It’s coming, Burnout Paradise is getting a remake at long last, at least on the PS4. We’ll finally get to go back to that city, Paradise City, and drive really fast into billboards over and over and over and over and over again.
It’s brilliant news because Burnout Paradise was one of the last of the truly great, and accessible, racing games. Since then racing games have either gone more GTA-y, or they’ve gone more serious. People have been crying out for a new Burnout, and if we can’t have that then at least we’ll have Burnout at its best, all shiny.
But there may be a problem.
You see this is something that doesn’t get talked about much in games, is that soundtracks when they’re produced using licensed music, tend to have fairly strict limits on how they can be used.
Often, this includes a time limit on how long they can be used. This is why you’ll sometimes see some games disappear from market. We don’t know which games are affected by this, but for example, is this why you can no longer buy the original Prey which heavily featured Don’t Fear The Reaper?
We don’t know, but the issues that surround licensed music might affect the soundtrack to Burnout Paradise’s HD Remaster. We won’t know until the game’s actually released, but it’s something to worry about and something to get confirmation on before putting money down on pre-orders.
Just to be clear: every song you love from the original may well be in the remaster.
But would Burnout Paradise still be Burnout Paradise without the iconic soundtrack?
Imagine starting the game up and not hearing Guns and Roses, imagine not having Killswitch Engage pounding out as you hit top speed along the harbour, imagine not having Soundgarden playing when you’re skidding around corners.
The unthinkable could also happen.
What if, and I can barely write these terrible, fearful words. What if ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne isn’t in the game?
What would be the point of racing if you can’t do it to ‘hey hey, you you’? Why perform tricks or smash billboards or unlock shortcuts if you’re not going to find out whether or not Avril Lavigne likes your girlfriend? And to anyone rolling their eyes – you damn well know you skipped through all the other songs to get to ‘Girlfriend’ more than once. Don’t deny it. I know.
If the original soundtrack isn’t present, whilst the structure of the game would remain – and make no mistake, it’s a damned good game – the soul of the game would be ripped out.
You see the soundtrack, whilst often overlooked in videogames in favour of mechanics or visuals, is integral to the feeling that a game has. Dear Esther wouldn’t be Dear Esther without Jessica Curry’s soundtrack, FTL wouldn’t be the success it is without Ben Prunty’s sci-fi inspired melancholic tunes, Mass Effect wouldn’t be Mass Effect without the works of Jack Wall.
Burnout Paradise would still be amazing, but it’s not Burnout Paradise without the soundtrack.
So we’re amazingly happy that it’s coming, but before the party starts we need to get confirmation of the soundtrack. What music’s going to be in there, and if the original soundtrack isn’t present, will it be a ‘true’ remaster?