Oh, A blog, about broken new games and old but great they still work games. OMG a BLog.

Another Title came to mind, When are we going to see cars torn in half?

My word, I'm in Word again, and the first time this year baring CV's and attempted business plans.

What does a person write after trying to sell himself to the highest bidder last year and getting nothing from it other than the lyric, 'I'm a loser baby, why don't ya kill me?' a bit depressing true but a realisation that you got to' go your own way', another lyric, by the way done by Fleetwood Mac. I just watched the making of the Album Rumours and if they can make that when the chips are down for most of them, nothing is impossible, though maybe improbable.

I'm never really sure what I wanted to do, even writing this, as it is a worry that it will just be another bunch of rinse cycles of what has been said or I have read/written by others. I did that alot.

I do know Need for Speed: Rivals as an online game is very broken, though the 'single player experience' does work very well if you are into driving to your next mission as an open world game, though there is the 'jump to' mechanic from each 'base' to those who do not. And falling through the map. That happened Revenge but was fixed very quickly.

But it is very far from the lobby system established in the previous Burnout games, even Paradise. If an event is started by the host an option to be a part of the event by the others in the room/world to accept or decline, and those not joining should be made up of AI, so others can 'hot join' the event by replacing the AI. And the lobby system should then pull us together for that event, with the time to chose a car appropriate for the event.

Another thing that bothered me about NFS:R was the loss of the 60fps, you notice it when most other arcade racers in the series or made by Criterion were. The argument being for the 30fps was so you could see the amazing detail of scenery built into the game. So as a gaming racer I am going to admire it while travelling over speeds of 200mph?

Nope, don't care, really I don't care, yes I like pretty things and understand that people put alot of work into it but, I'm not driving the tree/building/lamppost/sand/snow, all I care about is what I see in a little window in my TV screen (4''x3'')in front of the car I'm driving, all the rest is peripheral, while in a gaming event. (Though I must care to rant so :))

Should that be the case, if you are just driving about 30fps but in an event can it be 60fps? Is that possible, so the game world downgrades but what is near the car in view can be 60fps? Like the other cars and the handling and physics? Or should just the world be 30fps and Cars 60fps is what I'm trying to say, I think, lol.

Either way, NFS:R sucks online, and also with the restriction of only 6 players online (8 on next Gen), it seems like a failed last Gen game. True it maybe be visually better looking on next Gen, but I think what I'm trying to say is Visuals is nothing without Game Play.

I had the honour of being host to the Xanbietron (Zombidu) family over the weekend and we all had a go at Burnout 3 Takedown, and this game had Tutorial Videos, was colourful, ran at 60fps and was still fun to pass to the next person to do the next event if it was Golded, if not a retry was implemented. This game is still better than any arcade racer out there, and all the miss-en-scene was in there but it did not have to look realistic, just there. 

So this realism from cars to location, seems to be important to the new open world gaming concept, and I get it, I discussed an Idea with 'numpty many years ago about using GPS and 'Google earth' to make real world maps to race in, before Eden made Test Drive Unlimited of a Hawaiian Island and their second game with Ibiza. And I like the idea that you could race about your own home town etc.

I also understood Paradise took its inspiration from Eden's games as well as from the cannon of the other Burnouts, as a game it was fun, with Stunt Runs, Challenges and just joining a friend from a few button presses and low'ish loading times.

But I found it very constricting to race in, Road Rage was an unleashed beast, because we lost set track placement routes, true they had to go there(a designated spot) before they went to the finish line, but without the Yellow route markers it just became a I quit, I'm lost and will never win, situations(and been broken since the point stealing version in Revenge). The cars did not handle like their predecessors and physics was different etc, but that was down to the new and was still evolving game engine. And we lost Crash Junctions to Showtime, WDF!

I noticed on BO3, well all Burnout Games do, they throw the stat's right onto the screen to distract, though it Paradise it was in field of view, on the other games just above to running as ticker tape across the bottom of the screen (I miss that ticker tape BTW). And each crash/mistake was more $ points to your race total.

Either way Paradise left the old formula behind, though NFS seems to take a few of them on, like the Shockwave which is like an Online Crash Breaker, and the odd Yellow Arrowed Route markers and the Red Cross of don't go there. I always wonder where they went in Revenge, new route and races, did you know there are no point to point races in Revenge, while in Takedown had them spanning several race tracks, this bit there, a little bit from that track there, it was great to throw that into the online racing mix. Now all open world gaming tracks are point to point, there is the odd looped one but very far in-between.

Will we see another Burnout game, will they come to arcade, of the next Gen? I was even looking at buying Dominator and Legends the other day, but don't have a PSP, but all those games have race able tracks from Burnout to Revenge, I would love to race them in my Roadster, Tuned Super, Euro-racer, Criterion 205 and a Revenge Racer, with Online crash Breakers, Takedowns, After Touch and Crash Junctions.

But alas Criterion has lost its leaders, Alex and Fiona, and mostly everyone else to the winds of gaming change, to other studios and yet unannounced gaming houses or just walked away to do something they just wanna do other than build a racing/game.

Is Criterion still Alive, I know Matt Webster is in charge today, but he is promoting Titan Fall at the moment. And he is an EA man. As game studios are enveloped by EA, like so many others, Westwood games is one I miss BTW, they had an EA man in them as well. I know EA want to make money from selling games, but when will they release a game that does not need fixing after it is released, and I felt that way when Paradise was released!

So is Burnout dead, not really, the older games can still be played in single player mode, Revenge is still going, though by April we need to put the #SaveBurnoutRevenge out there to stop the servers from being shut down again. I still think Revenge is the best arcade racer out there to be bought and the fastest one to race on.

But will there be another New Burnout Game, Burnout Crash was a fun Flash looking game, but it did not state the hunger we had from the other crash parts of Burnout games before Paradise.

Are Ghost Games going to make anymore NFS games, as Rivals just don't work online as we expected it too. Or is it a Frost Bite Engine 3 problem? Either way general consensus is it's now Abandonware, or another lyric 'Take the money, and run' or some 'Money for Nothing'. Which is sad, because with some 'sit down and think' about this update for it,  could be a fun online game that can be played together.

Rather than with 'is there anybody there?' and a voice saying 'but I'm right next to you?' Oh, I get it now, it's a racing horror game, spooky idea Ghost games, well played, lol.

Should I even care, as I got as good as it gets from BO 3 and 4, and everyone thinks NFS Underground 2 on Xbox or was it the 360, there are so many I lost track, was the best.

Mid-Town Madness was open world was it not? As is Crash-Time. As was the early Mid-Night Clubs. We lost Blur, Split/Second, Project Gotham Racing and their game studios. We had Horizon. We have Forza 5 but only two tracks give a Closed Track urban feel though people do get really upset if you take them down in that game.

We have two games being tested for crash physics with Next Car Game by BugBear (Flat Out's) and BeamNG Drive. But they just don't drive Arcady Drifty for me but they are Alpha and are fun to muck about it.

So where does that leave us, you and readers of the site and gamers of Burnout games and Need For Speed Games and arcade racers in general, and a lot of people that LOVE Paradise. And as the only game you have ever played I would understand but...

And me of course as I have to read this a lot to find spelling mistakes, and a lot do slip through or stuff that just does not make sence, sense but I'm just writing a blog for a handful of people.

EA, Ghost Games are making a multi million cash money games (and costing that too)and don't even seem to be really testing before they get to their customers. I felt Paradise on disk release was a Beta and it was a fun year of updates and a good model to follow.

But a Game to those masses is in the £40/$60 range at least a 1/3 of a weekly wage for some, and I don't like it seeming to be like a bet to be placed down that I get a playable game? I pick a game that will give me what is sold on/in the box/disk and goes by what has been released before in quality, style and standards created by the game company making it.

I spend a lot of money on games, consoles and that money spent should have some worth, and I do get that as I will be playing with friends, the point of Xbox Live, that shared experience is priceless, and if the game ain't broke, it is played night after night and day after day on holidays and weekends. Like Burnout 3 Takedown or Revenge.

Call of Duty games are a good example, but since they never up'd their game to the standard of Rainbow Six Vegas 1 or 2, I just let it be fun for the masses. Really, other than maps it's the same game, something that could have been done with updates rather than yearly releases, but I understand the money making so fair enough.

But the last two NFS's have been broken with incomplete updates or awaiting an update. A state it should not be in when paid for, well at least not full price. Was that Microsoft's plan with the Xbox One and digital downloads? And the Free-to play ethic? Build it and they will come, just don't do 'pay for car' downloads unless they are 2 for a penny, people want new game modes and places to race for their cash, unless it flies and does x 10 to my exp, or gives me GOLD. No, I don't like farming much but I will not buy stuff made from stealing from others, it's really is not nice.

I understand the year of badgering done to the Criterion Team for the Year of Paradise was fun and Not so fun, but at least it was not dark to what is happening to fix the present non-state of play that is communication with someone from a studio saying something to its customers, they are not fans yet, to say when a game will be fixed?

Fan's are normally the most angry but to the point and write in the specified forum, customers really do want their money back, especially from a handheld new game studio! Angry Fan's do swear thou:).

What the hell is going wrong?!?

It was said Burnout 3 Takedown was made in 8 months, the 2 versions of Revenge under 2 years (I'm sure it was a lot less?), Paradise seemed like 4 years with updates, and NFS's seems to be out every year, with a two year build cycle under it, though I think we will get again something like the COD studios doing a yearly but 3 year cycle with 3 studios, NFS had 3 studios.

Can't we just put the studios together and make 1 game with 2 years of updates every 3 years or is that too long to wait?

Me, I just wished I Video Captured every race I played from 2000 to yesterday. Just so I could show to all how much fun these were and where they could have gone, on the games that we will never see their like again. 

No. Never is too strong a word. How about unlikely to see the happy paying customer ?

As I sitting here waiting, sucking on a glow stick, for this update for Need For Speed: Rivals.

PS I'm sorta still for sale :)


ZombieTron's picture

Love you dude, thanks for rewriting!

I do wonder how much the people who made burnout understand how awesome the early games are. I can still go back to the first two, thanks to backwards compatibility on the 360, and they are still awesome to play. It was the online of takedown that took it to the next level of course, but the experience hasn't been replicated in recent years... and I don't get why. It seems like such a simple formula to me, why not repeat it? Why change it? Why complicate it? Why lose it?

I miss arcade racing. See you on Revenge x

Xandu's picture

NFS Rival is crapware. How they still haven't fixed the online game play is beyond me. I think you are right... they are whipping up crap games for quick profit, then start working on the new one before the first one is done. Have a support department that is just "big" enough and set up "community forums" where the few fans that are left can fight off the worst "complainers"...  It is a brilliant short term business model! Obviously anyone working in the industry would deny this, but we still play their games and know that this is how it works.

Another arcade racer built on the same principles as Burnout 3: Takedown and Burnout Revenge would be awesome. The formula works, let the youngsters experience what real racing is about!

Don't get me started on the "Cars DLC". Is this really the best way game studios can monetize their games??? I thought they were meant to be creative? If you want to add 50 new cars, of course I will be happy to pay one or two dollars, but not in every damn game! There are 100s of other things that could be added (like game modes, play area, tracks, game altering mods, etc, etc) and that the customers would be happy to pay for.... only problem is that it would extend the life of the game and more money would be made from it, which is bad for business since they are already well on the way with the next game and are already planning the sunset of the servers!

Rant done!

-- The Creator --

SUFFUR's picture

Ok I had issues try to comment, something about a field of comments so title is this.

More Sad Face NFS:RIvals The Whoes!

?So got NFS:Rivals on the One and then wrote about on the EA Forum set up for complaints about games bought from them. 


and here:


thought for you dr:tl people the last paragraph of my words:

So maybe the Title of this post should be 'Don't Buy This Game, Till you hear from someone Official and say we Fixed it !because It's Broken!!

sad thing is I have bought 2 versions of the game. :(

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

IIVEPRII's picture

U right. They should make a new Revenge. Only played a couple months and got hooked.

CrashedAlex's picture

OK - 60 versus 30fps...

When we started in 2000 - the technical leaders on the game were Richard Parr (now working at EA in Florida) and Alex Fry (now working as part of the Frostbite team) and 60fps was super important to them. And it showed.

Sixty was something we lived by - and on PS2 VERY FEW games were developed which  targeted this (two Namco titles, Ridge and Tekken)

As time progressed, maintaining sixty came at the cost of visuals. If we wanted better crashes (and crashes were at thirty on B3) and also better lighting and world then 30 made sense.

We faced many headaches when moving to PlayStation3 and moving to open world and keeping 60 was a massive headache and one long constant optimisation for guys like Richard, Alex and everyone else.

We moved to 30 for NFS HP (but ran simulation at 60) and hoped it would get us "a lot more" graphically. But looking back, it didn't excite. Ultimately I think we were a great PS2 developer stuck in an Xbox 360 world.

Development times

B1 - 18 months.

B2 - under one year

B3 - under one year

Revenge - under one year

Can you spot the problem emerging here? Burnt Out? - Everyone was.

The games got bigger and harder to do - EVERYONE worked incredibly hard.

But year on year it was a lot of the same work. And that can only remain interesting for so long. Handling, traffic, AI, crashes, UI, world - a lot of the same stuff for over a decade.

Criterion - what's left of it is about 23 people. There is no-one there who was there for the first two Burnout games. The only people in Criterion in 2014 who worked on Burnout, Burnout 2, Burnout 3, Burnout Revenge, Burnout Paradise, and the two NFS games were myself, Fiona Sperry, James Hans (car modeller), and Alex Fry (graphics).

Of those people, myself and Fiona have set up Three Fields - James is currently looking for a job (I talked to him on email last night) and Fryster works on tech for the Frostbite guys.

Caring for the customer?

I think ALL developers do - there is an incredible amount of passion and almost sacrifice that goes into games. Even the bad one you dislike. I can't speak for Rivals - I stepped down from being Creative Director for NFS games. I was tired of travelling back and forth to Gothenburg on endless flights. That team was pitching a simulation F1 game and when that fell through - then were tasked to work with us. So a new team being formed needs something solid to start with - we gave them Hot Pursuit 2 - which later became Rivals. (Way better name right? I mean, who wants Hot Pursuit 2?)

I haven't played the game. Was it a Criterion game? Well, it wouldn't have shipped at all without Criterion guys working all year and Summer to get it to a shippable point. And when it was done - most of them got laid off. I think some of the magic had lost its shine by then.

CrashedAlex's picture

To try and answer the points mentioned in Tammy's original post at the very top:

Did we understand how awesome they were? Of course we did. And we played it MORE than you guys ever did. We usually had one year headstart.

Why not repeat the formula? Well, as I have tried to explain over the year, making the same thing again was just not interesting for the 70 strong group. If we'd made Revenge 2 - you would have loved it - but we were pretty much pushing the envelope in what could be done within the constraints of closed track racing with invisible walls. Maybe Revenge should not ave even been made.

We went open world and it was a baptism of fire. Hours wasted on stuff that never got paid off for the player. Racing never got to where it should have got to, but on the plus side we did discover Freeburn play - which is what we were all into at the time - playing together socially online with players new and players expert. And we pushed the absolute limits as to how much we could improve and change post launch.

But it was fun. And I have some good memories of playing with the many Canadian stoners who were online whenever I played Revenge. Always Canadian. And always baked..

SUFFUR's picture

Thank you for making the games you did, and the games you will make, that goes to all at Criterion Old and New and Three Fields and others where they may be. :).

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

ZombieTron's picture

Thank you for keeping banging Burnouts out for as long as you did. We are still playing, so you may have had a head start, but I'm sure some of us caught up with you! ;)

It's always nice to read your perspective from the inside... and everything suffur just said. :)