Burnout Dominator is a racing game developed and published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. Burnout Dominator is the second spin-off game in the Burnout series and sixth overall. It retains the core gameplay of the series, as players race at top speeds through dozens of World Tour events testing "reckless skill-based" driving techniques. The versions for each platform do not interact with each other.
This is the only Burnout game that was not developed by Criterion Games, and the first Burnout game in the series since Burnout 2: Point of Impact to not feature the "Crash Mode". At the time Dominator was being developed, Criterion was busy working on Burnout Paradise and was waiting to re-introduce the mode in a new form for the latter title. However, Criterion Games are listed as "the makers of this game" in the game manual and credited as developer on the official Electronic Arts site.
The main focus in Burnout Dominator is the return of "Burnouts". Burnouts are the result of draining a complete boost meter without stopping. The boost meter in Burnout Dominator is primarily orange flames prior to a full boost meter, at which point in time the flames turn blue (known as "Supercharge Boost"). Driving dangerously while using supercharge boost will light up the arrows on the boost meter, and when they are all lit, one can obtain a Burnout once the current supercharge boost has drained. The process can be continually repeated allowing the player to get a Burnout Chain. Prior to Burnout Dominator, Burnouts were last seen in Burnout 2: Point of Impact.
Features removed from the previous game, Burnout Revenge, include Traffic Checking (the ability to ram into smaller vehicles heading in the same direction as the player's vehicle), Traffic Attack Mode, Crash Mode (a puzzle-orientated mode, in which one's vehicle is driven into an intersection full of traffic with the aim to cause the largest amount of damage possible), and online multiplayer support. Also, unlike all of the Criterion developed Burnout games, the PlayStation 2 version of Burnout Dominator does not support USB steering wheels such as the Logitech Driving Force or Logitech Driving Force Pro.
The main single player mode known as the World Tour is split into 7 different series, based on the different classes of car that are in the game. The series are Classic, Factory, Tuned, Hot rod, Super, Race Specials and Dominator. The vehicle lineup is mostly new with some cars from previous two Burnout titles peppered into the game (such as the Custom Coupe Ultimate, Euro Circuit Racer and Works M-Type). The events and new challenges in the World Tour include:
- Race (standard racing for the finish line)
- Road Rage (timed event where the goal is to takedown as many opponent drivers as possible)
- Eliminator (similar to race, but the driver in last place every 30 seconds is eliminated from the race)
- Burning Lap (single lap time trial)
- Maniac Mode (This mode involves players driving as dangerously as they can to earn the highest scores possible by earning drifts, air, oncoming and near misses)
- Grand Prix (An event with three races on different tracks, the racer with the most points at the end of the Grand Prix wins)
- Drift Challenge (a challenge mode where the aim is to obtain as many feet as possible by drifting)
- Near Miss Challenge (same as Drift Challenge, but focusing on narrowly missing traffic to earn scores)
- Burnout Challenge (same as Drift Challenge, but focusing on obtaining Burnouts)
The other single player mode in Burnout Dominator is known as "Record Breaker", and this mode allows one to set high scores for Race, Road Rage, Time Attack and Maniac Mode, without being restricted to specific event/location/series combinations that exist in the World Tour mode. Co-existing with the Record Breaker mode, the PlayStation Portable version of the game allows uploading of high scores via the Burnout HQ option, which can be viewed in the EA Nation section of the Burnout Dominator website.
Burnout Dominator features a soundtrack spanning over 33 artists.
Burnout Dominator received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 76.42% and 76/100 and the PlayStation Portable version 74.25% and 76/100.
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