National Speed's Midnight Club L.A. Review

Media : October 30, 2008

Rockstar games has been on a winning streak this year with their juggernaut Grand Theft Auto 4 tearing up the sales charts as well as garnering critical raves, but it’s their lesser known Midnight Club franchise that really has us salivating here at National Speed. Featuring an amazingly detailed rendering of L.A. for you to rip through in realistic handling Audi’s, Lamborghini’s, Mazda’s, Aston Martin’s, and many more, Midnight Club is the premiere street racing title for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 gaming consoles.

Fans of previous iterations of Midnight Club and Rockstar’s GTA series will be right at home here. If you’ve played a Midnight Club game before you know exactly what to expect here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. That being said there is a constant “been there, done that” feel that pervades the game (as well as Rockstar’s GTA 4), but that shouldn’t deter you from playing what is arguably the best Midnight Club yet.

While the racing definitely skews more towards an arcade racer rather than the sim heavy Gran Turismo series, there’s plenty here for gearheads to like. The story is engaging (if a little too stereotypical) and the racing is exciting, but it’s the customization options that really give the game an edge over its closest competitors — EA’s Need For Speed and Burnout franchises.

You can find aftermarket parts from nearly every major vendor to customize your vehicle, and while part of me still prefers the gas and go simplicity of Burnout, the aftermarket customization options and realistically modeled rides of Midnight Club L.A. go a long way to making me a hardcore convert to Rockstar’s brand of Kool aid.

Ironically, there have been complaints online about the unrealistic, irratic traffic patterns in Midnight Club L.A. to which I have to ask: have you people ever been to L.A.? It’s completely realistic to have cars swerve into you for no reason. That’s the way the city of angels works. You can’t comprehend it, you can only hope to survive it. Your best bet is to just aim at an expensive looking car and pull out in front of it. That’s how we roll.

Regardless, if you’re looking for an exciting, breakneck racing experience, you can do no better than Midnight Club Los Angeles. The customization options are extensive, the graphics are eye-bleeding, the vehicle selection is bad ass, and the control is dead on. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.