I didn’t play Danger Zone prior to receiving my Xbox One X. But with the team at Three Fields Entertainment behind it, and their Burnout history having been the background for a lot of my gaming life, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to check out this Burnout Crash inspired title. And that’s even being safe in the knowledge that this game only really arrived to luke-warm applause. If you want to know more about Danger Zone as a whole, then you could do worse than check out Richard’s review upon its initial Xbox One release, as I’m here for two things only – the Xbox One X update and the latest DLC.
So what changes do we now have? Well, since the release of Xbox One X and the power of the Scorpio chip, Three Fields have introduced two options to Danger Zone, those of beauty and optimisation – or as they like to call it ‘Best Quality’ and ‘Best Performance’. Easily changeable from the menu screens, these allow you to either play the game with a solid 60Hz visual rate whilst being limited to good old 1080p, or, as the cool kids like to scream about, with full 4K graphics at 30Hz, and the added little addition of dynamic shadows.
Personally, whilst it’s nice to be able to have the option to play the game the way each and every gamer sees fit, I would prefer the one default setting – the one that the developer thinks the game should be played with. I’m not a PC gamer, I’m not a tech-head and I don’t care for messing around with my frames per second. I’m an Xbox gamer who just wants to grab a controller and experience simple, fun, gaming. With that I want ease of use, and to me that doesn’t involve having to think – or worry – about what visual setting I’m going to play a game on. Perhaps this isn’t a problem with Danger Zone in itself, and more towards the slight shift towards the PC gaming that One X allows, but on a personal level I could do without.
Besides, my dodgy eyes can barely tell the difference between the two settings given and after playing around with both the 1080p 60Hz and the 4k 30Hz choices, I still struggle to really tell the two apart. Both work fine though, running smoothly at all times, and I have to admit that Danger Zone looks good across either visual option as it moves things up a notch from the game that originally released on the bog standard Xbox One.
Are these visual options much of a game changer? Nope. Not at all. But that’s not to say we’ve got a bad game here. Danger Zone shouldn’t be ignored, for even though the surroundings are still bland and boring, and the vehicle models aren’t a patch on Forza, Danger Zone is all about crashing, spinning and flipping your way to high score chasing. And it does that very well indeed.
Aside from the visual and performance changes that Three Fields have put in place, Danger Zone now also comes with six new events, all of which build on everything that has come before them. Granted, they don’t mix things up too much more, and Danger Zone veterans will find themselves flying through them – quite literally – with the greatest of ease, collecting up the bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals like nobody’s business. But as a free addition to those who had previously found the game somewhat lacking in terms of content, I’ve got absolutely no complaints.
It’s good to see these extra levels delivering a decent combination of air-gathering opportunities, and the need to utilise your best smashbreaker skills in order to flip between lanes, levels and points scoring potential. That said, yet again, just like the base game is lacking in content, the six new track layouts will be over in a flash.
As a whole, Danger Zone is still the fun little crasher that it always was. It’s still lacking in content, and really could do with having a larger variety of intersections and events available to keep the budding stuntman busy. With no extra cost having to be paid out though, and the option to make the most of the power of Xbox One X in a couple of ways, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to not bother going back in. You won’t find big changes – and that’s pretty much because by all accounts the basic gameplay found in Danger Zone before the update was solid – but for those who want to play around with settings, dipping in and out of the changes brought about by the optimisation or beauty opportunities, then it’ll scratch the itch. Just.