Burnout 3: Takedown

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Burnout 3: Takedown
Burnout 3 - Takedown Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Criterion Games
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Alex Ward (creative director)
Series Burnout
Engine RenderWare
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release date(s)
  • NA 7 September 2004
  • EU 10 September 2004
AU 10 September 2004 (PS2)

JP 14 October 2004 (PS2)

Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution DVD

Burnout 3: Takedown is a racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by EA Games for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It is the third game in Criterion's Burnout series. The game was released in September 2004 and drew critical acclaim and a large fanbase.


Gameplay carries on the high speed gameplay of previous entries in the series, in which players race through various courses, earning boost by driving in oncoming traffic lanes, narrowly avoiding other vehicles, and drifting. The main new addition to the series gameplay is a focus on 'Takedowns', in which players are encouraged to try and take down their opponents by knocking into them and causing them to crash, upon which they are granted an extension to their boost meter. If the player themselves crashes (upon which they will lose some of their boost meter) they can activate Impact Time, which allows them to steer their vehicle in mid-crash towards other vehicles, triggering 'Aftertouch Takedowns'.

There are four main styles of events; Races, which are general races to the finish line against other racers; Time Attack, which tasks players with beating a course within a time limit; Road Rage, in which players must perform as many takedowns as possible against computer opponents without being taken down themselves; and Crash, a unique mode that makes use of the game's new crash mechanics. In Crash mode, players drive their vehicle straight into an intersection with the goal of causing as many vehicles as possible to become involved the wreckage, with the player accumulating 'Crash dollars' for the damage caused. These events are featured in the Burnout World Tour mode, where players progress through numerous events to unlock hidden tracks and vehicles. The game also features local and online multiplayer (online services were shut down on April 15, 2010).


Criterion self-cancelled a reboot of the skateboarding game "Skate or Die" which it had been developing for over twelve months. While bouncing around a few ideas for a stunt based Need for Speed title, tentatively called "Need for Speed Split Second", the Criterion team stopped working with Electronic Arts. However, Bruce McMillan from EA Canada later visited Criterion at their offices in Guildford with a plea for the two companies to find a way to work together somehow. "If you cannot work successfully with big companies like EA, then you have a problem," suggested McMillan, "and if big companies like EA can't work successfully with great developers like Criterion, then we have a problem." McMillan suggested that the two companies repair the relationship, with EA offering to step in as publisher for the next, as yet untitled, Burnout game. A GameCube version was never developed, as the console couldn't support the addition of network play.

A five-lap race demo is still available in Need For Speed: Underground 2, with a demo of Underground 2 available in Burnout. Electronic Arts shut down all network services on April 15, 2010.


Main article: Burnout 3 soundtrack

The soundtrack for Burnout 3: Takedown features 44 songs, which includes "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" by My Chemical Romance, "Paper Wings" by Rise Against, "C'mon" by Go Betty Go, "Breathing" by Yellowcard, "This Fire" by Franz Ferdinand, "Saccharine Smile" by Donots, "Always You" by Amber Pacific and "Memory" by Sugarcult. "Lazy Generation" by The F-Ups is the game's opening song. Songs are played through "Crash FM", the game's radio station with commentary from DJ Stryker from alternative radio station KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. Alternatively, Burnout 3 supports user created soundtracks on the Xbox with the usage of the Xbox hard drive.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS2) 93.32%[1]
(Xbox) 93.06%[2]
Metacritic (Xbox) 94/100[3]
(PS2) 93/100[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[5]
Edge 9/10[6]
GameSpot 9.5/10[7]
GameSpy 5/5 stars[8]
IGN 9.5/10[9]
TeamXbox 9.6/10[10]

Burnout 3: Takedown received critical acclaim upon release. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 93.32% and 93/100[1][4] and the Xbox version 93.06% and 94/100.[2][3]

1UP.com cited "The Takedown system is what makes the already pretty good Burnout series amazing... Burnout 3 delivers the purest hit of awesome so far this year."[5]

Edge noted "It still possesses the series’ trademark ability to deliver Tempest-like ‘in the zone’ moments of remarkable intensity unlike any of its contemporaries, but now comes with a confidently revised dynamic, marking this as Criterion Games’ finest hour."[6]

Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot stated "Even if driving games aren't normally your thing, Burnout 3 is still right for you. It's that good. It ranks among the best racing games ever made...An amazing achievement that anyone with a pulse will probably love."[7]

GameSpy called the game "The new king of arcade racers. Think about everything that was brilliant about its predecessors -- the whimsical take on the laws of physics, the gorgeous graphics, and the completely insane emphasis on crashing -- and multiply it by ten thousand."[8]

IGN editor Fran Mirabella commented that the game "Offers up insane speed, unequaled crash sequences, and a truly new style of gameplay. It has reinvented the wheel, so to speak...Burnout 3 is astonishing. It's one of the best arcade racers I've ever touched."[9]


  1. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown for Xbox". GameRankings. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown for Xbox reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown for PlayStation 2 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". 1UP.com. 8 September 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". Edge. 2 September 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (7 September 2004). "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". GameSpy. 7 September 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Mirabella III, Fran (2 September 2004). "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". IGN. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Nordozzi, Dale (8 September 2004). "Burnout 3: Takedown Review". TeamXbox. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 

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