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New Burnout Game On Switch Eshop Is Just A Shameless Knockoff

Oh wow! Look, a new Burnout game is out now! Awesome, I love those super-fast racing games filled with vehicular carnage and big jumps. What a surprise! Oh weird, this new entry is only on the Switch eShop. And wait…oh no…

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On October 29, a new racing game appeared on the Nintendo eShop called Burnout. However, despite sharing a name and genre, it has nothing to do with EA and Criterion’s popular Burnout franchise. Burnout (the knockoff game on the Switch) currently costs $3, was developed by GameToTop, and was released with about as much fanfare as my trips to the toilet. (Though sometimes those trips do end up getting more coverage…) Looking at screenshots, the game appears fairly mediocre, a no-thrills racing game with some ugly reflections. But playing the game reveals it’s so much worse.

YouTube channel SwitchStars uploaded a review of the “game” last week and it’s shockingly bare bones, even for what appears to be a cheap, quickly-made knockoff.

SwitchStars / GameToTop

For example, while Burnout’s eShop description lists multiple modes—including lap races—the game actually contains just two “modes” spread across four “Events” that are amusingly named after actual Burnout games, like one called Burnout Paradise and another titled Burnout Legends. No shame detected.

What’s in this copycat Burnout game?

The first mode is focused on drifting, rewarding players with points whenever they drift. Well, sometimes when they drift, at least. It also rewards points for just tapping the accelerator, which creates a bit of wheel spin and counts as drifting. Coincidently, this is the easiest way to rack up loads of points in seconds.

The other “mode” is just an empty industrial zone filled with shipping containers and nothing else. There is no timer, objectives, challenges, or other cars. Just you and your car all alone in a digital purgatory surrounded by copy-pasted shipping containers.

The drift mode has about a dozen levels, but they are all tiny arenas where you spin around and mash the accelerator until you get enough points to win a gold medal. Many of these arenas are hard to look at, featuring overly reflective ground textures, ugly crowds, and horrible skyboxes. And no, even though the game’s eShop store page promises lap races and elimination modes, none of that is in Burnout. It’s just this boring drift mode that barely works and an empty shipping container graveyard.

Oh, and you can upgrade the cars in the game by grinding out events to earn money, though why you would do such a thing is beyond me. Perhaps you enjoy suffering and wasting your time?

And that’s the whole game. That’s it. It’s a dozen or so ugly, tiny levels where you drift around until you win a gold medal or pass out from boredom. I imagine at least a few people might get tricked into buying this bad Burnout game due to its low price, new release status, and name.

Who made this and does Nintendo care?

Looking at the developer/publisher’s website, it seems tricking people into buying crappy, cheap knockoffs of better games is likely their business plan. However, finding these games is tricky, as clicking on any of them on the website just takes you back to the website.

A peek at other games released by GameToTop via the eShop store reveals a smorgasbord of garbage including the totally-not-a-Rocket-League clone that is Rocket Car: Ultimate Ball League Machines.

On the company’s website, it mentions that it “not only creates fun” but knows “how to have it,” adding that the fine folks of GameToTop “work hard and play hard.” I’m not sure I agree. But perhaps the wildest and most outrageous part of GameToTop’s 1997-ass website is this line: “It takes heroes to make heroes.” See, these crappy and cheap clones of Burnout and Rocket League were created by heroes. Don’t you feel bad for making fun of them now?

I’d suggest that this new Burnout game is maybe 2023’s worst game, but that honor is held by a different and even worse knockoff Switch game. Remember The Last Hope: Dead Zone Survival, that awful Last of Us clone? It was a game that consisted of one street and was nearly impossible to finish due to poor design.

That game was eventually removed for obvious reasons and can no longer be purchased on the eShop. Will EA come after this new Burnout clone and get it removed soon, too? (Probably.)

Kotaku has contacted EA and Nintendo about Burnout.

The real question is how this keeps happening. Why are companies like GameToTop allowed to flood the eShop with obvious, barely functional crap while Nintendo seems to either not notice or not care? For a company so quick to send lawyers after fangames and clones, it’s ironic that so many eShop games are blatantly broken copies of more successful franchises.

Update 11/07/2023 11:14 a.m. ET: EA confirmed to Kotaku that this new Switch-only Burnout game is not affiliated with or authorized by the publisher. 

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