It’s not uncommon for a video game’s sequel to be made by different people than the original. But the car crashing arcade game Danger Zone (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC) puts a new spin on this by being the spiritual sequel to a game that’s made by the same people as the original. Too bad it’s not as good.
Made by Three Fields Entertainment,
a British studio founded by former employees of Criterion Games, Danger Zone is essentially the “Crash” mode from Burnout 2: Point Of Impact, Burnout 3: Takedown, Burnout Revenge, Burnout Legends, and, of course, Burnout Crash! All of which, save for Legends, were made by, you guessed it, Criterion Games. Which is why, as in “Crash,” you have to drive a car into traffic to cause enough property damage to reach a prescribed monetary goal.
As with “Crash” mode in the Burnout games, Danger Zone is over-the-top, and not at all concerned with realism. Which is why the laws of gravity and physics are more suggestions than steadfast rules. It’s also why you can trigger your car to explode, but only after hitting a certain number of vehicles, and why you can somewhat control where your car moves mid-blast to cause even more damage. Or, if you prefer, to roll over some floating power-ups that can give you a cash bonus or another explosive blast. Though it also helps that the other drivers don’t stop when there’s an accident in front of them, but instead just keep going.
While Danger Zone is essentially “Crash” mode on its own, there are some differences. Most notably, this doesn’t take place on “real” highways or streets, but is instead set on closed tracks as part of a simulation. Which is why you can knock cars off the tracks, but if you fall off yourself, the simulation ends, even if you’ve reached the damage goal.
Unfortunately, Danger Zone also differs from “Crash” mode by not offering as many options. While it does have a lot of different tracks, it doesn’t let you pick what kind of car to drive (though they do mix things up a little), doesn’t let you alter the viewpoint used when driving (which is tough luck for those who don’t like the chase cam perspective), and doesn’t let you change or adjust the controls (though they work fine as is).
Danger Zone also doesn’t have any options when it comes to its difficulty. Which is not only a problem for people who really like a challenge, but also for those who’d rather not drive the same course over and over. Especially since the cars on the road are always the same, no matter how many times you run that course.
Oh, and why is Danger Zone the only video game ever made where red oil drums don’t explode when you hit them? Or nudge them slightly?
It’s also a bummer that Danger Zone is set on simulated roads, as opposed to “real” ones. Especially since this doesn’t do much with the location. It’s not like you can crash into a load-bearing pylon and bring the roof crashing down. Also, because this vehicular mayhem isn’t done with “real” traffic, it lessens the game’s “Did you see that?” factor.
Which is too bad…
because after playing Danger Zone for a bit, you’ll probably get bored and put it aside until a friend comes over and you can be like, “You got to check out this crazy car crash game I got.” Beyond that, though, Danger Zone is ultimately a bit of a lemon.