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How does Burnout Paradise Remastered run on Nintendo Switch?

DJ Atomika welcomes you back to Paradise City

A car flips over in the Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered
A screenshot from the Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered.
Image: Criterion Games/Electronic Arts
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

The Nintendo Switch sees a steady stream of games that are ported from other, more powerful, platforms like the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.

But the Switch lacks the graphical horsepower of those other platforms, so concessions must frequently be made to get the game running. Because of these concessions, a great game on another platform might be an absolute disaster on the Nintendo Switch. Or, in the best-case scenarios, the core strengths of the game are able to transfer over, despite the graphical or performance hit.

Today we’re looking at the Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered.

What is Burnout Paradise Remastered?

Just released on Switch, Burnout Paradise Remastered is a remake of a racing game that came out in 2008. Paradise is a total reimagining of the Burnout series, ditching linear courses in favor of an open-world city map. But the crux of the game remains the same as in past entries, with an emphasis on smashing and ramming other cars to knock them into walls and earn precious speed boosts while racing.

A remastered version of the game was released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2018, supporting resolutions up to 4K while also including all the DLC. It’s that same remastered version that is now coming to Switch, albeit with one major difference.

What’s the biggest difference between the Switch version and other platforms?

Everything is identical between all the versions of Burnout Paradise Remastered, at least content-wise. All of the events, online features, challenges, and cars can be found on the Switch. And thank goodness, because they’re all tremendously fun. The game stands up as one of the best racing games of its time, even 12 years later.

The key differentiator between the game running on Switch versus PS4, Xbox One, or PC is the resolution. Since the Switch is incapable of 4K, you’ll have to settle for 720p while in handheld mode, and 1080p while docked.

The Switch version looks effectively identical to how the game originally looked on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all those years ago. Thankfully, though, that’s not much of a knock, as the game has aged wonderfully, with a crisp city design and detailed cars that crunch and crumple when slammed into a wall or another racer.

My biggest concern was the frame rate, as 60-frames-per-second gameplay is a staple of the Burnout franchise. Anything lower would change how the game feels, which in this case is much more important than how it looks.

I’m happy to report that Burnout Paradise Remastered on Switch maintains that smooth 60 fps frame rate throughout its many events, both in docked and handheld mode. The game feels nearly perfect on Switch, and being able to play one of the best racing games ever made in handheld mode is a serious treat.

It should also be noted that the fantastic soundtrack of the original Burnout Paradise is also back in Remastered. Your memories of racing to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” can finally be refreshed, no matter where you are.

Is the Nintendo Switch version worth your time?

If you’ve never played Burnout Paradise and you’re even passively interested in racing games, I’m extremely jealous of you. The game rocks from start to finish.

The big question is whether you’re planning on playing Burnout Paradise in handheld mode. If you’re not, you can pick up older versions of Remastered for a fraction of the Switch price, and they’ll look significantly nicer in 4K. As of this writing, the Xbox One and PS4 versions cost $19.99 on their respective digital storefronts, while the PC version is available for just $4.99. At $49.99, the Switch version comes at a hefty premium (though it will likely see similar price cuts in the coming years).

If you are looking to play the game on the go, however, you’ve got no other choice. Given the short length of each individual event and the sheer amount of gameplay within, I’ve found Burnout Paradise pairs very nicely while on the couch with a terrible Netflix show on in the background.

Burnout Paradise Remastered was released June 19 on Nintendo Switch. It is also available on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Impressions were based on final “retail” Switch download code provided by Electronic Arts. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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