Whenever I hear the words "Danger Zone", my mind has always flittered back to the scenes in Top Gun, in which Tom Cruise rides around on his motorcycle, having learned of his pending visit to the titular school for the best of the best. Now Kenny Loggins has a new contender for that naming throne...
On opening the game For the First Time, one thing becomes abundantly clear - there's no music in Danger Zone - at all, not even some ambient backing to fill the space when you're dotting about in the menus, and this makes the game eerily quiet.
But then, you're not in the menus for long. With little in the way of options, and no controller configuration to speak of, you're left with the choice of going into the game to trash a lot of cars. There's no multiplayer game mode, which means any chance of Playing with the Boys is out, too.
Gameplay is reminiscent of the Crash mode in previous Burnout games, in that you drive your vehicle into a junction or heavy traffic with the aim to cause as much chaos as possible. You score points (denoted as monetary value throughout) by causing damage, though along the way there are some pickups you can grab to further inflate your score and earn you extra uses of "Crashbreaker", a power up that allows you to spontaneously explode causing damage to what's around you and granting temporary control over the vehicle's movement through the air. This takes Danger Zone from being What a Fool Believes is a simple smash-em-up into a frantic puzzler, as you have to work out the best path to create the utmost destruction whilst grabbing as many extra points as possible.
It's not all tactics though, you're still going to need an iota of luck for your car to bounce the right way, or the oncoming traffic not to entirely annihilate you from the road causing you to fail the scenario. Because of this, Danger Zone lends itself well to the "just one more go" batch of games. You can, with the best of intentions, start a game with the idea of playing for twenty minutes and end up still sat there, two hours later bettering your scores as much as possible. You Don't Fight It either - the challenge consumes you in entirety until something in the real world snaps you out of it...
This Is It for gameplay - and it seems like it's missing something - whether that's another mode of game play or some different challenges or scenarios, since this is Crash mode ripped from Burnout, it feels like there should be some more of Burnout wrapped around it. It's enough to Keep the Fire, but seems to Meet Me Half Way with relation to content available.
Overall, this is A Love Song to Burnout and hopefully enough for Three Fields Entertainment to continue pursuing a more fully fleshed out game, featuring more to do - and maybe a backing music track? I'm sure there's a few suggestions that would be fitting...
Danger Zone (Reviewed on Xbox One)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
Good fun crashing simulator that will keep you coming back to improve your score, but not because of the depth of what's available. Here's hoping this is a prerequisite to a fully fledged game from the Three Fields team.