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Burnout 5, play how you want to.

The old menu system is gone. You’ll be able to play however, wherever you want in the massive city. At one moment you could be in a Road Rage, then it could become a Pursuit, and then a crash mode if you get wiped out, etc. It’s very dynamic.

When you start the game, you’ll have access to the whole city, no walls, no barriers. Unlockable content is now gone, in it’s place is a driver’s license. So when you progress in the game your drivers license gets updated with a skill set.

Also around the city are repair shops, it can be used fix your new ride you just crashed. A chop shop can add special abilities to your car. For example you can drive through a gas station to grab speed boosts at any time. There is even a car wash to keep your car nice and shiny.

The new physics engine Criterion has implemented will allow fracturing of cars into 80 different parts, a massive leap from the 12 destructive components of Burnout Revenge’s vehicles. You’ll be able to shear roofs off of rides, shred doors and windows, and even tear entire cars in half during take downs and crashes.

The visuals are only half of the action, however; a huge amount of work has also been put into the audio, which has been beefed up to react dynamically with the intricacies of every crash. A devoted process will track the movements of each element in a crash sequence and assign sounds to match the visual proceedings. Thus, instead of the bland, regurgitated sound effects of previous titles, Burnout 5’s audio will, figuratively and literally, blow its predecessors away.

GP Exclusive: Burnout 5: New Info and Details

[Edit by Henning:]

As we’ve said before, the developers are really focusing their efforts on the PS3 version:

Burnout 5 may find release on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, but for the Criterion team, the PS3 version will be a huge focus. While Ward did say that it was simply too early to be able to accurately predict exactly what would be in either release, he noted that the team is attacking the PS3 with the same fervency they did the PS2. 1080p over HDMI, for instance, just isn’t possible on the 360 at this point, although it’s a foregone conclusion on the PS3. The PS3’s Sixaxis controller will provide additional control options the 360’s doesn’t have. Plus, the PS3’s advanced processing capabilities make it particularly suited to the physics-intensive crashes that are going to be taking place.

But this good news also comes with some bad. It doesn’t look like splitscreen support will make it into Burnout 5, which really sucks:

Much to our collective dismay, there’s still a long wait ahead of us before Burnout 5’s release, and much that we still don’t know about the game. Our ignorance is centered mostly on Criterion’s plans for online gameplay, which will completely replace split-screen gaming. “When you switch to HD, drawing everything twice is really hard to do,”

Personally, I don’t mind a slight decrease in visual effects if it means that I can play splitscreen. Developers: give us splitscreen!