4K Burnout Paradise Remaster Makes Us Long for the Heady Days of 2008
More than a decade ago, Criterion Games released Burnout Paradise, its car-smashing magnum opus, on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Long before Forza Horizon came to dominate the open-world racing genre, we were bumping to a late-aughts pop-punk soundtrack in Paradise City. Now, we can revisit this beloved classic with all of its DLC in 4K on modern consoles.
With 28 reviews counted, the remastered PS4 release is sitting at a 81/100 average on Metacritic, and the Xbox One version scores very similarly. It’s not going to blow your mind this far from the original release, but that’s a solid critical showing for a $ 40 remaster.
The original 360 game enjoyed a higher score of 88/100 with 68 reviews, but times were very different. This kind of open world was still novel, so the fact that the game still holds up so well to modern sensibilities is worth appreciating. There were countless contemporaries to Paradise, but few would warrant a rerelease at this point.
Based on the limited sales data that we have, Burnout Paradise Remastered seems to be doing well. Even all this time later, there’s a significant following.
Because the Xbox One has EA Access on lockdown, the Digital Foundry team was able to give that version of the game a preliminary test even before the PS4 version was released. On the base Xbox One hardware, Burnout Paradise looks and performs great at 1080p60, but the real appeal here is the full 4K game running on the Xbox One X (See on Amazon) at a near-locked 60fps.
The remastered version benefits from AMD’s EQAA at 4X, higher quality textures, improved shadows, and substantially heavier alpha effects. The 360-era geometry, LOD pop-in, and low-res intro remain in place, but the moment-to-moment driving looks great. Not only is it an improvement over the old console versions, it’s better than the PC version on max settings. PC gamers needn’t worry though, the remaster will be coming to Origin eventually.
Interestingly, this comes hot on the heels of the release of 4K Xbox One X backwards compatibility for the original Forza Horizon. While that emulated version is impressive, the low-res assets are a problem. Despite the added cost, there’s still a place for a nice UHD remaster in 2018. Even with all of the trickery in the world, there’s no getting around the blurry textures without new assets.
While we’ve yet to see a full breakdown of the game running on the various PS4 models, we’ve spent about five hours playing Paradise on a PS4 Pro hooked up to a 4K TV. Performance is exactly what we hoped for, and the visual enhancements were noticeable. It obviously doesn’t hold up aesthetically to brand new racing games, but the fluidity of 60fps and the strong sense of speed go a long way.