Ok, with all the comparisons and posts about BP and Test Drive Unlimited (which I absolutely adored on the PC) on the net, I expected something similar to what TDU offers. What I got was a whole nother experience. These games are on entirely different pages, and any comparison is a moot point as they are so different that it makes it apples and grapefruits.
First and foremost is the gameplay. BP doesn’t just condone smashing the other cars, it has missions based on it. There’s the Marked Man missions, where you have to survive the other racers trying to wreck you, Road Rage events where you rack up a number of damaged opponents, Stunt Runs where you rack up points by doing stunts and boosting, and the standard races, where you win by any means necessary.
Add into this the “open world” aspect, which does seem kinda tacked on. It is a good breakaway from work and life in general to just go rampaging around town, wreaking havoc…..I used to do this in TDU, to other players dismay. There’s smashes, gates scattered across the city blocking shortcuts which can be used in races, jumps, which don’t need to be explained, and billboards, which are a fancier, usually tougher to get to version of smashes. There’s also the Showtime mode, where you try to make the mos fantastic, multiple car pileup you can. Based on your experience, you can make a tremendously long crash. This all adds for a fun distraction, although the “open world” aspect is poorly implemented. I say this because, after being a TDU player and seeing how well done the open world aspect is done there, there are some major features I miss. First and foremost is the ability to click the map and pop to that spot. This would be a welcome addition for many of the races which take you across the map, then if you fail, you have to drive all the way back to the start. Second is being able to see other players and challenge them on the fly.
Not to say the online aspect of BP is bad, its pretty straightforward and easily accessed, You can enter or start challenges for players on the street you are on. A nice touch is the support for the Eye, which can show you reactions when you take down a player, which can sometimes be a bad thing…..a very bad thing, depending on what they show you.
Every intersection is an event, which is limited to the basic type and your progress gets wiped with each license, so if there’s a specific event you excel at, you can do it for each license. This is also a detraction as events are limited to the four basic types and can get old fast.
The soundtrack is…alright. There are a few good songs, some old burnout songs, and classical music for some odd reason. There is currently no way to add your own music, but one you set up the musical selection, you can weed out the songs you don’t like.
The graphics are buttery smooth and although not quite up to pc graphics, are quite superb for a console.
My main gripe for the first few hours of playing the game was the “tutorial” info that it pauses the game to tell you, much of which is common sense. Then there’s the crashes, which show why there’s no name brand cars as car companies nowadays refused to let games show their cars in damaged states. When you crash, the game whites out the screen, goes into a spectacular crash scene, while time is continuing for the other racers, which is great to see the first time, but utterly annoying afterwords.
The DLC is automatic, which is a great touch. When there is an update with new content, it downloads for you and seamlessly integrates itself.
Overall this game is great fun for the destruction minded racer and will provide you with hours and hours of gameplay. They just might not be on end.
With that all said, I end this with Yahtzee’s brilliantly hilarious review from The Escapist.