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Gaming: Dangerous Driving review

Arcade racer offers speed, simplicity and huge crashes. Burnout reborn?

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The box might say Dangerous Driving but, make no mistake, this is a Burnout game in all but name. Specifically, it’s Burnout 3: Takedown, the point on the venerable PlayStation 2 where we reckon the series peaked. It’s not a complex recipe: just some cars, a track, big crashes and enough velocity to peel your eyeballs like an onion.

Dangerous Driving, which is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC, doesn’t botch the cocktail either. Like Burnout, the game’s handling strikes the perfect balance between grippy and slippy, giving you enough play to initiate enormous drifts and enough control to dart between vehicles at a split-second’s notice.

You’ll need that responsiveness, because this is a game that rewards fighter pilot reflexes. The early Sedan class of cars are plenty quick enough, so by the time you’re behind the wheel of the definitely-not-a-LaFerrari you’ll be clinging on for grim death. You’re never far from a colossal accident either, not least because to stand any chance of winning, you’ll need to fill your boost bar by drifting, taking down other racers and driving into oncoming traffic like a confused pensioner.

As you might have guessed, ‘takedowns’ - the automotive equivalent of a rugby tackle - feature heavily, though for our money they’re not quite as spectacular as they used to be. Burnout crashes were works of art rendered in crumpled metal and broken glass. Dangerous Driving’s would be lucky to be pinned on the fridge.

Don’t expect a deep and involving career mode either, instead you get a straightforward list of events to complete across a series of varied but not particularly memorable courses. A free update that will introduce multiplayer to the mix is promised, but in its current form there are fewer trimmings than a Christmas lunch in prison.

All these criticisms are softened, though, by the relatively modest price. 25 quid is a bargain by videogame standards and there’s little these days that replicates the heart-in-mouth moments that Burnout used to deliver. If you’re nostalgic for that series, it scratches the exact same 15 year old itch. If you’re a newcomer then perhaps it’s time for a literal crash course…

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