Burnout Dominator, Review PS2, EA Games
Burnout: Dominator is the next instalment in the thoroughly enjoyable Burnout series. Its predecessor, Burnout 3: Takedown was widely regarded as the pinnacle of the Burnout series having integrated destruction and mayhem to a title renowned for some very fast and very dangerous driving action. So how do you improve on the best? Well Dominator has more than a few tweaks of its own. In come a Rivals mode, a 'maniac' mode and a brand new World Tour option, out go the highly agreeable Crash mode and the online multiplayer option. So where does this leave us?
The game engine itself is pretty much the way you will remember it from previous Burnout incarnations. The gameplay and controls feel the same, the signature Boost gauge returns, as does the linear bar indicating the quantity, depth and sheer volume of the destruction that you have left in your wake. However, the latter now fails to take into account the number of crashes that you have had, and this seriously centres your attention on dangerous driving as your own crashes have no repercussions any more. Here we have a world without consequences, which leads us nicely on to the inclusion of the Maniac mode.
Maniac mode is about causing as much mayhem as humanly possible in order to fill your boost gauge to such an extent that you are rewarded with a time period of unlimited boost. Once mastered, you will have refilled your boost meter by the time the unlimited boost has run out - effectively giving you unlimited boost all of the time which will increase your score by giving multipliers for every consecutive boost that you score. All of this carnage, mostly whilst driving in the wrong lane and avoiding head on traffic, will result in one of two results. You will either become a Burnout master or throw the controller away in frustration.
Burnout: Dominator has a heavily skewed focus on single player mode. This is at its most obvious in it's exclusion of the online facility, but this is rammed home in the focus on the single player World Tour mode. Here is where you will unlock your new tracks and cars and qualify through seven different racing classes with the aim of being crowned the best. There is a split screen mode for racing head to head two player and its to it's credit that this does not effect the frame rate at all. This said, the Burnout: Dominator graphics are slightly hit and miss. Don't get me wrong, it is not a massive thing and the graphics will appear as inspected at first glance. The 'hit' definitely relates to how well the cars look and have been developed. It is feasible that this could have affected the frame rate, especially in multiplayer, but this is not the case. The 'miss' is how grainy and underdeveloped the background graphics are.
Burnout: Dominator is a decent little title in its own right and worth a look for those new to the series. Experienced Burnout fans may come to the conclusion that this is a rushed mish-mash of an addition to the series that takes out the most popular option from the last title - Crash mode - and replaces it with modes that, whilst enjoyable, cannot hold a torch to Crash mode, whilst completely taking out the online aspect without replacing it with anything significant.
6.5 out of 10