|System: PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Electronic Arts UK||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Have you ever been stuck in traffic and felt the urge to drive in between cars or smash up those whose purpose it is to obstruct your drive? Have you ever just wanted to drive on the other side of the road or drift like they do in those fast-car movies? If so, quench your need for dangerous driving in Burnout: Dominator! This game will have you drifting around turns, driving on the wrong side of the road, and wasting anyone who attempts to cross your path. And the good news is that you don't have to worry about Johnny Law catching up with you.
The game's premise is simple enough- each level will require you to complete a specific mission (whether it is wasting your opponents, drifting the farthest, or simply being the fastest). Complete the mission, and you'll clear the level. However, there is substantial incentive for you to drive dangerously. The more dangerously you drive, the more "dominator points" you get. The more points you get, the better your ranking. The better your ranking, the more levels, missions, and cars you can unlock.
And don't worry; the game gives you plenty of ways to drive dangerously. You can smash through construction sites, you can screech past other cars, even crashing into other cars gets you points. But then there's the granddaddy of them all: The Burnout. What the burnout does is basically make your car extremely hard to control. You'll go extremely fast and have to do much more to keep your vehicle from smashing into another car (that is, unless you want to crash). But since giving up this control makes your driving oh-so-dangerous, you'll get a whole lot of points by using them. Burnouts are not given out freely however, they must be earned. In order to earn a Burnout, you'll have to fill out your burnout gage at the bottom of the screen. You can fill up your gage by executing dangerous moves like drifting around corners and performing takedowns on other cars. Then when the flames in your gage turn blue, you're ready to trigger the burnout! Initiating the burnout does two things: first, it gains you many dangerous driving points. Second, it gives you a heightened opportunity to earn more burnouts in rapid succession.
It might sound complicated, but trust me: this game is fun. Maybe it's because I have so much pent up road rage or maybe I have too many violent tendencies, but wasting other cars and driving into oncoming traffic while weaving in and out and just barely sliding past cars makes me feel all happy inside. The controls are simple enough that you don't really need a tutorial (in fact, the game doesn't really give you one) and you can just pick it up and start the fun. The only slightly difficult part of the game to master is when and how long to do a burnout. After you master that though, you can rule the road.
The game's main mode is called "world tour," and you basically get to go to all kinds of places from Japan to the United States participating in races, performing missions (such as drifting a certain distance or taking down a certain number of cars) , and causing whatever mayhem you can. Each passed level will earn you a medal ranging from bronze to gold. The higher the medal, the more "dominator points" you get.
Another mode of gameplay is the Record Breaker mode. This mode is pretty simple and is exactly what it sounds like: a chance for you to replay missions and try to beat your original score. This one is pretty good for racking up those dominator points and improving your score on levels you may not have done so well on. It's also pretty good if you want to get some practice time in if you feel a little rusty.