3rd installment of the MidnightClub series, is the greatest
arcade racer, and "underground" racer, to
date. With over 65 customizable, real-world licensed
vehicles, ranging from cars to motor-cycles.
career mode, the game's an open city racer that has
you free roaming around 3 different City's, looking
for different challenges, races and tournaments to
compete in. As you complete key races, you earn cash
and the game slowly progresses unlocking new vehicles
classes, and upgrades/modifications, and new challenges
and city tournaments become available as well. (a
new addition to the series is 'circuit racing', with
the side-roads closed off, creating a formal race-track,
offering a more traditional style of racing)
main hub is a garage in each city, where you keep
track of all your vehicles, upgrades, and purchase
new vehicles as well.
you're already a Midnight Club fan, you know what
to expect from the gameplay, fast, intense, blazing
arcade racing action, with little attention to real-word
physics. With optional power-ups, (Zone, Agro, and
Roar) all vehicle class specific power-ups that, although
may sound over-the-top, are executed perfectly gameplay-wise,
and really add a lot to the races (dare I say; even
a bit of "strategy")
graphics are a mixed bag, although the detail and
overall polish can't really compare to Gran Turismo
4, it's still got it own visual style, and the motion
blur and screen shake, really help give you that sense
of incredible speed. The vehicles themselves look
amazing, and have damage modeling. The lighting and
reflections are also really well done, giving the
game some added polish. Overall, it looks great, but
some of the details in the cities, like textures and
models of the city traffic around you, are very blocky
looking, but the simple looking traffic is understandable
when you take into consideration how much this game
is throwing at you on screen at once.
cities are full of dense traffic, and pedestrians
are everywhere (who may even stop to look at how sweet
your car looks, or crowd around at the end of a race)
the cities are also littered with debris, and obstacles
you can run through. These subtle effects are small,
but you can't help but notice when the biker racing
ahead of you is kicking up newspaper and litter trails
behind him, as he zooms through a narrow alley-way.
sound is another area where this game really shines.
Everything from the engines purring or roaring, to
the "WHOOSH" of a near miss with traffic,
to the subtle "whizzing" sound of when you're
traveling at top speeds, is incredible. It all adds
up to make for an amazing balls-to-the-walls racing
experience. The Soundtrack is also very big, including
over 100 licensed songs, ranging from hip-hop, dance-hall
(reggae), rock, techno, and drum 'n' base. (no matter
what your tastes, you'll find something you like here.)
thing I miss from Midnight Club 2 is... they removed
the AI racer banter. In the previous installment,
the characters you raced, exuded just that, character.
There were little CG intro scenes before and in-between
races, giving a taste of their character and backstory.
And during races they would throw insults and threats
while racing. Although I found some of it annoying
at the time, and most of the dialogue cheesy and stereotypical,
I find by not including it, the game loses some of
it's personality, and makes it more of a straight-forward
racer with little-to-no story. It's not a big gripe
I have, and I'm sure there a lot of people who are
glad that the annoying voice-overs are gone.
is also incredibly fun, with optional split screen,
networking or online racing, with a race editor to
create and save your own courses (even recreate you're
own drag strips ala' Need For Speed Underground) and
then take them online. There's a maximum of 8 players
online, with a unique migrating hosting system, that
always ensures un-interrupted races (so when the host
disconnects, the game keeps on going) You can also
create or join online racing clubs, keep track of
friends with a buddy list, and just show-off your
suped-up ride, and compare styles in free-roam online.
(there are plenty of other online modes, but I haven't
tried them all yet, and can't comment on the specific
gameplay and control is what makes Midnight club,
Midnight Club. It's an arcade racer at heart, with
easy to handle cars, and really good controls. (that
you can completely remap to your liking in the options
menu, allowing for manual shifting as well) Even when
your blazing at super high speeds, you still feel
like you're in control. Heck, even when you're in
mid-air, you can still have control over your vehicle.
negative I have to point out to MC fans, is that the
cities are a bit smaller than Midnight Club 2's, and
don't seem as layered, or multi-storied as before.
Of course with all that's been added this can be over-looked,
and compared to other games in the genre, Midnight
Club 3 still offers, by-far, the largest and most
diverse cities and tracks.
I think this is a "getting-your-money's-worth"
game. The single player career mode offers plenty
of different race types, tournaments and the game
represents a wide range of car culture (classic muscle
cars, import tuners, sport bikes, choppers, luxury
sedans, exotic high-end concept cars, and SUV's) And
even has some hidden easter eggs, in free roam, that
lead to unlockables, giving the free-roam an actual
purpose as well. And with continually spawning race
challenges the game offers a limitless career mode,
even after you've beat the main tournaments. The game
will just keep on going, until you've acquired your
perfect collection of customized "Dubbed out"