Burnout Paradise isn’t exactly a new game. In fact, it was released over a year ago, back in January of 2008 to tremendous critical acclaim thanks to its expansive game world, innovative game play, and gobs of old-fashioned fun.
Unfortunately for us PC users, it was launched only on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Why should you care? Because a year after launch, the game is available for us PC gamers. Not only are we getting the “Ultimate Box” version that includes every expansion pack previously released, but we’re also getting a refined, polished experience compared to the launch version released over a year ago.
As an avid PC gamer, I couldn’t be more ecstatic about this port. I’ve always been a racing game fan, but am much more interested in the Need for Speed fun-focused games rather than the TOCA Race Driver simulation stuff. While Codemaster’s new GRID is definitely a step towards the fun side of things, it’s still a little dry and Need for Speed has completely lost me since NFS: Pro Street. What I have always craved is a no-holds-barred fun-fest of gorgeous graphics, thrilling speed, and car-crash porn. As a PC gamer (with a Wii for the kids as backup), I’ve been deprived of the newer Burnout titles that could fully satisfy this vice...until now.
This isn’t a game review, as it should already be obvious that I’m a big fan of Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box for the PC. But as a hardware reviewer, I was impressed at how well this port ran, even on my relatively weak home theater PC. With other ports running poorly on the PC (such as Halo), I decided it might be worth a look to see just what this game needs on the CPU/GPU hardware side of things to deliver great performance and maybe delve a little into the image quality as well.
With this in mind, I’ve chosen a good cross-section of graphics cards with which to test the title. I’ve even tested different CPU clock speeds and processors ranging from one to four cores in order to really answer the question: “what do I need to get the most out of Burnout Paradise?”