This is a weird Burnout. It’s like Burnout: Year Zero, or Burnout Returns, a kind of re-imagining of the series that ignores the more recent developments. Lots of the innovations introduced in 2005’s Burnout: Revenge have been dumped, modes have been dropped, and features last seen in Burnout 2 have been brought back in as replacements. So what we were expecting to be a half-assed rehash of recycled tracks is, in fact, a right awesome Burnout game - and the perfect end to the game’s career on PS2.
The first big reintroduction is the Burnout Chain. This was everyone’s favorite thing about Burnout 2, and has you powering up your boost gauge, setting it off, then driving like a Hollywood celebrity on a cocktail of prescription medication and alcohol into oncoming traffic to try and fill up the gauge again before it runs out. Manage that and you have a Burnout x1. Do it again for a x2. Keep doing it for one of the coolest features in driving games, and one that lifts Burnout above all of its competitors. You have to wonder why this feature hasn’t been in Burnout for the last few years.
Another retro tweak sees the traffic get a little more dangerous again. When reviewing 2005’s Burnout: Revenge we moaned endlessly about how being suddenly allowed to hit the “same way” traffic made the game too easy, especially in its amazingly dull Traffic Attack races. You could, if you wanted, stay in the correct lane and not really bother about steering, racking up way too much boost by jamming traffic up as you flew along. Well that’s been dumped - hopefully never to return.
In Dominator, you crash if you shove the rear of a car going the same way as you, which reintroduces a bit more skill to the Burnout formula. Now you have to occasionally worry about steering. Of course, you still crash and disintegrate horribly if you hit something coming the other way should you veer over the white line in the middle of the road, so you still get to see plenty of those awesome slow-motion crash shots.