Criterion's Alex Ward has responded to feedback on the recent Burnout Paradise demo defending certain elements that have come under fire.
"Everyone breathe, relax, and remember, it's only a demo - we think we made the best demo released all year - you don't see many other games getting an online enabled demo up on both systems before launch," the outspoken developer wrote in a Christmas message.
Some of the response to the demo has focused on the lack of a retry button once you fail a task (something we pointed out earlier this year), changes to Crash mode and the size of Paradise City itself.
"The lack of retry really isn't an issue," says Ward. "You may disagree, but we don't feel it is and retry would have introduced loading into the game, which we didn't want to do." As for comments on Crash, he's less sympathetic. "Hmm, again, none of you have played it yet... It's not Crash Mode, it never was - it never could be. There was no way we would have created a linear and limited experience in a massively open game that is about freedom, expression and seamless play. Again, try it for yourself and make up your own mind. Don't let the internet do it for you."
Apparently gamers shouldn't be in such a rush to compare it to other games. "For everyone constantly comparing the game to other games rather than see the game for what it is - all I can say is that this game isn't those games," he says. "It isn't TDU that's for sure, even though many of you seem to swear that it is (and you haven't played it either). TDU is one of my favourite games - (the 'Millionaire Challenge' was a real highpoint) but it isn't Burnout and Burnout isn't TDU."
Even comparisons with other Burnouts are apparently wide of the mark, or ill-informed. "As to those who can proclaim from a taste of the demo that Burnout 2 was the best game (always nice to see all those GameCube owners on the internet who haven't played the game since B2!) or that B3 is the better game - again, I can only smile. Those of us who have made the games dearly love those games but we're confident that if you love those games too then you will love Paradise," he writes, adding that Paradise is a "way way better game than B2 or B3. At least that's the way we feel about it."
Sadly though, despite obviously paying a lot of attention to what's being written online, Criterion won't have time to react to it in code. "The demo was made after work on Paradise was completed," Ward writes, "so no, we won't be using internet 'feedback' to tune the game."