Back in 2002, Burnout 2 introduced gamers to Crash mode where you try and cause as much destruction as possible. 15 years later, Danger Zone is here to reintroduce this chaotic premise in a crazy new puzzle-like campaign full of car-crashing fun.
Danger Zone is very easy to learn how to play. You basically accelerate a vehicle into a predefined setup of traffic in order to cause as much chaos as you possibly can. The controls simply involve accelerating, braking, and steering as well as a smashbreaker move that basically triggers a massive explosion. Using this ability as much as you can is one of the keys to scoring big so you'll want to guide your vehicle along to collect as many smashbreaker power-ups as you can during a string of perfectly timed and positioned explosions. Doing so will allow you to wreak havoc in any given stage and make your score as well as your smashbreaker multiplier increase to the largest extent possible. You'll want to score big to climb the leaderboards, claim medals, and unlock further stages in the campaign. Overall, the combination of explosive action and puzzle-like stages mixes perfectly to create a satisfying premise for a game.
One aspect that Danger Zone accomplishes beautifully is its stage layouts. Each one is carefully and cleverly designed to encourage you to keep trying again and again in order to figure out the most destructive route you can take. You'll find yourself jumping from ramps, discovering hidden areas underneath overpasses, and amassing loads of bonus points through extra challenges and collectibles. As a result, mastering each stage becomes a surprisingly addictive endeavor that'll keep you hooked until you're satisfied with your score.
Although the gameplay is solid, Danger Zone's sights and sounds could use a lot of work. For starters, the entire campaign takes place in a simulation facility and every stage looks identical. Sure, their layouts change but you won't find yourself on city streets or anywhere outside for that matter. On the other hand, the fires, wreckage, and explosions look very cool and add an undeniable level of satisfaction to gameplay. Next, there is absolutely no soundtrack. I have no idea why anyone would release a game with no music whatsoever. I would at least expect a certain track by Kenny Loggins to be included.
Finally, Danger Zone sure doesn't include a lot of content. All you get to play through is: a tutorial, two campaigns with eight stages in each, and a final campaign that only includes four (albeit super-tough) stages. There is no multiplayer (which would have offered a unique spin on this done-to-death formula) or clever mini-games. Content such as that would provide some much-needed variety and replay value. Speaking of variety, you only ever get to drive one generic vehicle which is disappointing to say the least. All of this being said, mastering the included stages is a ton of fun but don't expect that fun to last longer than a couple of hours.
Danger Zone takes a mode that's been around for 15 years and manages to make a somewhat enjoyable game out of it. However, the bare-bones amount of variety and content will make gamers wonder if the full version will ever arrive.
- + Explosive car crashes combine perfectly with puzzle-like stages
- + Stage layouts are quite clever
- + Getting high scores is addictive
- - Absolutely no variety when it comes to environments and vehicles
- - Not much content to master
- - Complete lack of music