Burnout (Game)

From Burnout Wiki
Developer Criterion Games
Publisher Acclaim Entertainment
Platforms PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox
Release Dates US: 1 November 2001
EU: 16 November 2001

Burnout is a racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox systems.

As the first game in its series, Burnout is quite different to later games such as Burnout 3: Takedown, and even plays somewhat differently to its successor Burnout 2: Point of Impact, employing lots of the classic arcade racing tropes of its inspirations.


Burnout is an arcade-styled, high-speed racing game, inspired by Konami's Thrill Drive, SEGA's OutRun and Crazy Taxi, and Namco's Ridge Racer titles. Burnout either lacks or contains drastically different versions of the elements of its sequels, having much more of a likeness to the games it drew inspiration from. It places much more of an emphasis on street-style, relatively "realistic" racing, with elements such as high traffic density rates and a heavier handling model.

Burnout's gameplay modes include arcade racer mainstay Championship mode, where the player competes against three AI rivals on a series of courses and has to finish in a certain position to move on to the next race; Face-Off, where the player races against a lone rival to unlock the rival's car; Survival; a solo race against the clock where crashing will end the game; and Time Attack, another customary arcade racing gamemode.


Burnout also marks the debut of the innovative, risk-based nitro-boost system that would go on to become one of the series' trademark features. To earn Boost, the player must perform dangerous maneuvers at high speed, such as passing extremely close to traffic cars (dubbed Near Misses), driving in the oncoming traffic lane, or drifting around corners. Once the Boost bar has been filled, the player can activate it at any time to instantly give the acceleration and top speed of their vehicle a boost.

Draining all the Boost in one go is known as performing a Burnout, and driving dangerously while draining the bar will sometimes lead to the bar being completely filled up once more, allowing skilled players to "chain" Burnouts and keep boosting indefinitely.

Crashing will cause the player to lose a sizable amount of their accumulated Boost.