Insider Series
Criterion Games: In the Beginning...

July 03, 2012


Criterion Games are at the wheel of the next Need for Speed, and it’s full throttle to the finish. In development terms, these guys are ripping through red lights, near-missing traffic and taking down their rivals. Blink if you dare – they’re coming in hot!

But if you’ve never heard of Criterion, it’s time for a quick introduction. Over the next few weeks, these guys will take you on a whistle-stop tour of all things Criterion and get you ready for the release of their biggest game ever: Need for Speed Most Wanted:

Hi. Welcome to Criterion Games. It all started with Burnout. The original arcade game was inspired by the greatest coin-op titles of the day.

At a time when dry simulation had arrived on the scene, Burnout was the anti-sim – a balls to the wall, thrill ride that put the fun back into racing. We went big on speed, crashing and action.

Burnout PlayStation 2

Burnout PlayStation 2Burnout PlayStation 2

Burnout 2: Point of Impact was our chance to polish the formula and introduce one of our most popular innovations: Crash Mode. We’re were digging the pass-the-pad party vibe and we thought it would be fun to take it in turns to smash cars up. Just for a laugh.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact PlayStation 2

Burnout 2: Point of Impact PlayStation 2Burnout 2: Point of Impact PlayStation 2

Our first game with EA was Burnout 3: Takedown. We brought you online racing, but the key innovation was in Takedown. Crashing had always been a cool visual effect, but for the first time, we made it part of the gameplay. Smash your rivals off the road to earn Boost and then blast it to the finish. Aftertouch was the icing on the cake. We made it so you could play the crashes in slow motion and steer your wrecking car into rivals.

Burnout Revenge was our final game for PlayStation 2 and Xbox and the 360 version was our first on next generation hardware. We upped the ante on crashing and destruction with Traffic Attack, a mode designed to reward smashing into traffic and introduced Mugshots to online play. You could see pictures of your online rivals as you took them down.

Next week, we’re back in Paradise to talk about the most ambitious Burnout game of them all.


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