Related Videos

Dangerous Driving Review - A Burnout In Many Ways

VO: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Kurt Hvorup
Dangerous Driving set out to be a spiritual successor of the beloved "Burnout" games, but is it a success at the finish line or did it straight up burnout mid-race? (Hehe. See what I did there?)

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

When the founders of Three Fields Entertainment splintered off from Criterion Games and set out on their own independent venture, their intent was to eventually build towards a spiritual successor to the much-loved “Burnout” games. It’s certainly understandable why they worked so hard to make this happen; this was a team that had guided the development of “Burnout” up through 2008’s “Burnout Paradise”.

The series, in particular its fixation on combative racing and rewarding elaborate crashing technique, was evidently a source of pride and passion for Three Fields. Alas, that’s what makes Three Fields’ latest work something of an awkward, almost tragic presence. Welcome to MojoPlays and this is our review of Dangerous Driving.

Anyone expecting to be eased into this game may find themselves hitting the metaphorical brick wall in short order. “Dangerous Driving” doesn’t offer any tutorials or slow escalation of difficulty before pitting players against tough AI-controlled racers, instead laying out its six-part racing campaign and leaving the rest to you. Fortunately, the progression isn’t especially convoluted: get a bare minimum of bronze medals in various races to unlock the next set of races, with better performance also earning you better vehicles.

If the game has anything in the way of complexity to it, it’s in the variety of race types on offer. There’s the standard multi-lap races, fluctuating on occasion only when it comes to course length and exact number of laps. Grand Prix is basically three normal races played back-to-back, Shakedown is your quintessential race-the-clock scenario, and Pursuit is very much a “Need for Speed”-esque police chase where the street racers take many... MANY... hits to subdue. Standing out amidst the bunch are Road Rage and Survival – the former emphasizing rapid smashing of other cars, the latter being about speeding between checkpoints to keep a timer from running out. And there’s others still...

Read aloud like that, it might appear that “Dangerous Driving” has a fair bit to offer folks. The trouble, unfortunately, is that attempting to play any of it is likely to be frustrating at best and infuriatingly tiresome at worst. What became clear as the game wore on was that not only was its grab-bag of ideas clearly cribbed from other series besides “Burnout”, it’s not even very good at implementing said ideas.

Central to the game’s issues is the simple fact that Three Fields tried to mash elements of a serious-minded, quasi-realistic racing simulation with those of a more arcade-like title. The “Burnout”-like crashes and takedown system add clutter to the assembled courses, which are already busy with passing traffic and fairly limited in space. Debris lingers on the road, a design choice that wouldn’t be as infuriating if the game were consistent with how force of impact works here. It’s never readily clear if the player’s car is going to bounce safely off other vehicles and objects or go spiralling into oblivion.

Meanwhile, as you get further and further into the campaign, the expected ability of the player clashes with the random chaos of races. Par times for certain medals grow shorter, lap length gets extended to be excruciating, and even switching between different cars doesn’t entirely help. Shakedown races suffer from this the worst, but truly every race type grows to be more demanding of perfect performance.

Speaking of performance, holy shit if this isn’t a technical disaster. Initially, there was just the odd bit of slowdown here and there – not especially concerning. Yet eventually situations arose where the framerate dropped to slideshow levels, usually whenever the car drove through a tunnel.
On the more amusing side, the game’s physics were prone to quirky behaviour, like sending the player flipping through the air at high speeds. Hell, we even experienced a full-fledged game crash in the middle of a race.

“Dangerous Driving” might have been made by caring and highly motivated people, but it plays like a half-hearted rip-off. Nothing about its core concept and mechanics are exceptional or unique, something that wouldn’t be a problem if not for the baffling glitches and flaws in its overall design. Even players positively desperate for a mid-range racer would be hard-pressed to find an ounce of worthwhile content here.

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs