Burnout: Eulogy

Burnout has been a big part of my life for a long time now. It all started with the first game, then came the second, on various consoles, then came Xbox Live and Burnout 3: Takedown.

It was on Takedown that I made most of the friends I have now. We made our own Burnout family. We were all excited for the release of Burnout: Revenge. The online experience on Burnout games was incredibly addictive. I would run home to be able to get online and play sooner. We were all hooked!

The original Xbox version was challenging, and I never unlocked all of the cars. Although most of my friends had faster cars then me, I would race my Works 202, and still be able to compete. I loved that car!

When the 360 came out, some of the community jumped ship. Xandu and I were still playing Revenge on the original Xbox. We loved the game and we started our website in honour of it. We also fell in love with each other. We have since gone on to start a family of our own, and we aren't the only ones. I personally know two Burnout babies, and I am sure there are more out there.

When Revenge was released on the 360, the 360 finally had its flagship arcade racer. No other arcade racing game comes close to the adrenalin fuelled, seat of your pants racing that Burnout: Revenge offers. 

Finally, thanks to all vehicles being unlocked for online play, I had my very own Revenge Racer!

It quickly became the car of choice, as it is the only car able to keep the super speeds we were achieving over every jump and bump in the road using boost jumping techniques we had been perfecting since Burnout 2 showed us it was possible.

We shared our knowledge through the website and with anyone willing to learn. If I had a dollar for every time I described how to do the boost start on Xbox Live, I would be a very rich lady!

The game has secrets, and once you unlock the secrets a whole new world of speed and excitement opens up to you.

This world will be lost on the 13th of April 2012.

And it wasn't just about the racing.

There is a second community of Crashers who will also lose their home in April. No other game available has anything like the crash mode on Burnout: Revenge. The crash junctions also hold their secrets, which the community shared with each other, running the same junction over and over to perfect high scores and knowing you could push it further and score even more.

We were all driven to push the boundaries of the game to its very limits. 

Xandu and I were invited to the Criterion Games studio to see Burnout: Paradise in development. Alex Ward mentioned that they do not like to make the same game twice, as if you want to play the old game, it is still there for you to play. But, once Revenge goes offline we will not have another game like it to play.

I still miss being able to play Burnout 3: Takedown over Xbox Live, but that close down was due to the closure of original Xbox Live. This one is due to EA. While it is their policy to close old game servers, most of the time it is for previous years sports titles and there are new games that have replaced those.

Burnout: Revenge has no replacement. No other game is like it. It is unique and will be missed. 


umopapisdnpuaq's picture

Have to echo your thoughts, the friends I made through Burnout are some of the best I've had.

It started for me with Thrill Drive in the arcades late 90's, then I read in a magazine about 'Shiny Red Car' that was getting made and looked to be a console version. I didn't have a console at the time and never heard any more about that game.

Then a couple of years later I was at a friend's who had this game called Burnout 2 and I started up the Crash Mode. Well that went all night. Couldn't stop until I'd gotten through them all with a Gold medal. Then the next morning we watched someone else get hooked in a similar fashion.

Burnout 3 was a lot of people's first taste of online gaming with voice chat. I think that helped, it wasn't all trash talking and insults (until you got to know them better) ;) There wasn't a real player vs player, even in road rage. The idea of 'griefing' by shoving someone into a wall was the integral gameplay element so there was accepted battling and enough violence on track for the chat to be fun and light hearted.

The general gaming community now seems a lot more aggressive and less friendly to new people. Burnout 3 online was a perfect storm of many circumstancial factors in development as well as the community that built up around it. the only real way to get more of it is with a time machine. Remember all those lobby rooms with the same name that crashed your xbox when you tried to join? Those are the people who figured out time travel and went back to play some more.

Then Revenge and Paradise came out. The End. ;)

Burnout 3 vids a plenty - http://www.youtube.com/user/Fnordinary

ZombieTron's picture

Revenge 360 also brought a lot of PS2 fanboys over to Xbox after the shut down of PS2 Revenge.

..... gonna start working on my time machine now! :)

Don EMJAY's picture

Is there any way to request that the Revenge server be offered as a subscription to the gamers?

As there is NO substitute for Revenge, what alternatives do we have? Ridge Racer Unbounded ( ok, but drifting is to heavy and boost is one time hit), Split second (poor drifting, weak track layout), Blur (possibly the best of a poor bunch), NFS anything (nuff said).

How is it, that Criterion have disregarded the format of Revenge and the earlier Burnout games in favour of newer handling systems and sandbox environments that do not compare to the control offered by the previous? I understand the need to move forward, but if it isnt broke, why fix it?  I know I am not the first or last to say it, but updated the graphics and give us new tracks. I would gladly pay for it, as I know others would. How many more games are we to lose because developers think they know what is best for us. Surely as paying customers, we should have some input into the new games. I cannot recall any research format that asked about desires and wishlists for new titles. I do not want to base my xbox usage on one game, but in reality, Revenge was really the only reason I had an xbox. I do not know if I can say the same about it now. Too many tangents to go down in order to continually fund Microsoft and its partners. Online access codes, avatar bullshit, poor map packs, etc.

Also, its not just the game, the community and ability to sit in a lobby and chat and berate others was a massive part of being involved in the game. Its not just the online playability that drew us there.

You know you want it!!!

ZombieTron's picture

If EA do look at the figures before making a decision to close down a server, they should see that Revenge is being played by a hardcore few.

I am sure if they introduce an online pass or subscription for older games, enough fans would be willing to pay a bit to keep the servers running.

However, as one of the games closing is one with an online pass, I doubt even doing something like that would stop EA from closing the servers eventually.

Does anybody know a ball park figure of how much it would cost EA to keep a game server running?

I know lots of gamers who are less than happy with things EA have done over the years, so much so that they wil not buy EA games in the future. So, if EA are only concerned about the bottom line, losing customers is not the way to go about it in the long run. I do think they need to rethink how they treat their customers. I don't feel the loyalty to the brand that I should feel.

But, I don't think EA are the only problem. I don't think any games company wants us to play the same game online for years. No other online experience comes close to the experiences I had with Burnout 3 and Revenge. Online games in general just aren't good enough to keep me coming back for more.

The only way to ensure long term online gaming is to have monthly or annual subscription fees. I believe what we pay for Xbox Live should be enough to keep our games running, sadly EA disagree and there isn't currently a way for them to get us to pay per game.

SUFFUR's picture

This pay to play stuff it rubbish, concept is ok for second hand game market, charge a 5'er, but to kill the best online racer is just a shitty move by EA.

Patience is something I taught myself, so I never know when it's going to run out?

Xandu's picture

Here in Norway we pay £54.99 for Xbox Live Gold and on average £49.99 for the games. I really do not want to pay a one off or a monthly subscription per game on top of this. I think the furthest I would be willing to stretch is if the games came with 12 months free online play pr. gamertag and after that it could probably be acceptable to pay a small yearly fee for the AAA+ titles.

-- The Creator --

ZombieTron's picture

I wouldn't LIKE to pay a monthly fee, but if the alternative is to have the server closed down, then I would probably do it. 

Games companies must be making a fortune on DLC, online passes and elite club type things, so maybe those schemes for the huge blockbuster games could be used to subsidise the less popular titles and keep them online. 

In future titles, just having in game advertising should be enough to keep the servers online. Even if EA only used the billboards to advertise their own products.

...I still would love to know how much it costs per annum to keep the servers running.