Midnight Club Street Racing
Review of Midnight Club Street Racing
Once you get through the rather slick menu interface you will find a few gameplay modes available to you. Starting out in arcade mode, you have a choice of enjoying the scenery and getting a feel for things in the Cruise mode (which I strongly recommend). Next is the Waypoint mode. Here you will race against up to 5 other drivers in missions to first impress Emilio and then other head hunters . This is your first taste in competing with the big boys. The head to head mode is just that, you against another street thug. Finally there is Capture the Flag where you nail the pedal to the metal and capture the opponents flag first and deliver it to the required destination.
The real meat of this title though rests in the Career mode which consists of a massive 39 races. You start by cruising for some action though the streets of New York (or if unlocked) London. The aim to to track down any of the three Midnight Club members (using the on-screen map) and follow them through their route. When you have successfully dogged them long enough they will issue you a challenge. Accept this and you are dropped into a race with 5 other drivers including the one that challenged you. The route will appear on the map in the form of yellow checkpoints and the aim is to arrive at the final (blue) checkpoint first. There are specific weather patterns for each race, so be ready for anything!
Since your initial car is pretty much a piece of crap and is out-powered by the others, driving dirty is the name of the game. A good method of doing this is to side-swipe other cars and leave them in the path of the other drivers. There are also tons of shortcuts through buildings and alleyways that you will need to find. It basically comes down to a whatever it takes to win attitude that includes plowing down pedestrians, street laps, mailboxes and anything else that stands in your way of victory.
You are also given the cell phone number for the boss character in order that you are introduced to them. Call the number and challenge that driver for their pink slip. Win, and their car is yours to use in the next round of races.
There is a lot of cars (and I do mean a LOT) to unlock in this game. Some are granted in Career mode while others appear in the Arcade mode menu (like the Smugglers Run buggy). There is a lot to keep you busy in this game and there is also a lot to like.
This fresh approach to street racing is a blessing in the sea of me too racers and is a welcome approach, although I must warn you that once you have completed the first few missions, the difficulty level (especially on the London circuit) ramps up significantly.
I should also mention the excellent two-player mode that enables players to participate in all of the modes of action. This was a real blast for us at AP2 as I thoroughly enjoyed thrashing my mates time and again (he, he, he).
About the only downside that I could find as far as gameplay goes, were the excessive load times between levels. We are talking 30 second minimum loads from one challenge to the next. Why this is, I can only venture to guess. I suppose each level is being separately loaded into the 4MB of V-RAM and then dumped after each level instead of being streamed.
Considering the fact that you are able to race through accurately modeled cities you must be asking…well how do the cities look? Well, the quick answer is - pretty damn impressive. Since all racing is done at night, we are treated with an impressive array of lighting from buildings, advertising hoardings and street lamps. Also nice are the reflection effects used on the wet roads.
There is decent draw distance (limited naturally by the darkness) and very minimal draw-in… if any. The streets are also pretty darn accurate. I can tell you for certain that major landmarks in NY are in there… hell I smashed through the front doors of Madison Square Garden. Even the newly constructed London Eye Ferris Wheel is in there... although it still doesnt appear to be working properly.
The car models are solid and deliver accurate reflections except for the highlights, which dont seem to perform any function. Damage can be accumulated throughout the race, with parts that fly off and further hinder your opponents. By the end of some events, my car looked like a heap of broken metal and bore little resemblance to the bright shiny auto I had rolled off the starting line. He,he,he... once again, whatever it takes to win.
Graphically, the only real shortcoming (and this is minor) is the amount of textures used in the game. With a bit more texturing, the environments and cars themselves would have looked practically photo-realistic. As it is, everything looks really good… but there is room for improvement.
Background tunes are mostly pop Rap and hip-hop that isnt too over the top and fits in well with the game. The sound effects are nice, especially the serious crunching noises your car makes as it collides with stuff. There are also nice little sound bytes of your challengers taunting you throughout the game although I did get tired of hearing Emilio saying Im cumin to get you baby, Im right behind chu, Im right behind chu.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Midnight Club Street Racing' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 25 Midnight Club Street Racing in-game screenshot slideshow
Have You Played Midnight Club Street Racing ?
If you have owned 'Midnight Club Street Racing' long enough to have formed a solid opinion on it, then click here to write your own mini review of Midnight Club Street Racing.
Alternatively, if you would like to read what other gamers who already own Midnight Club Street Racing think of it, click here to view all of our reader comments and mini reviews of Midnight Club Street Racing.
Want To Know More About Midnight Club Street Racing ?