|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 2XL Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-10||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Graphically, Edge of Control is a bit of a mixed bag. The game's many vehicles look very basic, lack detail, and damage is represented poorly. Instead of having realistically dented panels due to crashes, they will just fly off of your vehicle leaving a naked frame behind. The tracks that make up the game's thousand miles of racing all look incredibly similar. Since they are based on the Baja 1000's location, they are accurate representations of the actual terrain. However, expect to see a plethora of sand, dirt, cacti, tumbleweeds, rocks, and not much else. The lighting effects are pretty good, with warm sunsets reflecting on whatever panels you happen to have left on your vehicle and casting accurate shadows from the limited objects found on the tracks.
The real travesty of this game is that it suffers from an identity crisis. Edge of Control can't seem to figure out whether it wants to be a simulation or arcade racing game, leaving both potential types of players with an inadequate experience. There just isn't enough realism involved to be a simulation game, but there is far too much realism to accommodate fans looking for an arcade experience. Due to its often frustrating gameplay, many won't stick around to enjoy modes like Free Ride, which allows players to just drive around the game's massive environments with no goals other than exploring, or its technically sound online offerings.
In the end, it seems like Baja: Edge of Control was trying to please everybody and, in doing so, managed to create an experience that isn't ideal for anyone. Narrow tracks, lifeless environments, lackluster graphics, a huge learning curve, awkward physics, questionable steering issues, and an overall frustrating experience is all that players are left with. Baja: Edge of Control was a sound idea, but the execution just isn't there. There are just too many other good off-road racers on the market to make playing through this game worth your time.
CCC Staff Contributor