Burnout: Dominator


posted 4/18/2007 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PSP
The levels themselves, while new, will probably feel familiar to anybody who has played the Burnout games before. None of the levels feel completely new and original, even if they are different from past courses. Having said that, these various locations are all fun and easy on the eyes, you'll be racing through mountains, plenty of cities and even the beach. While the courses are littered with multiple paths and shortcuts, there's no mistaking them for anything but Burnout tracks. There are plenty of narrow areas to navigate through and plenty of obstacles to get in your way (or shove your opponents into). While the look and feel may be all too familiar, there's no denying that they are a lot of fun and get the job done.
Along with a fun World Tour mode you will also have a chance to play the game against real life opponents in the Ad Hoc WiFi multiplayer mode. Unlike Burnout Legend, Dominator allows you to play the game with six people, so the races are even more exciting and crowded. There are a few different modes to choose from, but when it comes right down to it the standard race is the most exciting game you can play, if only because it's a lot of fun to run your friends off the road. Unfortunately Dominator isn't online, something that a lot of the other Burnout games have experimented with. This is disappointing as there just aren't enough solid online games currently available for the PSP.
While the game is as much fun as it's ever been, there's one thing that is sorely missing from Dominator -- the crash mode. I'm not sure what the reasoning is, but one of the most popular Burnout game modes has been completely removed. While the crash mode was often nothing more than a small diversion from the main course, it's painfully obvious that it's missing from this game. There's nothing quite like playing a few races and then jumping over and beating a few crash levels. Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come for the Burnout series; I would hate to think that future installments will ditch one of my favorite modes.
Thankfully that's where the bad news ends, because pretty much every other aspect of Burnout remains intact. Dominator's presentation is second to none; it's easily one of the best looking PSP racers on the market. At first glance it may look like the Burnout Legend, but the longer you sit down with Dominator the more impressive it is. At top speeds the game just flies, sure there are a few minor graphic glitches but you'll hardly notice when everything is moving so fast. And it's not just when you're going fast, either. The game is also impressive in the early levels, the backgrounds are all full of details and there's a certain amount of life that is brought to the experience. Make no mistake about it, this is one beautiful game.
When it comes right down to it Burnout Dominator is an essential PSP racing game, even if it doesn't have some of the modes you've come to know and love in previous titles. The multiplayer is great, the graphics are full of life and it just feels like a Burnout game. I would argue that Burnout Legend is a slightly better game, but only because Dominator is missing the crash mode. If you've played Legend to death and are looking for another great racer for your PSP then you can't go wrong with Burnout Dominator. Hopefully next time EA decides to release a PSP Burnout game we'll see some major innovations and maybe even an online mode, that is the only thing keeping this from being one of the best PSP games to date.

Dominator is yet another rock solid game in Burnout series, even if it doesn't have the crash mode and some of the other recent additions. Some may argue that this is a step backwards, but for what it is Dominator proves to be a highly competent racer with plenty of replay!

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