The spiritual successor to Burnout we’ve been waiting for is coming – but perhaps not quite in the way you might have imagined. Danger Zone 2, a current-gen revamp of Burnout’s crash mode, arrives on July 13th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, courtesy of Three Fields Entertainment. Meanwhile, further on down the road, Dangerous Driving is the circuit-based Burnout successor that follows it, arriving as soon as this winter – and developed by the same close-knit team of just seven people.
Stacked up against the first Danger Zone released last year, the sequel represents a radical improvement in every way. First of all, the constrained indoor environments of the series opener are replaced with a range of outdoor, real-life locations including LAX, Spaghetti Junction, the Kennedy interchange in Kentucky and even the M62 just outside Leeds. But what’s clear from the visual language is that these are very much stylised interpretations – seen through lens of a Sega-style ‘blue skies’ aesthetic, along with the arcade-style design of Burnout itself.
The expanded scope of the stages in Danger Zone 2 also hints at the track racing game to come. For starters, this game isn’t just about crashing, although obviously it is the primary focus – the cars now have boost, and there’s a couple of survival mode races in there, designed for pinpoint precision driving where preserving the boost chain yields maximum scores. Then there’s the implementation of traffic checking from Burnout Revenge – only this time, the function gets a showcase workout by putting the player behind the wheel of a big rig, smashing your way through traffic before arriving – and detonating – at the Danger Zone. As there’s often a degree of racing or checking en route to the crash site, a distance countdown meter is present and the eponymous danger zone is clearly highlighted, so you know when and where to go ‘boom’.
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