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Criterion Games: And Then There Was Paradise

Criterion Games: And Then There Was Paradise

July 10, 2012

If you missed last week’s post about Criterion games, you can find out where it all began with our Burnout recap here.  We got as far as Burnout Revenge, so today it’s time for Burnout Paradise.

Our first dedicated PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game was our greatest challenge ever: a new game on the hardware, our first open-world game and a revolutionary online concept with colossal post-release support.  Finishing it required our blood, sweat and tears.


Paradise delivers trademark Criterion Games driving.  It’s all about fun, drift-heavy handling, intense action, spectacular crashing and speed.

But we wanted to embrace the new. We wanted the open world to mean something. It had to deliver freedom and choice in a meaningful way.  It needed to deliver new ways to play.

The first thing we did was kill the standard approach to selecting races and events from a list.  Pull up at any set of traffic lights and spin your wheels to start an event: Race, Marked Man, Time Attack, Showtime, whatever.  Pick any event, no matter how far through the game you are.

We filled Paradise City with collectible gameplay.  Find hidden billboards then figure out how to ramp your car through them.  Smash through gates and set fast times for your friends to beat on any road. It’s all about exploration and discovery.

But the star of the show is a concept we called Freeburn.  Drive anywhere, anytime.  When you activate online play, your friends just appear in the City.  Find them on the map and go see what they’re up to. Of course you can race, but we also created 500+ challenges for 2-8 players that’ll get you speeding, drifting, crashing, jumping, racing and exploring Paradise City.

And when the game was finished, we just kept on building. Fans who got the game early were rewarded with regular downloadable content. We delivered movie cars, night-time, motorcycles, party play, toy cars, more challenges and a whole entire island full of new gameplay in what became known as the Year of Paradise.

If you missed it first time round, you can still get Paradise online for Xbox 360 here. PS3 players should be able to search for it on the PlayStation Store. PC players can buy it on Origin right here.

Need for Speed Most Wanted has its roots in Burnout Paradise. Almost 5 years after that game shipped, we’re bringing you a huge leap forward in open world gameplay, this time with a distinctly Need for Speed flavour.  Expect intense action, great handling and open world online.

And it’s Need for Speed Most Wanted, which means epic cop chases, the next generation of Autolog, an amazing collection of real cars and performance modification.

Next week, we’re talking about our last game.  It’s time for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.

Burnout Paradise Screenshot

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