Dangerous Driving is a spiritual successor to the much-loved franchise of bent steel and highway disaster simulations, Burnout. So when I learned that the founders of Three Fields Entertainment originally worked for Criterion, the original developers of the Burnout series, I was hyped for some carnage.
Sad to say though that thanks to the link to the days of old, Dangerous Driving shits on a once proud legacy. What has essentially been accomplished here is the developers have taken their original works, put it in their hands along with some human fecal matter, and clapped… ferociously.
Dangerous Driving seemed promising in the beginning. I was feeling a little nostalgic and more than ready to slam some fools into oncoming traffic whilst sailing away – all Vin Diesel style. When you do manage to pull off some gnarly crash on an opponent, the camera cuts to the chaos as you DEFINITELY would have killed someone.
As glorious as the mutilation of metal is when you boss a series of Takedowns, the same can’t be said when you are on the receiving end, however. If you are a bad driver and end up smashing faces with oncoming traffic, there seems to be a high probability that you won’t be partaking in the automobile gymnastics, instead, you will just come to a halt, whilst simultaneously having all the fun sucked out of you.
If you are unfortunate enough to be taken down you can activate aftertouch. It is honestly a nice feature which falls flat thanks to the coin flip of whether you’re going to be gloriously hurtling through the air or sitting like a wet rag on the road. When you do manage to utilize the full effect of the aftertouch though, you can use it to hinder and even takedown other drivers, it’s just a shame that it doesn’t have the chance to shine as the slow motion that comes with it makes movement clunky.
The driving itself isn’t bad, but it’s definitely far from up to date. Dangerous Driving doesn’t seem to have moved forward from the original Burnout game. It does have a very arcadey feel when it comes to the driving with drifting around corners but if you misjudge your turn and smash into a barrier, trigonometry kicks in and you rebound off with a slight speed penalty.
As with any good racing game though, Dangerous Driving has everyone’s favorite rubber band mechanic. The problem is that it is extremely fucking violent. When trying to catch up to opponents it requires Jedi levels of focus as you slowly close the gap with whoever is ahead. On the flip side, however, when it comes to being in the lead yourself, the ones behind you seem to be able to kick their own cars into overdrive and manage to blast past you with lightspeed.
As far as graphics go, Dangerous Driving doesn’t look too bad. It’s more appealing than the gameplay at least in my opinion. The issue is when you switch the camera view from behind the car to the front bumper. Now that you have a closer view of the road it looks more like a stretched .jpeg file just to save memory and keep the games file size to a minimum.
The cars in the competition are fairly well designed thankfully and come in many variants. As well as they have been designed, they are fairly generic. When you copy a regularly used concept I suppose it’s hard to fuck it up. Even the car names are just the type of car they are, like the Sedan which is appropriately named Sedan. It’s safe to say there wasn’t a lot of original thought put into this aspect.
Speaking of a lack of original thought, the User Interface is about as innovative the process that went into naming the cars. The main menu is hellishly desolate where the only thing that comes close to being as occupied is maybe a desert or the place where I keep my ‘Will to Live’ which at this point has become barren as there seems to be a lack of games I enjoy recently.
When playing a driving game which is all mayhem and breaking shit you expect to hear more than what could only be described as a car being repeatedly punched in the balls. Well, you don’t get it with Dangerous Driving. The awful droning sound you hear isn’t your console wishing for death but it is actually the game itself.
What is also missing from Dangerous Driving which Burnout had, is a killer pop-punk soundtrack. From the main menu to the races, you get stuck with the same arduous noises and generic ass menu music you wouldn’t expect from the people that brought us Burnout. Though you can link your Spotify to the game and listen to your own playlists – full disclosure, I learned this way too late as you don’t get any hints to be able to do this, oh and you need premium, which I refuse to pay for.
Did any of you think there would be an aspect of Dangerous Driving that I would enjoy? Well there was. It was the tracks. I was so happy to find a level of difficulty, though some of it may have been from the janky ass controls and piss poor mechanics. Albeit I do enjoy a challenge in a race and the layout of the tracks does provide that in itself. Not only are the tracks designed to be challenging but they do have a nice range of diversity too. You can find yourself anywhere from mountainous tundra to sprawling cities.
I was quite disappointed with my experience of Dangerous Driving. The main thing that made me droop my head with sadness was that, with Burnout being quite the revelation in racing games, none of what made it great seemed to be expanded upon. Not only has it not been expanded upon it also feels like it lacks what made it great.