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                         Review: Burnout (AGA/HD)
                            By:  Ken Anderson 
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Writing games reviews can be difficult. What I write here is going to
influence whether or not you'll consider buying a game. No matter if
several people have sacrificed months of social interaction to bring a game
to the Amiga, if I slag it here, chances are you won't buy it.

Burnout obviously has received a great deal of effort from someone. From
the disk icons, the introduction screens and the game itself, the author,
Mark Sheeky, has put so much talent into making this not so much a game,
but more of a style statement.  It's just a bit of a pity there is no
gameplay to back it up.

Plotwise, you are supposedly a driver in the futuristic sport of "Burning"
- the aim of which is to destroy the 3 other opponents without the same
thing happening to you. The others can be rammed to death, or simply shoved
off the edge of certain arenas. Winning earns cash, which can be exchanged
in an inter-level shop for various add-ons; spikes, shields and so on.

And that's about it, gamewise. Like most things, Burnout is improved with
more human players, although the computer-controller cars put up a fair
fight. There's the odd bonus level, but even when you've figured out what
you're supposed to do, they do little to add to the action. Apart from the
occasional change in arena, every level is practically the same; players
trying to bump each other off the edge of the arena or into spikes. The
power-ups add some interest, but once everyone has power steering and the
fastest engine, there's not much point in carrying on.

Burnout looks gorgeous. Raytraced cars on raytraced arenas make a visual
treat, and the whole package from start to finish is polished and
professional, although you may find you have to close a few programs from
Workbench before launching the game, even on a machine with Fast RAM. The
sounds are equally impressive, with nice crash'n'bang samples.

The game arrives on 7 disks, and requires a hard drive to run. However, I
found the hard disk installation procedure annoyingly difficult. The user
creates a drawer on the hard disk by dragging the contents of the first
disk into the desired directory: all standard stuff for Vulcan games.
However, for the remaining 6 disks, the icons have to be manually dragged
into the relevant sub-directory - Cars, Arenas etc. Once this done, the
icons then have to be double-clicked separately to unexpand each section.
It's time consuming - the expansion program is extremely slow and
unnecessarily pretty - and boring. The system is obviously designed for
future expansion, but I'd have been far happier with a standard Installer
script.

All in all, I can't really recommend Burnout, especially at the price.  At
half the RRP [Which is pretty close to what earlier Vulcan titles sold for!
-Jason], it might be worth it for the occasional multi-player bout, but at
the moment, there are less pretty but equally playable games in the public
domain.  Once you get over the gloss of the graphics, there's not nearly
enough content to keep you going.

Pros: Graphically excellent. Fun for a while with human opponents.
Expansion kits already available.

Cons:  Single-dimensional, shallow gameplay.  Hopeless hard disk
installation.

Burnout is priced at 19.99UKP (+ 2UKP for P&P outside the UK), and can be
ordered from:

Vulcan Software Limited
Vulcan House
72 Queens Road
Buckland
Portsmouth
Hants PO2 7NA
UK

http://www.vulcan.co.uk

The Vulcan line is distributed in the US by:
Sagittarius Software
1706 Canton Road
Akron, OH  44312
USA

800-426-7687 voice
sales@sagsoft.ald.net e-mail
http://sagsoft.ald.net/