Heaven's Drive, the Japanese Unreleased version of Burnout 1 on Playstation 2

Unlike most racing games, Burnout is a license where cars that are not directly involved in the race are just as important as those that are. All races take place on public roads open to traffic, pushing the player to drive dangerously to stay ahead of their opponents.

To the foot nice dog !

The Burnout project was born at the development studio Criterion Software and became a Playstation 2 game, originally called Shiny Red Car, a temporary name. The designers of this most acclaimed racing game of the early 2000s were inspired by movies like the French blockbuster Ronin. The movie was eye-popping with high-speed chases through the streets of Paris, which provided the basic concept of driving in dangerous urban environments.

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We must think of the Japanese!!!

Cult sequences of motorized chases from American cinema, such as Basic Instinct, were practically integrated into the game. The Criterion team spent hours watching movies at a time when DVD was in its infancy.

The inspirations were multiple and did not only come from the big screen. Need For Speed on 3DO had opened the door to races on real roads with real traffic. Crazy Taxi or Emergency Call Ambulance from Sega and Thrill Drive from Konami already allowed you to weave through traffic and dodge cars. These games have strongly influenced the developers of Burnout.

Japanese Version of Burnout playstation 2 (Unreleased).jpg

It was necessary to give players a valid reason to take risks in their driving style. So the boost system was devised. It rewards dangerous driving by allowing, once the boost bar is full, to drive at a breathtaking speed. All means are good to fill it : drifting, brushing against other vehicles, driving in the opposite direction, gliding. But beware, the slightest shock will reduce the progress of this Nitro !

Of course, avoiding accidents was easier said than done. There was little margin for error in Burnout, the slightest touch of the steering wheel was likely to send the car crashing. A lot of effort had been put into crashes (replay, cutscene etc.), and these were ruinous for the player. Criterion Software found this game mechanic exciting and entertaining. The stunts will make the charm of the Burnout series, the player became a spectator and asked for more !

The developers even implemented a "worst driver" scoreboard showing who caused the most damage during the race. Were you one of them ? Come on, this is just between you and me ?

Burnout was a solid arcade racer like a reinforced concrete bridge pillar, with the usual racing and championship modes based on checkpoints to pass. The survival mode, a little extra, was fun and allowed you to take your mind off the game between 2 games !!!

Why not the highway to heaven ?

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The lords of the road! You follow me ?

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Acclaim took care of its release in November 2001 on PS2. Gamecube and Xbox versions followed in 2002. The specialized press welcomed the game with very positive reviews. Also, after the success of this first Burnout, many sequels will be released.

On a side note, the British government condemned Acclaim for the promotional campaign around Burnout 2. The American publisher offered to pay all speeding fines on the day of its launch. This advertisement was very bad and could incite crazy drivers to drive dangerously in real life. Between the real and the imaginary, there is only one step!

The dream car of the year 2000 !

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For unknown reasons, Burnout 1 will never be released in Japan. Sega was in charge of its publication under the name of GRAND HEAT. Some lucky people were able to try some demos at the Tokyo Game Show in 2002. Its promotion had started, various media were talking about it. Burnout 1 is the only game of the series that has never been released in the land of the Rising Sun.

The head to tail is close !

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The particularities of the build :

This Japanese Playstation 2 prototype is called Heaven's Drive which corresponds to Burnout 1 released in Europe and the United States. There is no information about its existence. The game is, in my opinion, in final version. It was ready for its release in Japan.

  • There are some localization changes when comparing with the US commercial version. The developers have changed the name of some game modes or options, for example the "Face Off" mode is called "Duel" on this prototype.

  • The name of the main menu is normally called "Burnout". Here it is called "Main Menu".

To you the joys of crumpled metal and driving the wrong way !!!

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You can download Heaven's Drive (unreleased japanese version of Burnout 1) PS2 build below

Heaven's Drive (Jan 03, 2002 Playstation 2 prototype)

10 km/h too fast !!!

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The radar is not far away !!!

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It was necessary to put a photo !

Heaven's Drive Acclaim ps2 prototype.jpg

More than 200 prototypes, documents, presskits have been dumped or scanned, you will find them in free download in the "Releases de prototypes et documents"