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Dangerous Driving

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 23 - 2019

Brakes? Who needs them?

The Burnout games have a special place in the hearts of many gamers, providing the exhilaration of breakneck speed with the added jeopardy of being rewarded for driving into oncoming traffic, and even tapping other racers to watch them crash in the most spectacular way. At the time, they were raucous fun and a light-heated alternative to the usual arcade racers where the player was penalised for being anything but perfect. However, that was then and this is now, and it has been a long time since a new Burnout game came out, not including the more recent remaster. Despite the name Burnout being long dead, some of the original developers have been keeping the dream of another Burnout game alive and so spiritual successor Dangerous Driving from Three Fields Entertainment wants to remind people why driving on the wrong side of the road is so much fun.

dd1 (Copy)

As a pure arcade driving game, Dangerous Driving is not a difficult game to understand. The player drives at high speed and is rewarded with usable boost for behaving badly. At its most basic, this means driving on the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic, preferably avoiding crashing. For more reward, the player can try to force other racers to crash. At its most basic, playing Dangerous Driving means pressing the accelerator, ignoring the brake and hoping for the best.

Of course, it wouldn’t be very interesting without a nice range of different events to compete in. Dangerous Driving brings many event types that players will recognise, from time trials to pure races, and a selection of more exotic event types, including elimination events where the player has to be the last car standing and pursuit events where the player gets to play policeman and take down the criminals in the quickest time possible. The selection of events is impressive and keeps the action moving, while also making the most of the games real strength, its sense of speed.

This is where the game really shines. Hold down that accelerator and watch as the speed blur builds up and the car teeters on the edge of being in control. Throw in the oncoming traffic which suddenly appears around corners, and the rival racers that are more than happy to cause a crash, and you have an adrenaline-pumping experience. The boost fills up quickly, allowing the player to run on even more speed, and the slightest false move will result in epic crashes that can quite easily see the player going from first to last. It can be frustrating, and does nothing for the blood pressure, but it is a simple kind of joy that is rarely seen nowadays. Bringing something new to the table, Dangerous Driving introduces a certain level of tactical awareness as multi-lap races will quickly see the track littered with the remnants of previous crashes, adding to the danger and leaving players having to consider when and where to take down rivals. It’s a simple idea, but adds so much to the game.

dd2 (Copy)

However, Dangerous Driving doesn’t quite bring back the glory of the Burnout games. Slow down for a moment, or hit a fence, and it is easy to see that the visuals are not all they could be. They are also not so varied, missing out on the essential city tracks. The car handling feels very flighty as well, taking quite some getting used to, and collisions seem to be inconsistent in the effect they will have on the player. Players will work their way through different classes of car, from a simple sedan, through to Formula One styled racing cars, but the differences between them are marginal, with only small increases in speed being what makes the difference. Multiplayer is currently limited to only leader boards, which is a shame, but more multiplayer is promised to be coming soon.

A noticeable absence is the banging soundtrack. These were always a highlight in the Burnout games, but Dangerous Driving passes on the idea of having a soundtrack at all, instead allowing Spotify Premium subscribers to play their own playlists through the game. It’s a nice idea, and the developers have curated an official playlist for Dangerous Driving, but it does feel like those not wanting to fork out for a premium subscription will miss out.

So, yeah, there are a few problems with the game. The thing is though, once you start playing and get that sense of speed while deftly slipping between traffic coming straight for you, it really is exhilarating. The moment to moment gameplay is great, so long as you don’t think too hard. The different types of races keep it feeling fresh, along with the thrill of unlocking new cars, and taking down opponents in the most dramatic way never gets old, even if it does now leave debris on the track to be avoided later.

dd3 (Copy)

Dangerous Driving heralds the return of Burnout in all but name. Sure, there are some problems, much of which seems to come from a limited budget. But the core game is pure, high-speed escapism. With multiplayer still to come, it may be tempting to hold off on grabbing the game. But considering the low price point, Dangerous Driving will be worth checking out by anyone who enjoys driving dangerously.




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