With the score deadlocked at one capture each, there was no room for error. One of my fellow lawmen had taken possession of the bouillon prize and managed to successfully weave his way through downtown Paradise City and evade the onslaught of P.O.'ed bandits trying desperately to stop us. Distracted and driving sloppily a few thousand yards away, I wasn't much of a factor in this final round...until I noticed that my nearly-victorious teammate had picked up a rather tenacious tail. Thumb firmly attached to the boost button, I made way for our Yacht Club HQ (which would serve as our finish line) to try to help in any way I could. I had made it in time to the final curve, and then I found the line I was looking for.
It must have been a sight for that poor robber, getting oh so close to our gold carrier, who himself was getting oh so closer to the end, and then suddenly seeing two tons of speeding metal flying over the crest of the hill and delivering a devastating head-on block -- the kind that probably gets you kicked out of the NFL. Now clear and free, we lit up our sirens in celebration.
This is actually a fairly typical situation in Cops & Robbers, the new mode available today for Burnout Paradise, and the back-and-forth pursuit is why it's so intensely fun.
How it works: There are two teams -- cops and robbers. Up to four can play per side, with uneven teams if a handicap is necessary. The robbers have a hideout in the south end of the city, and the cops' HQ is on the very north end of the map. Somewhere in the middle of downtown, a big pile of gold bars will appear, and the objective is for your team to obtain the gold and drive it back to your base.
There are two important catches here. The first is that while you can still pick different classes of cars, nobody gets to use boost. That means you'll have to decide whether you want speed for pursuit or strength to rebuff takedown attempts (that's how the gold is transferred between the two teams). It also makes you think about offensive and defensive strategy, because if the other guys are using the heavy police 4x4 or van to carry the gold, it's going to require teamwork and coordinated attacks to take them down.
The second catch is that the gold carrier automatically gets a reduction in top speed. Because you know, gold is heavy and stuff. This means that the pursuing team always has a slight speed advantage, which forces the carrier's teammates to be active defenders. From there, it becomes a game of weaving, blocking, and making sneaky late turns to give speedy pursuers the shake-off. Throw in civilian traffic (which can be turned on or off) and the carnage increases.
The DLC price of $9.99 may sound a little steep, given that one mode costs half of the full game itself. But I found that with the proper amount of trash talk and plentiful “Oh Sh*t!” moments, it was one of those experiences where I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.