The Midnight Club franchise created by Rockstar Games releases its new, much anticipated instalment ‘Midnight Club – Los Angeles.

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Midnight Club – LA starts off with a bang, instantly drawing you into the racing world’s underbelly, setting you up for some exhilarating highs, and some controller-crushing lows.

As an avid gamer and car enthusiast I always look at racing games in somewhat more detail than I would a different genre, and 50 percent of the time comes out somewhat disappointed. However, after playing this game for just 10 minutes I knew that it was going to deliver more than I anticipated. The freedom and layout reminds me of a Grand Theft Auto-type platform (also developed by Rockstar) just with less car jackings. 

Graphically it’s impressive; in other racing games you always notice that a lot more detail has gone into the player’s cars rather than the environment, but Midnight Club seems to have struck a great balance between the two.  Combine that with a killer soundtrack and some outstanding game play and you have yourself a top notch game.

The downside is the difficulty. From your first race, which is supposed to be an easy, tutorial-type event, you have to fight tooth and nail to win, so don’t expect to blitz through the game in the standard 10-15 hours.  It isn’t that the other cars in the race are that good, it’s more the NPC-controlled cars that are on the roads that cause the chaos. There is nothing more frustrating than leading a race the whole way just to be T-Boned by an NPC-controlled car that’s run a red light just metres from the finish line.  Now this is something you come to expect from street racing games, but the frequency that it happens is what becomes tiresome not to mention adds a few new dents to your poor controller.

Overall however I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys racing games. The customisability of your cars, the thrill of taking someone else’s pink slip, or those long getaways from the cops puts Midnight Club – Los Angeles in the running to be another smash hit for the Rockstar developers, and a must have for likeminded gamers.

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