| series, only this time it’s all about driving across town quicker than your rivals. The fact that you can take numerous routes to the same point sets Midnight Club apart from other arcade racers which will give you a set track to race around. |
If you have played any of the recent GTA games and have come across any of the street race levels you will have a good idea what DUB Edition is all about. All cars start in the same place, all cars must pass through a number of set check points. So long as you pass through the check points it doesn’t matter which route you take through the city. This type of free race presents a few challenges in itself as the fastest car doesn’t always win it’s the smart and knowledgeable competitor that will reign victorious as he will have explored the city to find all the short cuts and back allies that will give him shortest route from
A to B.
However, it can take you a long time to memorise each city. This means one thing, trail and error, especially in the early stages of the game and when you are presented with a new city. Although it can be quite annoying at times there is a roaming mode which lets you explorer each city at your own leisure. This in itself can be a little boring, but to keep you exploring Rockstar have placed Rockstar logos about the place and if you collect them all you will win lots of goodies.
Although Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition is purely an arcade racer the vehicles themselves are real world cars. The cars range from the out and out bling like the Cadillac Escalade to Japanese street races such as the Mitsubishi Lancer. Bikes are also on the menu too featuring Ducati 999RR, Kawasaki Ninja and even custom makers such as Matt Hotch who featured won the Great Biker Build off series on Discovery.
Controls are good, much better than the previous Midnight Club games which felt like the cars were running on rails. Midmight Club 3 DUB Edition is geared up for very high speed racing, huge jumps and over the top crashes. In fact the handling for all classes of vehicle is not too dissimilar to the cars in GTA, but the real surprise here is that the cars come with special moves.
It may sound a bit like Mario Kart from the term special moves, but it’s not quite as bizarre as you may think. The big cars have an ability to “intimidate” knock other cars on the road around you out of the way. Other cars have an ability called “agro” which basically lets you dish out an extra portion of damage to any cars you hit. Finally there is the speeder class of vehicle which has the ability to slow down time and simply move through the traffic. The special moves do have a couple of bugs that could have been sorted out if they had been implemented a little better. The intimidate move can put you at a disadvantage sometimes. If there are cars in front of you when you decide to intimidate, it can just push them further ahead in front of you, instead of clearing them out of the road. The slow down move for the speeder class doesn’t really last long enough to have any effect. All cars come equipped with nitro and slipstream boosts so when you couple these together with the special moves you can get some interesting results.
The racing side of the game has been very well implemented it doesn’t feel biased like the previous game did at times. If you crash a couple of times it doesn’t really put you at such a disadvantage as all the other cars tend to crash too. Another common trick developers can employ is the ability for other cars to speed up as you pick up the pace. For example if you are in the lead and have a clean race other cars will not pass you for any known reason. Good driving and navigating will always win the race, what I’m saying is that the AI doesn’t cheat.
Most of the time spent on Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition will be spent on the comprehensive career mode. You will start with a pocket full of cash which will buy you a car and get you into the racing scene. To get racing you will have to meet up with people who race the same class of car that you own. They will challenge you to a race, if you impress them will get you into bigger longer races with other car clubs. As well as the main races you will be able to take part in other races in which you can win cash, but you won’t progress through the ranks.
As you start progressing through the game you will have to think about customizing and upgrading your car both under the bonnet and aesthetically. When you first start tuning your car you will have limited stock parts available, but as you progress better new parts will become available. Once you have done the tuning under the bonnet you can choose to bling up your motor. Anything from stickers, to paint jobs, to body kits to spinners are available at a price. This kind of customisation will cost you plenty of cash but it won’t really improve the performance of you car. The good thing is you are never really short of cash so you can put jewellery on the car, but you will have to set it off against money you could be spending on making the car go faster and handle better, which will ultimately earn you more money which can then be spent on the aesthetics.
Once you have finished the career mode or if you fancy something a little different you can take Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition online with up to 8 other players. The features are all pretty run of the mill, you have leader boards, friends list and if you own an XBOX you can use the voice chat feature. The one thing that might surprise you is the clan system which is basically renamed with a new badge, these are clubs. Its works in the same way as a clan system, each club has an owner and multiple tiers below. It’s a great way to organise race meetings and bribe the best drivers over to our team. When you get around to racing the action is great, you will see a touch of slow down but it’s negligible.
Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition is a pretty good looking game, especially when you take the sheer speed in to account. In terms of looks imagine GTA crossed over with the Burnout series. The initial look of the game is very GTA, but when you start to get some real speed on everything will blur much like the Burnout series. When you get your foot down and use some nitro your car will blur, the opponents cars will blur and you speed past and the streets will blur, especially the lights, they will leave huge speed blurs across the screen, a bit like the Millennium Falcon when it jumps into hyperspace. With all this movement and speed effects and with heavy rain effects the PS2 does slow down at times. It tends to manifest itself in the form of opponents cars jerking backwards and forwards when you are within close proximity. But you can expect all the action to slow down at times.
Sound effects this time around are much better than the previous instalments of Midnight Club. Firstly there is far less cheesy voiceovers, but they are still there in some of the cut scenes. The best aspect of the sound effects comes from the cars themselves, the engine are loud, the crashes are impressive and the sense of speed is really confirmed as you fly past noisy objects on the street.
The sound track is exactly what you will expect, loads of hip hop, rock and dance. Some of the tunes don’t seem to fit too well with that genre but overall there is something for everyone here. If you find that you’re not into rock and you prefer hip hop you can change the play list to play only one genre. Nice touch.
Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition is one game which has the pedal to the metal through out. The career mode is very comprehensive, the racing is great fun especially against humans it’s incredibly fast and one of the strongest arcade/street racers on the market. If you were a fan of midnight club before you will love this, virtually every aspect of the game has been improved in a big way. If you have never played on of the Midnight Club series of games before, this is the one to try.
8.5 out of 10