RockStar Games' Midnight Club Los Angeles: Hands on preview
Ensconced within RockStar Game’s Sydney office, with the sound turned up to 10 and the big screen blaring is a great way to heighten the sensorial experience of the latest in the Midnight Club franchise.
The blood has recently returned to my knuckles, enabling the typing up of this report, with any luck both my hearing and sight will return within due course as well.
With Midnight Club Los Angeles (MCLA), developer RockStar San Diego is hoping to position the game between traditional Arcade and Simulation racers – retaining the feel of Midnight Club games past.
The Simulation side is fulfilled with each car that I drove feeling much weightier than the vehicles contained in GTA IV – the RAGE engine runs both games, but has been tweaked for the concentrated street action of MCLA
Then the Arcade side kicks in with a damage model that is necessarily forgiving given the frenetic action.
And it is the constant accessibility to action that drives (!) the MCLA experience.
RockStar boast no load times for the game, each race (see the types below) is seamlessly integrated into the living landscape of LA.
With a detailed map of the city that includes a day/night/weather cycle affecting the look, density of traffic and handling within the game, players will be kept busy looking for ways to increase both money and reputation – the two in game currencies.
Reputation can be used to unlock access to new races, cars or customisation options.
And for many, the garage based car customisation is where much time will be spent.
Unlike other games I have looked at, the comprehensive nature of the car customisation in MCLA is bordering on overwhelming.
No longer are we content with a couple of different panel colours and lighting affects. In MCLA you can create your own dream car both outside and now the interior as well.
Everything from complete front ends, inside wheel rim choices, dashboard gauges, seat types and more are available. Vinyl designs can be affixed to the cars anywhere you wish, and the designs transferred to other cars unlocked in your vehicle stable.
Car customisation is truly impressive and a highlight of the game.
What about the racing? - Onwards to page 2
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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.