|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Rockstar San Diego||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Rockstar||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 20, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (16 online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One thing that I greatly appreciated about Midnight Club: Los Angeles was the way it reaches out to those who find themselves blindsided by the game's intimidating difficulty. Even though you may routinely come in third or fourth in races, Midnight Club does not punish you for this. Generally, progress in the game is determined by earning "street cred" by racing against certain opponents. So, even if you come in dead last, you will still get credit for actually finishing the race and will not have to re-do the race until you get first place as you would in other titles. Instead, you will just have to participate in more races, which is probably a good thing if you are still adjusting to the game's difficulty.
The graphics in Midnight Club: Los Angeles are very good, and the game does a great job of bringing the city to life. Different iconic landmarks and buildings throughout the game have been integrated seamlessly, and chances are good that if you know your way around the real LA, you'll have no trouble getting around here. The cars in the game also look very good and have just the right amount of shine.
However, the crash physics in the game aren't so good, and the way that your vehicle will take damage is a little unrealistic compared to other titles. For example, if you smash into another car head-on, the front of your car will be completely untouched, however, your windows will shatter, and your car temperature will heat up. Although this is somewhat of a minor gripe, I feel as if the crash physics are becoming an increasingly important component of the automotive genre, and as the current generation of consoles moves forward, you can't just get by on last console's rules, even when it comes to minor details like car crashes.
The sound in Midnight Club: Los Angeles is quite good and recreates the unique LA music scene well. The soundtrack consists of tunes from well-known West Coast artists like Nine Inch Nails, Beck, and The Chemical Brothers. Even if the musical artists aren't exactly your style, the soundtrack really helps get you into the world of the game. The actual automotive sounds are also very good and feature realistic engine and traffic sound effects.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles is certainly an excellent game and has proven itself as a must-own title for fans of the automotive genre. Sure, it doesn't have the grandeur and scope of the Gran Turismo series, or the freewheeling mayhem of Burnout, but it does bring a style all it's own to the genre. With plenty of rides, modes, and personality to spare, this title is definitely worthy of having a spot on your automotive mantle, as long as you're up to the challenge!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor