Burnout 3 is out this Friday and it looks like an essential purchase. I’ve been playing it since yesterday (from the usual sources) and although I haven’t sampled the online modes, single player is superb – the best Burnout yet.

Now that EA have taken over publishing it’s easy to see their influence. EA Trax supplies the music and there’s some good variety including Ash and Franz Ferdinand. The structure of the game is also similar to other EA Sports games with lots to unlock and a real polish to the front end and general presentation.

In game graphics are great and the sound is used to good affect. You can easily tell from which side your being attacked from. What surprised me is how aggressive the AI is – the computer controlled cars really try and take you out – much more so than previous games. It’s also quite challenging even on early rounds which is good.

What I can’t wait to try (and why I need to buy it this Friday) is the Live racing. It promises much and it’s the first game online where you can’t complain when your rammed of the road as that’s the name of the game. Fun with a capital F (cheese!) and hopefully no lag.