Seven People. Seven Months. One game. That’s how long it took for the members of Three Fields Entertainment Studio to create the wild racing game, Dangerous Driving. The game comes from the minds behind the legendary classic racing franchise, Burnout, a series of games that combined the instant fun of an arcade game with the insanity of reckless destruction, featuring destructive racing at 60-frames per second.
Following their releases of Dangerous Golf, Danger Zone, and Danger Zone 2, Three Fields Entertainment has returned to their roots with the release of Dangerous Driving, a refreshingly exciting arcade racing game featuring screaming speeds and explosive moments. I first got a chance to play the game at PAX East 2019 and I am pleased to say the final result is spectacular.
Dangerous Driving is as simple a game as they come. From the moment the game boots up, you are treated to the main menu, and from here, players are free to hit the road and cause mass damage. There is no career mode or trials to partake in. From the very beginning, players are free to burn rubber and crush metal, making Dangerous Driving a fantastic game for instant gratification that pays true to its arcade roots. If players want to get to smashing cars and blazing down roads, they may do so right away.
The goal of the game is to do as the title implies: drive dangerously. The only rule of Dangerous Driving is that there are no rules. to get to first place and win the races, players will need to smash, crash, ram, and shunt their way across a multitude of racecourses to achieve victory. Additionally, these courses play during live-traffic, so players will need to avoid oncoming traffic at all times. However, if players are tremendously bold, they may use this to their advantage. Using trucks and cars to their advantage as weapons to knock down the opposition.
Players are also encouraged to use “near-misses” which is dodging the traffic by mere inches, drifting tight corners, and driving straight into oncoming traffic. Driving this recklessly will allow for players to fill their boost meter, which is essential for time trials and maintaining first place.
Finally, the ” after-touch” mechanic returns. When players crash, they will see their car tumble and roll, but if players hold the slow-motion button, which in my case was the PS4 R1 shoulder button, the crash slows down and allows for the player to guide their crash into the other competitors. Doing so will not only eliminate the competition, but it will also allow players to refill their boost meter rather easily, giving them the opportunity to catch up.
Dangerous Driving is separated into various vehicle classes, with an assortment of gameplay modes and course for each. Players will race across a variety of levels, from canyons to snow fields and major highways, all in an effort to attain the coveted platinum medal. From SUV’s to sports cars and even exotics, there is something for everyone to drive in.
Dangerous Driving comes packed with an abundance of gameplay modes, from elimination to long races, to lapped races, to time trials, and even a pursuit mode where players will take to the wheels of an exotic police car. But these cars aren’t meant to stay in peak position. Players who ram vehicles can actually witness their wrecks stay on the road, making the following laps more dangerous as it is possible to hit a wreck you actually created.
Playing Dangerous Driving certainly brings back that rebellious punk rock teenage gamer inside of me. Every time I was in a race, it was a sheer rush of enjoyment and excitement, screaming down the pavement the foot on a gas without a care in the world, except to beat the competition.
The game is fast on all aspects. Fast to load, fast to play, and fast to actually partake in. The levels move swiftly and dynamically, with changing lighting and reflections. The cars all look incredibly sharp and have enjoyable particle effects when experiencing a crash moment.
The only thing that is missing is a roaring punk-rock soundtrack. Music licensing is ridiculously expensive, but fortunately, Three Field Entertainment has found a way to integrate Spotify into Dangerous Driving, allowing the game to sync to your Spotify playlist. If players want to listen to Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm while causing mass destruction, you are more than welcome to do so with this integration.
Dangerous Driving is an extraordinarily wonderful feat, both as a game and as a work of art from the team. I am a believer that when you are good at something, and you know you have something incredibly special to bring to others, you hold onto that and you find a means to continue sharing that. Burnout was a franchise that had its day but was snuffed out with the rise of shooters and games-as-a-service taking over.
To see this team continue to experiment with the explosive action setting and continue with their craft of vehicular mayhem is needed and most appreciated. To see that this team got together and made this game in seven months is a testament to their talent and skill in creating arcade action experiences.
If there are two drawbacks to Dangerous Driving. There is no split-screen multiplayer or online multiplayer, leaving out an opportunity for more players to experience this. The console version run at a high 30 frames-per-second, while the PC version can easily handle 60fps. I feel that 60 FPS could have been achieved on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though, I am not a gaming engineer in any way and am satisfied with the 30 frames-per-second on PS4.
However, what is present is spectacular, and for older gamers, a nostalgic experience from a simpler, more rebellious time in video games and culture. int he sea of shooters, monsters, and other foul enemies to slay, it is tremendous and refreshing to see a game that is all about what it sets out to do. When you are smiling and laughing at 100 mph, smashing through cars and singing the lyrics to Small Things by Blink-182, you know you are having a great time with Dangerous Driving.
Dangerous Driving is an extraordinarily wonderful feat, both as a game and as a work of art from the team. I am a believer that when you are good at something, and you know you have something incredibly special to bring to others, you hold onto that and you find a means to continue sharing that.