Rick's been dying for a decent GCN racer. Burnout looks to be just that ... a decent GCN racer.
What looked like a close to finished port of Acclaim and Criterion Games' Burnout was shown at the Gamers' Summit Tuesday. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail about the game, since it's a racer and really doesn't need it. I'd just give you the skinny from the Summit.
Burnout has what feels like a one-point physics engine (i.e. you turn in the center of the car, rather than at the front wheels), much like a Ridge Racer. You can pretty much race without much use of the brake pedal, just feathering the gas, making the game fast. This is certainly not a simulation racer.
The cars controls well, and the crashes are kind of neat. Every crash is tallied for total damage costs, which are billed to your insurance company. Too funny! Criterion is lauding it's crash physics and damage models, but honestly, other than the cars slamming into each other, breaking windows, and bouncing around ... I don't really see the big deal. I have yet to see a car fold up like an accordion like you do in a simple 60MHh crash.
Plus, when you crash, your countdown to the next check point is still ticking, costing you valuable seconds.
You get money for powersliding, coming very close to other cars without making contact (near miss), winning races, etc. I didn't play enough to know what you DO with the money, if anything.
The graphics look pretty nice. The environs are very detailed, but the cars have a bit of a plastic look to them. They look nice, fairly high polygon counts ... but they look like plastic.
Overall, it feels like a pretty fun game, dodging other cars on the road was a blast, the crashes were fun to watch (though the time issue is annoying), and generally should be a solid game for folks looking for a racer.