Archives by Day

Dangerous Driving

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Racing
Developer: Three Fields Entertainment
Release Date: April 9, 2019

About Joseph Doyle

Joe has been known to have two hands with which to both play games and write reviews. When his hands are not doing those, he will put books, musical instruments, and other fun things in them.


PS4 Review - 'Dangerous Driving'

by Joseph Doyle on Sept. 25, 2019 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Dangerous Driving is a closed track competitive racing game featuring boosts, takedowns, destruction and the biggest car crashes seen in a racing game to date.

Buy Dangerous Driving

The human psyche seems to get a lot out of destruction in video games. Some say it's cathartic, like Aristotle (he didn't get the chance to play video games, but I have a feeling he would've been great at Baba is You, but I digress), while others say it lets you have supreme control of a situation, allowing you to completely annihilate something and take its very existence with you. Whatever the reason, there's something about causing ruin in a controlled area that lights up our brains with all the right neurotransmitters. Dangerous Driving goes out of its way to poke all the right parts of our brains. Developed by Three Fields Entertainment, which is comprised of former employees from Criterion, who were responsible for several Burnout titles, Dangerous Driving features major similarities to the Burnout games. Dangerous Driving lives up to its creators' past titles with solid driving and oh-so-fulfilling destruction, but the lack of gloss weighs down the overall experience.

For the deprived, Burnout was a series of racing games that focused on demolishing your competitors, and it summarily rewarded you for doing so with points, money, and extra nitro boost. Dangerous Driving essentially builds upon where the original series left off, with very little changed. You start by racing your way through the sedan class (among about half-dozen other classes) against five other cars. You whizz through mountainous terrains at breakneck speeds, filling your boost by weaving in and out of oncoming traffic and burning rubber around tight turns. Nothing tops the rush you get from smacking another sedan into next week, filling and growing your boost bar, and pushing ahead to leave everyone else in the dust.

The game even lets you direct your car if you crash, so you can deal damage to your opponents post-mortem! You progress through challenges, which include chasing down criminals in a cop car, a racing mode that rewards you for a lead foot, and competitor races. These challenges are pleasantly bite-sized and easily attainable. Through its gameplay, Dangerous Driving solidifies itself as the video game analog for a popcorn movie; it's going for raw entertainment and satisfaction, and it does it well. Sure, some of the controls could be a little tighter and the game modes more varied, but for what it is, it's very good. Dangerous Driving emulates its predecessors in the destructive racing genre in all the right ways.

Visually, however, Dangerous Driving leaves something to be desired. The in-game visuals are good and look a lot like an updated version of Burnout: Revenge. The cars look more slick, melted snow reflects the sky on the track, the tunnel vision from the boost is nice and gradual, and more! However, this is where the lack of personnel and budget are most prominent. In the past Burnout installments, the game's character was created through the visuals; it was an arcade-like driving game with outrageous explosions, twisted metal, sparks flying and tires screeching as you blast your way through intersections bloated with cars and scenery. Dangerous Driving cuts the corners heavily in this regard, lowering the number of destructible features and cars in the road.

Likewise, it feels like the tone of the game has shifted via the visuals. The previous games were almost comical in their presentation, with the antics largely serving as ridiculous love letters to Michael Bay cinematics. Dangerous Driving lacks that flair. In previous installments, cars would shrivel under the mighty weight of your car, but now, a few bits pop off here and there when your vehicle explodes. The game focuses a little too much on photorealism, which looks very nice but ultimately lacks character. Furthermore, the user interface, menus, and loading screens look like cookie-cutter versions. On a personal note, the ellipses on the loading screens are both gauche and hysterical. "Have you tried… using the boost button?" is laid atop a cheesy overlook of a mountain at night, like a bad GTA V screencap. Yes, I certainly have, game. Generally, the visuals are aggressively ho-hum and detract from the game's potential.

There isn't a lot to speak about in regards to Dangerous Driving and its music because when you're creating a game on a shoestring budget, licensed music doesn't always make the cut. Instead, they chose to feature one song, Toni Halliday's "Rebel Tattoo" for the menu music. It fits pretty well since it sports a heavy, bluesy rock feel, with hazy guitars chugging out the chords while drums pound out a head-bopping rhythm. Basically, it gets you in the right mood to race so that cars can get more familiar with the guardrails. The boosting/crunching/driving sound effects are satisfying and helped me believe that I'd crashed the other car into oblivion, and that's what matters. The general lack of music makes the game harder to immerse yourself in. The whirr of an engine is only so entrancing on its own.

Dangerous Driving feels just like Burnout, but it doesn't look or sound the part. Due to Three Fields Entertainment's limitations, the game feels like it has a crisis of character. The gameplay is edgy, explosive and violent, while the snowy terrain glistens or the sun peeks over luscious mountaintops in the background, peppered with only the revving of your engine and the pitchy screech of your tires. The solemnity doesn't ruin the experience, but it'll make you scratch your head. At the end of the day, Dangerous Driving scratches a very specific itch that I'm sure many have been waiting to scratch —just like paint against a cold metal guardrail.

Score: 7.0/10

More articles about Dangerous Driving
blog comments powered by Disqus