It’s presented in pristine, native 4K on Xbox One X, yet despite the vast resolution increase over its debut outing on last-gen consoles, Burnout Paradise looks and plays just as you remember it. In this respect it’s a remaster done right. There are enhancements – many of them in fact, as you shall see – but it’s all in service of adapting the original experience to sit nicely on a new, higher precision medium. And in a world of freebie X-enhanced 360 titles and the existing PC version available on Origin for just £5, that’s a good thing. The key takeaway here is that Burnout Paradise Remastered is more than just a port.
To put that to test, we stacked up the new release against the best available legacy version – Criterion’s original PC release. It was always light on system resources back in the day, and that translates well into the current era – Nvidia’s bargain basement GTX 1050 can comfortably run this at maxed settings or close to it at 1440p – but it does have some issues. First and foremost amongst them is a broken ambient occlusion implementation that introduces some bad aliasing artefacts, particularly noticeable around powerlines. The remaster not only fixes this but substantially improves the entire SSAO effect.
In fact, image quality is refined accordingly all around – native resolution is confirmed at 3840×2160 on Xbox One X, with a full 1920×1080 on the base Xbox One, and while there isn’t blanket coverage, the MSAA of the PC version is swapped out for AMD’s hardware-level EQAA, set to 4x. Beyond that, while the geometry of the original game (and seemingly most of its LODs) are a match for the vanilla PC experience at its best, developer Stellar Entertainment has embarked on a range of subtle, but effective upgrades to the original game. Most noticeable is the artwork: core assets are now of a significantly higher resolution, with ground art and building textures the most obvious beneficiaries. A bulk of its art seem to be retouched here, right down to the traffic lights.
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