-player experience is exactly the same from start to finish. One huge intersection, three within, and the same three game modes being played over and over to unlock different-looking levels. That’s it. Burnout Crash! does offer Autolog, which I believe is an awesome feature that was integrated because of how easy it is to track and compete with your friends without the hassle of fiddling through boring menus and a bunch of a text.

Destroying Pizza Trucks will give you a random surprise, which adds a nice mix to the gameplay.

Burnout Crash! was some dumb fun while it lasted, but it ultimately failed by not offering any sort of multiplayer. Had there been online co-op or even local co-op for two or more players to wreak havoc together, I believe the game would be much more enjoyable. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, so aside from the repetitive single player portion, Burnout Crash! offers nothing else for gamers to enjoy besides bragging rights with high scores. The game also offers the use of Kinect as an alternative, but honestly, I’m glad I currently don’t own one because I don’t think the use of Kinect would help make my experience any more enjoyable.

I believe Burnout Crash! could have turned out to be a crazy good time, but just didn’t deliver enough variety or content to keep many gamers interested. It’s hard to recommend this game as a definite buy, but if you enjoyed what you played in the trial and don’t mind that the game doesn’t offer anything else besides high scores, you might find this title worthy of a purchase. For everyone else, I would wait until it goes on sale.

Here’s the rundown:

+ Autolog is a very nice feature, especially for an arcade title

+ Crashing is fun…then again, it should be..right?

+ Random music like the theme song to Cops is pretty awesome

– Repetitive

– Crash City Radio will make you want to blow your brains out. MUTE IT ASAP

– Perfect title for high score lovers, but not everyone else

– Lacks variety

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Burnout Crash! was developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. It was released for Xbox LIVE Arcade and the Playstation Network on September 20th, 2011 for $9.99 (800MSP).  The copy used for review was provided to us by the publisher.  Campaign was played until completion, taking around 3 hours to finish, and well….that’s it, because Burnout Crash! offers nothing else.