EA has been doing a good job giving older franchises a second chance again as of late, between its stellar remake of Dead Space and its forthcoming chapter of the long-lost Skate franchise. But in the midst of all these plans, it needs to make room for one more retro title that’s in need of a re-release – and that’s Burnout 3: Takedown.
For those that missed out on the release, the original Takedown came out in 2004 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox and received acclaim from critics and fans alike, becoming a hit in just a few weeks’ time. And it’s easy to see why, as Criterion managed to dial in destruction on a perfect level with this game, while, at the same time, making it extremely fun to play.
So what happened? Why hasn’t Takedown gotten any love ever since? Let’s take a closer look, and then explain why it deserves a re-release now more than ever.
Where’s the Takedown?
So the big question here is this – why hasn’t Burnout 3: Takedown gotten a re-release?
Considering that EA gave love to both Burnout Revenge with backward compatibility on Xbox and the remastered version of Burnout: Paradise from a few years ago, it should’ve been on the docket, yes?
But there’s a problem. EA has since poured all its focus into its Need For Speed franchise, maybe because it seems more adaptable to general audiences than a game where you can wreck cars for massive points. Criterion recently worked on Need For Speed: Unbound, which released late last year to a mostly strong response. On the flip side of that, however, Unbound isn’t exactly selling like hotcakes. It’s far from a bomb, mind you, but the game isn’t getting strong word-of-mouth like Burnout 3 did in its day.
What’s more, its racing, while certainly enjoyable, isn’t quite on the same destructive level. So, yeah, there’s something missing. And, again, Xbox owners do have access to Revenge, which is a great game in its own right. But EA simply needs to let this studio run wild with Burnout 3 again for consoles and PC. And there are several reasons for this.
It’s Just Fun To Play
As we mentioned above, Burnout 3: Takedown takes vehicular destruction to a next level. It awards you for making “signature” plays on cars, like wrecking one enough that it goes flying into a nearby bay. But it also rewards players for taking chances with extra boosts and, if enough points are earned, unlocking tons of new cars.
Along with a main campaign that takes you all over the world, Burnout 3 also packs plenty of additional modes. Road Rage simply lets you forego goals in favor of wrecking as many cars as you can before your car is totaled or time runs out. I believe my record for this mode still stands at 83 cars, but I’m working on surpassing it.
There’s also Crash Mode, which has been criminally ignored over the past few years, even with Paradise. It’s a mode where you create as much wanton destruction in a pre-set stage, causing cars to crash or maybe even explode with just the right touch. The goal here is to rack up millions in damage. And, boy oh boy, did this game get that aspect just right. Leaderboards were really competitive at the time, and stayed so until EA eventually shut them down.
So, yeah, Burnout 3 has a lot to offer. Add in crossplay-supported multiplayer across the board and all sorts of options (as well as guest vehicles from the Need For Speed series, or maybe even cars inspired by other EA franchises – we’d definitely take a Star Wars: Jedi speedster for a spin), and you could have a potential hit on your hands.
Will It Ever Arrive?
I believe the phrasing to use here is “never say never.” After all, we never thought we’d get a Skate game again, nor see Dead Space return, and yet, in 2023, we’re getting both of them. So there’s always a sliver of a chance – though EA, being EA, will likely stick to Need For Speed because it’s the so-called “safer bet.”
But I believe Burnout 3: Takedown remains one of the best racing games ever made, and its popularity – even to this day – warrants more than enough reason to bring it back again. C’mon, EA, we need the real speed so we can wreck cars like crazy. Give it some thought.
Need a console while you wait for Burnout 3’s return? We’re giving one away!