Thu, Sep 22, 2005 - Page 15 News List

PC Game Reviews

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Burnout Revenge

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platform: X-Box, PS2 and X-Box 360

Taiwan Release: Early October

For gamers who crave vehicular mayhem on a cinematic scale then Electronic Arts' dangerous driving simulation, Burnout Revenge is for you.

Burnout Revenge is not simply a follow up to last year's Burnout 3: Takedown, which took street racing to new levels by successfully combining a race game with a demolition derby. Instead Revenge takes the concept one almighty step further and will appeal to anyone with a sick sense of humor and morbid fascination with car wrecks.

Sure, winning the races will earn gamers bonus points and a few trophies, but the point of this game is to take out any vehicle on the road. The more collateral damage players cause the more points they earn and the more fun they'll have.

The game comes with a wide variety of events in which gamers can hone their homicidal driving skills. The "eliminator" event is one in which the last placed car is automatically eliminated every 30 seconds and in the "road rage" event players are tasked with taking out as many rival drivers as they can in a limited time.

The sickest, but certainly most enjoyable event, however, is the aptly named "traffic attack." There's only one goal here, and that is to bash, crash and smash through traffic causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible.

The circuits on which these events take place are graphically fantastic and so are the vehicles. There are numerous shortcuts and side roads to explore and utilize in order to get ahead of the pack. The bottom line is that Burnout Revenge is one of the best non-serious driving simulators on the market and has already been chosen as one of the first 20 games to be made available for the X-Box 360 when it hits the shelves in November.

Rainbow Six: Lockdown

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: X-Box, PS2 and PC

Taiwan release: Early October

"Ding" Chavez returns this month in the latest installment of the Rainbow Six series in which the Special Forces operative and his three- man team are once again tasked with taking on a group of terrorists who have stolen a virus that can wipe out entire cities.

While the plot might not be all that original, Lockdown remains on par with its predecessors in many respects. It is packed with breathtakingly realistic close-quarter firefights and in the moments before and after a firefight, creaking floorboards, whispers and the voices of hostages begging for their lives add to the predominantly violent ambiance.

In addition to the usual array of weaponry and gadgets Lockdown

features the all new "heartbeat sensor," which allows players to see through walls and find the position of live terrorists and hostages. It takes some of the fun out of the game, however, as one of the most compelling features of previous Rainbow Six games was never knowing what lay behind closed doors.

Players also get the chance to hone their sniping skills this time around. Instead of playing solely as Chavez, gamers can take on the role of the team's German sniper Dieter Weber. Here players are tasked with covering insertion points while the rest of the squad rushes into buildings with guns blazing. This aspect of the game is fun, but does take some getting used to as the enemy AI is smarter than most, and guys with RPGs can and do appear from nowhere.

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