The offline events give you the same sort of racing and raging events that you’d expect to see from the series, though the open world of Paradise makes things feel quite a bit different. Now, you have to focus on the world, which turns you should take, and if there are any shortcuts along the way to cut your drive time. In events with a set finish line, the game uses a basic navigation system to tell you where to turn. As you complete the events, you’ll raise in rank and earn new cars.
While the manual does briefly describe every aspect of Burnout Paradise, you get the sense that the game is deliberately vague on some topics. Power Parking, for example, scores you based on how well you can fling your car into a parallel parking space at high speed. The game doesn’t seem to prompt you to do it beyond a loose hint or two from the DJ. And unless you were to get online and encounter a challenge that required it, you might play through the entire game without ever doing it once or hearing anything about it.
The soundtrack and DJ Atomika, who pops in during songs to give you hints and provide some general flavor, aren’t nearly as good as the rest of the audio. The DJ, while better than Stryker from Burnout 3, can get awfully grating over time. The music starts on a great note by playing Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Paradise City” every time you fire up the game. Perfect. The rest of the soundtrack sounds a little limp and, as with most EA Trax productions, it feels like it was put together by a marketing team, not by someone with the game’s interests at the front of their mind. At least there’s an LCD Soundsystem track in there before it assaults you with the same Avril Lavigne song that “premiered” in Burnout Dominator.