Predicting the video game industry can be at times one of the more difficult things to do in this world. For one thing, you can never truly predict what games are going to stand out above others. In some circumstances it is more obvious than others, however the market does seem to change lot which makes predicting it a bit more difficult. Today we are checking out a game that once was released into a very congested arcade racing genre that was full of amazing titles, and yet Burnout was about to stand out in the crowd. Now many years after the original we are checking out the latest Burnout title for the Playstation 2, Burnout Dominator. Can Burnout continue to dominate the competition with another big time arcade racer? Read our full review to find out!
Going into this review of Burnout Dominator, I have to admit I was a bit surprised to be still reviewing a Burnout title on the Playstation 2. We are already well into the "next gen" consoles, and to see EA keep taking their franchises on older consoles in some ways seems surprising. However when you think about it in other terms the Playstation 2 has such an install base already, that its probably not a bad idea to develop for an already known winner. However in 2007 is there still a market for another Burnout title on the Playstation 2? Just enough.
Burnout Dominator is a game that in some ways could have been a further look into the Burnout franchise which could have showed that the Playstation 2 still had something left under the hood. Unfortunately Burnout Dominator is in a lot of ways a step in the wrong directions of the series, as they decided to focus extremely heavy on the art of Burnout’s instead of putting an emphasis on new content or even some of the best parts of Burnout’s previous game. For example, one of my favorite parts of Burnout games is the crash mode, which has inexplicably been removed from this game.
What you are left with is a rather stripped down version of Burnout that we have seen before. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Dominator is regressing instead of moving forward. Burnout Dominator focuses solely on the racing aspect, and thus you have an experience that just feels rather limited in comparison to previous games. In fact, the game includes the new maniac mode which is a more structured use of the Burnouts in the game, which once again focuses solely on the racing of the game.
If there was more to say about Burnout Dominator I would go into it, but everything that you have in Dominator has been seen and done before. The racing in the game doesn’t go any further into the Burnout franchise, and unfortunately doesn’t offer up a new or revitalized experience. That is not to say however that Burnout Dominator is a bad game, as it still hosts a very smooth and enjoyable experience. Burnout Dominator has all of the mechanics that we have become familiar with over the years and it still shines bright in here. Burnout Dominator has a lot of good elements and I can’t really say it is a bad game, but it is definitely a tough game to get excited about.
Visually Burnout Dominator still looks good even for being a Playstation 2 game. Burnout Dominator is a good looking game with a great amount of detail and for a Playstation 2 game continues to show that the PS2 still can hang in there. Also the game has some really great looking courses that manage to give the game an extremely good look even on the Playstation 2. Burnout Dominator manages to keep the style even at higher speeds which previous games have struggled with.
One of the problems I had with Burnout Dominator was the fact that the game really lacked a lot of depth that previous Burnout games have had. The fact that the price point is a bit lower than normal does make it more tolerable, but you can’t help but feel EA just wants a quick turn rather than go full board with a complete game. Burnout is an entertaining experience, and one that I felt had more room to improve.
The final product of Burnout Dominator just feels like it had so much more it could have done but wasn’t given the chance to. The odd absence of both online play and the crash mode does make the overall package less desirable. However, if you enjoy Burnout games of the past, you will continue to enjoy Burnout Dominator. Just don’t expect to play the best Burnout title.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.