It’s been 12 years since Burnout Paradise first launched on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and two years since the Remastered edition released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And now we’ve finally got a Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch version. As someone who played a hell of a lot of Burnout Legends on the PSP, I know the appeal of having a pocketable Burnout game for on-the-go play. So, is it any good? And is it worth that Switch-premium price tag?
Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch Review | No cut content
Content-wise, Burnout Paradise Remastered for Nintendo Switch has it all. There’s the standard game, Big Surf Island, Legendary Cars, Bikes, Toys, the Party Pack, and more. This all combines to make for a generous amount of content that will take a good chunk of time to fully explore. Though the main story can be finished in around 10-12 hours, it’s easy to bump that up to 30-40 by committing to seeing and doing everything. The solid, yet not exceptional, online modes bump up the longevity further, though waiting times during the launch weekend were a little lengthy.
The collection of DLCs that come included with Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch are unlocked from the very beginning, meaning you can immediately skip to using bikes, toy cars, crazy-aggressive cop vehicles, and more. This might be tempting, but I think new players should take it slow while they get used to the increasing speed and correlating likelihood to crash.
Veterans, however, will appreciate being able to jump in at super-speed and use a wide variety of different cars — and bikes, if you can stomach them — from the get-go.
If you’ve played it before, Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch is as you’d expect. It’s the 2008 game, complete with soundtrack, packed with a bunch of DLCs, all crammed into that tiny cartridge. It’s just a shame that there isn’t any exclusive content for Switch owners, nor any noticeable additional polish or quality-of-life tweaks outside of some minor touchscreen controls. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to expect these things, but for the premium price (which we will get to later) you might be expecting more.
As with the original game and its DLCs, Burnout Paradise Remastered focuses on its open world and collectible-style jumps, shortcuts, and speed challenges, but they all end up blending together to feel very samey. Don’t get me wrong, I do like moving around the open world and navigation is handled well without being distracting, but when you do eventually get to your destination, the awaiting race rarely offers a unique experience. This can lead to a feeling of repetition when moving from race to race, especially when playing for multiple hours at a time.
Thankfully, now that it’s on Switch, it’s easy to hit a race or two for 20 minutes, put the console to sleep, and then quickly boot it back up for 20 more minutes on your next break. Arcade racers like this, which offer a quick burst of adrenaline, feel at home on the Nintendo Switch.
Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch Review | Performance racing
Performance is where things often get dicey for Nintendo Switch ports. Of course, you have to keep expectations in check when moving from Burnout Paradise Remastered running on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, to the much less powerful Nintendo Switch. However, the “Remastered” in a game’s name has come to imply a bump up in visual quality. So, does the Switch version look better than the standard Burnout Paradise on PS3 and Xbox 360? I would say that it holds up well.
While I don’t have the older consoles to capture and compare to, I can confirm that Burnout Paradise Remastered on Switch runs at 60 FPS with no perceptible drops or stutters. While making the action look smooth, this also helps with the responsiveness of controls and it really does feel good. This is huge for a racing game, especially with the endgame cars which you’ll often be driving at 200+ MPH against oncoming traffic.
Like with other Switch ports, the resolution isn’t the crispest. Forget about the 4K remasters on current-gen consoles, as you won’t be getting close to that here. Aliasing (jagged edges and shimmering) is more noticeable in TV mode, with portable play hiding it a lot better.
The drop in resolution can have an impact on gameplay when trying to look ahead to anticipate traffic. It can take an extra moment to make out a car, which can sometimes be fatal. However, it’s by no means game-breaking and the game’s overall difficulty is easy enough to make the odd crash or two less of an issue.
I definitely support the choice for 60 FPS over a higher resolution presentation. Again, the smoothness and responsiveness offered by that sweet 60 make this racer feel great. It’s clear that the developer thought hard about how to balance clear visuals with smooth performance, and I think they managed to pull it off pretty well.
Oh, and loading times are brief enough to avoid causing offense.
Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch Review | Pay to race
Ultimately, Burnout Paradise Remastered on Switch is a solid racing experience that offers a unique take on the arcade racer, where the player is encouraged to take down the opposition by any means necessary. There’s plenty of content to keep players busy for tens of hours in solo play, and a substantial online experience to master.
While this version of the game isn’t as remastered as others, and though the launch price of $50 will rightfully make some gamers balk, Burnout Paradise Remastered on Switch takes a great formula and makes it pleasantly portable.
Burnout Paradise Remastered was reviewed on an original Nintendo Switch with code provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.