The Burnout series is gone, and nothing has filled the vacuum it left behind. Forza Horizon 3 is wonderful, but it doesn’t have the same dedication to violent, controlled chaos that Criterion’s defunct racer did. But now, a new game is stepping up to provide the intense automobile carnage you’re looking for, and — surprise — it’s from the people who founded the studio that made Burnout.
Danger Zone is a new game about using a vehicle to destroy as many other cars, trucks, and buses as possible. It is due out May 30 for $13. Three Fields Entertainment, which most recently made the disappointing Dangerous Golf game for Steam, built the game as a clear spiritual successor to the crash mode in Burnout 3: Takedown for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The founders of Three Fields worked on that game in key roles at Criterion, and now they are trying to recapture that magic.
And Danger Zone — at least so far — is quite magical.
I’ve spent some time with an early version that includes the first eight stages, and I don’t want to stop playing (you can watch me play in the video above). Burnout 3 is something I spent a ton of time with thanks to the crash mode. I remember passing a controller around as my friends and I would take turns trying to get the highest scores in each stage. In Danger Zone, I’m doing the same thing with the online leaderboard, and I find myself replaying the same level dozens of times in a row in an effort to maximize my score.
The secret truth of both Burnout 3 and Danger Zone is that it isn’t about random collisions and automotive violence. These are physics-based puzzle games. They have a lot in common with something like Portal and its challenge rooms.
In each stage, your goal is simple: cause as much damage as possible. Three Fields sets up each of these levels with a series…
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