Midnight Club: Los Angeles Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3
This is what city driving should be like
This is what city driving should be like

This is what city driving should be like

If there's something Rockstar does better than everyone else, it's creating believable virtual cities. GTA 4 felt more alive than any open-word game to date, so it's no surprise to find Rockstar San Diego's Midnight Club L.A. excelling in this area too. Burnout Paradise may have nailed the aggressive arcade racing genre, but Rockstar's street racer is an altogether more immersive experience. It might not be an exact replica of L.A. but it certainly feels like a real city.

Midnight Club L.A. casts you as a newcomer to the illegal L.A. street racing scene. You turn up without much money and with no friends, so you need to make a name for yourself. It's not going to be easy (far from it in fact), especially considering the old, rather slow cars you initially get to pick from. It doesn't matter though. From the moment you pull out of a small car park and head towards your first race, you feel a connection to the tarmac that too few games get right. No matter what you're driving you're going to have a good time.

Although it's got an open city complete with pedestrians walking the streets, Midnight Club isn't GTA. With only racing to work with Rockstar had to make sure there's enough variety to ensure boredom won't set in, and this has been done admirably. Race types come in many forms, from single races through a set of checkpoints, lap races, pink slip races (win or lose a car) and traffic light runs, to multi-race events that take a serious investment of time. Whichever you end up doing, it's simply a case of cruising up to other cars with an icon above them and flashing your lights. You can even race them to the starting line, or double flash to instantly teleport there.

Your goals are simple: earn reputation points, earn money, upgrade your vehicles and buy better ones. It's not exactly deep story stuff, but the lure to keep playing is strong. You know full well that super-powered racing beasts are on offer if you're good enough, and the prospect of screaming around L.A. with this driving model is impossible to resist. Fun pours from every hair-raising corner, highway near miss and insane speed boost. Doing it in a clapped out Volkswagen Golf is one thing, doing it in a scary looking nitrous eating speed machine is another thing entirely.

You'll buy and upgrade your vehicles at a garage, with options to tinker with things yourself or let the game decide what's best. With numerous upgrades with various upgrade levels, as well as visual enhancements, you can spend a long time making the very best vehicle possible or simply press a few buttons and be done with it - and thankfully the game lets you make some running repairs while out in the city.

Whether on a bike or a car, you're going to have a good time.

Whether on a bike or a car, you're going to have a good time.

City driving in real life isn't easy - as many of you will know all too well. And it's the same for Midnight Club L.A., which features the most realistic depiction of traffic we've ever seen, with quiet patches, stretches of congestion and freeways where the cars move fast. So how exactly is this fun? Simple really. Weaving in and out of traffic as you're travelling at speeds of 100 mph or more, clipping cars and walls in a blur, and pushing opponents into barriers is what arcade racers should be about. Thankfully the roads aren't as congested as they probably are in real life, but the illusion is there with enough room for manoeuvre to be great fun.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Midnight Club: LA is all fun, fun, fun, but it's not without problems. We know a certain group of hardcore gamers want games to punish them at every opportunity, testing their gaming prowess and humiliating anyone who isn't born with reactions quicker than the Karate Kid's Mr Miyagi, but for normal people extreme difficulty can be a turn off. Right from the off you'll be struggling for wins in Rockstar's L.A. with rival racers on your tail ready to take advantage of any slight slip up. Thankfully you can retry races without having to drive back to the start point, but there's still a sense that the early going isn't as forgiving as we'd have liked.

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User Comments

Lee's Avatar
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Lee

This game is the best racing game ive played. True its hard but once u get the hang of it, its unreal. Ive actually finished the game (when u have 1million in the bank n go in partnership with Karol), and thats when u get to buy any car n any parts for Free as u own 50% share in the garage! But the game is far from over, as the races continue, except u get to race them in whatever high end car u choose. Best game ever!
Posted 04:38 on 23 February 2009
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TJ

stop bad mouthing MNCLA Rohitx!!! NFS UC absaloutly suks dont buy it, its a seven year olds game who wants a little thrill. IF U WANT A REAL THRILL GET MIDNIGHT CLUB LA It PROMISES TO KICK ASS AND GIVE SOME NASTY HEART ATTACKS TO THOSE WITH A DECENT GAME TASTE!!!
Posted 17:26 on 30 January 2009
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TJ

Buy It Now, Its the best street racer you will ever play.
And whoever keeps making bad comments about it being hard GET A LIFE!!its supposed to be realistic , its the realism that makes ith best of the best.
Posted 17:18 on 30 January 2009
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racer_x_1991

okay... if you expcet to win 10,000 dollars racing other no performance cars youir an idiot. im pretty sure that real life racers dont expect to get 10 grand racing a stock 240SX. its a game, a damn good one at that. if you want real racing, i suggestget your moms honda and go find some racers at a parking lot, or at the track. even then im sure no one is willing to put up 10 grand. its a video game, play it, have some f***ing fun why dont you.
Posted 18:36 on 25 January 2009
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ndogg0201

im with anonymous, if you dnt like it, go return it, dnt bad mouth the game and ruin it for everyon e else. if you like NFS so much, get your $59 and buy undercover
Posted 18:28 on 25 January 2009
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dammu

played it round a m8 he was legend could get away from the coppers just like dat
this game is great nfs uc nowhere near this class oh yh anyone wanna add me go ahead my xboxlive is Alta Vista 22 happy gaming fantisy mieser get midnight save your cash from nfs uc
Posted 19:04 on 24 January 2009
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baccaloco2002

i shure do miss all the cheat codes rockstar games had. really wasnt anything better then going through gta like the termanator! then again i think xbox 360 is like that, killin the fun... sad.
Posted 22:18 on 16 January 2009
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shadow

eh i tried it and at the beginning of the game it sucked because you started out with a shi@ car and yes escaping the popos was hard... but after i won a few races it got good... real good i started earning more money (at first it was 200 to 300 then it grew to 700 then in the thousands per race) i love riding around in my ducati monster (even though its a low level (class b)) its fun and i love to find collectibles and unlock cheats (fun but also have consequences) i love listening to comments from other ai's and especially using aggro (a special ability used to ram and send anyone in your way flying out of your way) its a great game (and personally nfs series was too easy but still fun) xbox live is fun too and guess what if your tired of racing the same races again make a race or play someone elses race you'll have lots of fun... its up to you whether you get this game or not (and please stop flaming about which game is better its tiring) oh and thanks for taking the time to read this <ROCK ON GAMERS!!!!!!!>
Posted 23:57 on 14 January 2009
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3000gt guy

The game could be so much better if the creators would get their stuff straight, Motor City Online was and is still the best Racing game even tho its not playable.
Posted 03:47 on 08 January 2009
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Mizieki1

if u have the game for psp its a lot better than the la remix one its got a better view to the whole frickin game its still a waste of money lol
Posted 02:46 on 01 January 2009
Rohitx's Avatar

Rohitx

The most F**ked up game i've ever played. This games sucks BIG time. People don't waste ur money on this game.
* The races are difficult
* If you ever win a race, u will be rewarded with a pathetic $200 to $300 ONLY.
* You will have to play hundreds of races and WIN them in order for u to buy an average decent car.
* The cops can easily catch you. Don't think of escaping. U can run.....but if u hit a wall or bang another car and ur car stops......u are caught.
* During a race, u just steer right or left in a turn and ur car can easily turn (Like u put on an automatic mode).... It does not give u control. U won't feel real driving a car.
OVERALL....this game is not real and do not waste money on it.

NFS Most Wanted is the real racer's game. I expected MCLA to be similar. But it simply sucks. People who says it nice are the ones who only have MCLA game with them. So they keep playing MCLA over and over (Though they fail many times) and get over with. I tried once after i bought and found it too difficult and unrealistic. SO i threw it in a corner. After a week, i decided to give it a try again. And yet again it is a total disappointment. DO NOT BUY THIS GAME. If not u will regret. Rockstar can do better than this. GTA4 was awesome. But MCLA sucks.

As u can see, the photos of the game....the cars and videos is simply awesome. It makes you wanna buy this game. But its not real. Photos and videos are made to impress people like you and me to buy this game. So just think b4 u buy. NFS Most wanted, Colin McRae's Grid and Dirt etc are nicer games.
Posted 16:42 on 01 December 2008
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GameJunkie85

this game is sh*t just like gta4. come on rockstar you used to make such good games, What Happened?
Posted 09:47 on 30 November 2008
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oh samoa

gets old
only probelm
Posted 07:50 on 28 November 2008
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Anonymous

If u didnt like the game go return it and get ur money back
Posted 02:05 on 17 November 2008
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PotentialMonky

This game is brilliant if you liked the previous MC's, and it is hard, but you get good cars early on, and the money's starting to flow in now (granted, over 8 hours of playing). I love this cuz i'm still not even half way through it and i've hours of fun, hairbiting moments, and hours of $%"£$^£ moments! You can compare this game to NFS:Most Wanted, and they're pretty simular in my book. And NFS Undercover will be a completely different game! If you're not sure, rent it for a week and see then. But play it a good bit, takes a bit of tie to get into it.
Posted 00:52 on 14 November 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
9
Out of 10
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
  • Stunning visuals
  • Great driving model
  • Tonnes of fun
  • Can be very punishing
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 947
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