Three Fields Entertainment is a group of veteran developers who most notably worked on the Burnout series. Now with their own development studio they released Dangerous Golf last year. An explosive not-golf golf game that showed that the developers haven’t forgotten their roots. Danger Zone is their second game as a studio, and is fully realized game that proves you can go home again. Danger Zone is powered by Unreal Engine 4 for devastatingly beautiful destruction and gameplay that encourages high scores against real-time leaderboards.
Taking place inside a simulation, Danger Zone plays it a bit safe as the levels are build like an elaborate testing facility where you’d find crash test dummies strewn about. There’s no outdoor environments to be found, but given the context of the game, it is very fitting how everything plays out. And it never became an issue the more I played. Instead, I sent these autonomous cars sent to explode and burn like a symphony of destruction. Danger Zone most closely resembles Burnout 3‘s Crash Mode where you drive towards a group of cars to pick-up cash, and smashbreakers to further your wanton destruction.
Smashbreakers are a way of causing a radial explosion to boost your score and can be earned by being hit or hitting a specific number of vehicles each level sets out for you. They can also be picked up in the level, in or around cash. If you pick up all of the cash that’s laid out in the level, you get a bonus $5 million added to your score, almost guaranteeing the gold for it. This system encourages you to try to get it each an every time, as it almost lays out a path to get the best score at all times.
The Audi meets BMW fake car in Danger Zone is not meant to do anything else but drive forward and slightly alter course left or right. Stopping the car and trying to drive it like anything you’ve done in a racing game before it, will be a disappointment. Though, this is how it was in the Burnout series, and why design mechanics to do more than it doesn’t need to. I do wish there was some customization you could put into your car before you destroyed it, but the attachment to this vehicle is never there due to it going up in flames so often.
Danger Zone is rather short, but highly replayable. There are three test phases consisting of 20 levels in total. The first and second test phase have eight levels, while the third and final test phase has four, challenging levels before you reach the end. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish, but that doesn’t include the retries to improve on scores. The game doesn’t let you progress unless you’ve at least earned a bronze. You can earn golds and be happy with that, but there’s also a platinum in each level to obtain.
Three Fields Entertainment has made a highly enjoyable game about smashing and destroying cars by utilizing the environment to the fullest to maximize your score. While they can’t call the game Burnout or “Crash Mode” they did make good one what made that game and mode such a huge success many years ago. The leaderboards encourage retrying to best that stranger, friend, or even yourself ad infinitum. Danger Zone re-creates that magic in a small, digestible way that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
A Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes