Burnout Revenge Online -- Digital Smack

september 25, 2005

Burnout Revenge in single player mode is enough digital crack to make a gamer OD from pure driving enthusiasm. But, take that online and it gets multiplied by six (players)! My sister and her husband moved down to LA recently. With a little help over the phone, we were able to get the apartment network all setup – complete with 802.11b access for their notebooks (plus PSP), wired connection for their computer, and wired connection for their PS2. Well, what good is a hooked up PS2 if not for online gaming? This afternoon and tonight, Albert, Joyce, Eileen and I were able to give Burnout Revenge some good driving time online. And I must say, the experience is well-worth the price of admission. If you are just playing Burnout Revenge offline, you do not know what you are missing out on! Albert and I spent the most time playing. We raced, road raged, and even did some crashes. The most fun that I had was in the races and road rage. Crashes are cool, but not as interactive with other players as a races or road rages. Getting online was easy – my EA account “ultramookie” (look for me online) carried over from when I was playing Burnout 3 online (both PS2 and Xbox Live). That was a pretty nice feature from EA, it saved me the quick five minutes of having to fill out fields online using the onscreen keyboard. Albert had to create and account on the EA servers, but it was pretty painless. After getting it all setup, we were ready to play. The best feature of Burnout Revenge's online portion is “parties”. I can setup a party of people and when I go to a race, they all come with me. Since it was just Albert and I, we setup a party and went poking around for races. We found some, but in the end we started creating our own races and having people come join us. The party feature is very handy. There is little to no lag in the races – and this is all on PS2s without the help of backend servers, like how Xbox Live is. Sometimes the other cars seem a bit spastic, but never do they do the “warping” that is seen in other games. The game barely put a load on my network. I hosted a game with four other players and the traffic coming in and out of the network barely went over 80kbits/sec. The whole Burnout Revenge online experience was very smooth – from starting races to ending races. The game supports the USB headsets from Logitech (and those that came with games like SOCOM). I tried using my SOCOM headset once, it did not work out that well (and also Albert doesn't have a headset). I found that the voice quality stunk compared to Xbox Live – voices were muffled or broken up, I could not clearly hear anyone. Also, I found that when I started playing a game while trying to use the headset, I would get kicked off the game (not by a human, but by the system). I gave up trying to use the headset and went on to use the stupid onscreen keyboard, which gives a very basic way of communicating (“GG” = Good Game). It would have been more fun if we had voice communication. Otherwise, the racing was quite exciting! There was one race where I was neck and neck with Albert. He was taking some shortcut route that paralleled the main road where I was. Right at the finish line, Albert came speeding out of the shortcut route and beat me to first place! He had beat me by 0.8 of a second! That guy! In another race, while coming down the final stretch, Albert and I were battling it out for second place when I took him down and got second in that race. The road rages were very fun, especially when we had more than four people playing. Being the chased is not as exciting as being the chaser. I can't wait to play again.

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