Burnout Paradise Remastered, while not the absolute best of the franchise (that distinction belongs squarely to Burnout Revenge), is still a great game and–as of this writing–the only one available on PC for online multiplayer. Unfortunately, the PC port suffers from inadequate support from Electronic Arts and can be persnickety to get running on systems without dedicated GPUs (i.e. laptops), even if the integrated graphics are superior to the recommended spec (as is the case with most contemporary mid-range systems)! Precious little documentation exists to help troubleshoot this title, and EA forum posts haven’t been updated in over 5 years, so it came down to a lot of digging through various sources, and a little trial-and-error hackery to finally get the game running. Being a Steam purchase, I had the added time limit of 2-hours running time to figure out an answer before submitting for a refund. 86 minutes of in-game time and countless opening strains of Guns N’ Roses eponymous metal track later, I finally figured out how to get this thing running like a champ!
Step One: Patching The Bugs Out
For whatever reason, Criterion and EA thought that having the webcam always on during the gameplay was a great idea. Unfortunately, the software support for the webcam was only half-baked, so many cameras on the market (especially integrated laptop cameras) were left unsupported. Fortunately, Bo98 has written a mod for BPR that fixes the webcam bug and several other issues that cause the game to crash during the initial loading screens.
You’ll want to download and install BPR Modder from Bo98’s website (in the case that it goes down someday, I’ll have a mirror available). From BPR Modder, install the Core Bugfixes mod (0.2.1 as of this writing). This should fix all of the instability issues with loading the game and connecting to the servers, and you should be able to see the Burnout Paradise Remastered main menu. If you’re still crashing before the opening cutscene, try this version of the patch. Just overwrite it in the
C:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\BurnoutPR\mods folder. Select “Enter Paradise City” and see how far you get.
Step Two: Entering Paradise City
Now we get into the GPU issues. Weirdly, the only place in the game that has severe rendering issues is the opening cutscene that explains the concept of Paradise City and its different districts. On my machine, the cutscene either shows no video (and subsequently hangs at the end of the narration) or just plain crashes when it tries to show the video. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to bypass the video if you haven’t played before–no button to skip or settings to prevent it from playing. The remedy is to change your savegame file to one that shows you having at least 1 second of game time. Noderunner has made a suitable file available for download from their Google Drive (again, I’ll have a mirror if it goes down). Download the file and save it to the appropriate directory. On Windows, that’s
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Criterion Games\Burnout Paradise Remastered\Save. Restart the game, and you should be able to get into the engine.
Step Three: Adjusting The Graphics
Yeah, those Intel Iris Xe graphics are way above what the game wants in order to run at 1080p, but you’re still using integrated graphics, so your processor is going to be working double-time to take care of running the game as well! If you are able to get to the Junkyard, but still have crashes, use the BurnoutPR Config Tool (modded by Bo98) to dial down the graphics a smidge. I run mine at “Medium” quality and no anti-aliasing and it’s smoother than owl shit. For the record, the game still looks great at “Low” quality. I would call it Xbox 360 quality versus whatever’s out now.
Step Four: Optional Fixes
I’ve had various levels of success here, but I’m putting these in for my own records. I’m using the following launch options for Steam:
-safe -multithread -skipvideos which launch the game in Safe Mode, Multi-thread mode, and skips the video cutscenes respectively. Cutscenes still play, so I’m not entirely sure how much this changes anything. The game is stable, so I’m disinclined to experiment more than I have to. One last thing I would recommend is deactivating the EA/Origin DRM app’s overlay. This can be done in the app’s settings, and should make life a lot easier playing under Steam. The Steam overlay has also been known to cause issues, so it may be useful to deactivate as well.
I would like to express my appreciation to all the disparate folks (Bo98, Noderunner, burninrubber0, and Decclo) whose insight I was able to pull together to get this game running. It’s great fun, and if you can find it on sale with all the DLC included (the Legendary Cars, Paradise Bikes, and Big Surf Island), it’s a great buy. Now the only crashes I experience are the ones I cause in-game!