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This week in video game history: ‘Burnout Paradise’ turns 10

What a good time it would be for “Burnout Paradise” to make a comeback.

Ten years old on January 22, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC game is expected to step onto a clutch of new-generation consoles in March.

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In the absence of official confirmation, retail listings for “Burnout Paradise HD” have been spotted in Brazil, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

The original launched for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on Jan. 22, 2008, fourth in a franchise but the first to adopt a free roaming open-world model, in which players could cruise the streets and highways of a fictional North American city and its surrounds, racing, road raging and crashing for high score points as desired.

Hurtling off improbable jump ramps and into pile-ups wasn’t enough.

British developer Criterion decided that “Burnout Paradise” could do more, adding new multiplayer modes and challenges, motorbikes, and day-night cycles for free, before eventually rolling out a series of premium car packs and a stunt-friendly island expansion.

The game earned rave reviews and, thanks in part to its generous schedule of post-release support, considerable community goodwill.

Thanks to a backwards compatibility program, it’s already possible to play the Xbox 360 version of “Burnout Paradise” on Xbox One, while the PC version can be found through Steam and EA’s Origin service.

Three of the studio’s leads went on to develop “Danger Zone”, which returned to the crash test scenarios of earlier “Burnout” games, while most of Criterion’s remaining staff went to work on the “Need for Speed” franchise; 2012’s “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” merged traits from “Burnout” and “NfS” bloodlines.

More recently, the studio assisted other EA studios with the development of “Battlefield Hardline” and “Star Wars Battlefront II”.

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Meanwhile, “Burnout Paradise HD” is expected to arrive at the end of March on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, pending confirmation. JB

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