Traffic in Burnout Paradise is composed of several different vehicle types including variations of each type such as compacts, vans, trucks and buses. It is an integral part of Burnout Paradise's gameplay and more than that of its predecessors.
Traffic has several purposes aside from populating the world of Paradise City: it presents a hazard to players when competing offline and online in Freeburn Challenges and Freeburn Online. Players can Near Miss traffic vehicles to help complete certain objectives or achieve a Today's Best record. Traffic also serves as a way to score points in Showtime.
There are 5 main traffic vehicle Classes:
In Burnout Paradise, traffic is governed by waypoints to each junction. At each waypoint a vehicle can either change direction or continue along the same route. Traffic can also respond to nearing players.
Traffic follows an automated route at a street's speed limit. Traffic will break free from this default behavior if the player interacts with said traffic vehicle by speeding towards them. This can cause traffic to avoid the player by swerving left or right while flash their headlights and honking their horns.
If a player parks on a street in a manner which blocks traffic then vehicles will stop and activate their Hazard lights until the path is clear.
In Showtime the amount of traffic vehicles will increase to a high level and all vehicles will ignore their waypoint routes. Their behaviour in this mode becomes somewhat random as they will pile up regardless of the player's actions or position.
- Traffic vehicles can honk their horns.
- Traffic vehicles can be deformed and can be damaged to an unrealistic extent. (As seen in the image above)
- Light traffic vehicles can be pushed out of the way by players in heavy vehicles.
- Traffic is unaffected by horns and Police sirens.
- Traffic vehicles are unaffected when hit by a bike.
- Several of the traffic vehicles from Burnout Paradise can also be seen in the game Need for Speed: Undercover. This is so EA could save money and time by reusing assets created by Criterion Games.
- While traffic do normally evade from a nearing player, this is not always the case. Often times, traffic will simply keep going and will not yield, as if oblivious to the player's presence before being collided by a speeding player.
- Traffic can be driven by using a MOD.
Semi-trucks and Recreational vehicles were originally present as traffic vehicles in early builds of Burnout Paradise but they were cut out before the game's release. The reasons for the removal of these vehicles from the final game are unknown.
Vehicles such as Longnose Cabs, Tractor Cabs, Waste Transporters, Crane Transporters and Flatbed Trucks were also cut.
They may have been cut due to an overly increased difficulty in gameplay brought on by their size and presence on smaller roads.