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Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Released on 24 October 2008

Rating: 12+ (PEGI)

4.0 out of 5 (95 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The best way to see Los Angeles is at 200mph! Race at breakneck speeds through the streets of modern-day L.A. recreated in stunning detail. Drive the hottest range of real-world tuners, muscle cars, exotics and superbikes on the streets today. Customise your ride with the best after-market performance parts and custom kits. Illegal street racing with no track, no load times, no rules: welcome back to the Midnight Club!

customer Reviews

 Average rating (95 reviews)

 Very Good! What NFS should have been!

| | See all Will1986's reviews (12)

I liked the Need for Speed series until post-Underground 2 and have missed not having a title like this on the XBox 360. Until Now.

***How it works***
Like any Rockstar open-world title, you can progress through the game via a variety of paths.
You have to make money and build reputation by winning races, making deliveries, running from the police and various other ways which allows you to unlock more physical and mechanical upgrades.

I have seen a few people complaining about difficulty, let me clear this up.
The AI/Computer can be caught up if you crash, but let's be realisitic, if you're in a Golf GTi versus a Mercielago Roadster, you're gonna get beaten. SO DON'T RACE THEM FOR PINK SLIPS.
So what Rockstar have done is filled the streets with main challenges with various difficulties but have also included an arcade style option where you can race arcade style on a specific route. This is accessed from the pause menu, then RB until you find the correct section.
You can choose the difficulty of the AI and the amount of traffic etc. making it very easy.
I used this arcade feature until i had enough performance upgrades to dominate the 'main' races with so much ease :)

***Cars and parts***
It's as simple as this.
If you enjoy designing cars with detail ranging from seats and interior neons to wheels and suspension - you will LOVE this!
I cannot get enough of tweaking my little Golf!
The look and reactions of the cars are very detailed and uniquely diverse.

Very Fun. You can race against others for rep and money for your career or just cruise around LA with your mates. Really good modes and great fun, like Burnout Paradise online.
This is what would have made NFS:Underground 2 perfect.

Awesome game for all ages interested in modding cars.
The only negative point is that it isn't obvious that you have all the routes available to you i.e. using arcade to build money first.
Otherwise, this game is Epic. There is no doubt in my mind that NFS will have to take a long look at itself, a la Tony Hawk after Skate's release.

100% BUY IT!!!

 Finally an Arcade Racer that makes you fully appreciate that

| | See all SleepySid's reviews (2)

I love racing games, be it Forza 2, PGR 4, Dirt, NFS Most Wanted or Gran Turismo. There's just something special about driving fast in video games. Nothing quite gets the adrenaline flowing like a good racer.

Midnight Club Los Angeles (known as MCLA from here on) is one of those rare games that although based firmly on the arcade side of the driving spectrum requires a little dedication to appreciate it's full potential. If you're expecting to jump straight into this game and be driving around in a Lamborghini within an hour then you're in for a surprise. You will need to put some serious time into this game to unlock those prized exotic motors.

To me this is one of the games strengths, not a weakness as some reviews suggest. You start with the choice of a few low end cars that look just about ready for the scrap yard. You get a set amount of cash to go about patching your car up and getting it race worthy. The customization options are fantastic you can change practically anything on the car including the seats!

Once you've spent all your initial cash which will tend not to go very far. You then head on out into the city to find your first race. The city is teaming with life with pedestrians everywhere you look which makes Burnout Paradise look like a ghost town in comparison. Once you find your race victim you flash your lights at him to begin the race.

The races are varied but the first race is your standard marker race. The markers used are the best I've ever seen in any racing game. You can clearly see where you need to go by following the yellow smoke which is highly visible both in full sunny daylight and rain drenched night time. You race through the markers to the finish line trying to keep in front of the pack. Should the pack get in the lead, you can draft one of them. This will build up a turbo boost that should see you fly past your competitor, as long as you use it on a straight and not just before a corner.

The AI is slick, and drives very well but it can and does make mistakes. I've seen AI cars take the wrong turning, plough into oncoming traffic and even take each other out. There is a lot of radio chatter feedback from the other drivers while you race which helps you feel immersed in the race.

As you progress through the game acquiring reputation as you go. More race types and options open up to you. As you play the game more you learn the roads better and generally get a feel for the city. Basically if you stick with MCLA you will be rewarded. The game does not show all it's cards within the first few hours, and I thank Rockstar for that, I like a game that has longevity and with the mulitplayer side this game could easily keep arcade racing fans happy for months.

If like me you love racing games then this one is a no brainer. Don't be put off by what you hear regarding the difficulty curve. It really is just right.

On a final note there has been some mention of pop-up occurring while racing which can apparently cause problems. I have installed the game to hard drive using the new NXE option and can report that I have noticed no pop up at all. The game runs extremely smoothly from the hard drive and I would highly recommend anyone that has enough hard drive capacity to do this.

 Very dull, lasts a few days at most

| | See all CyberDogg's reviews (6)

I was initially excited about getting this as the customisation looked superb and graphically the game is very good. The real let down for me is the gameplay. The races all take place on city roads, sadly not abandoned ones but roads full of traffic. Each race is simply a 'dodge the computer road user' test rather than a real race, they have little to do with skill and are decided by unlucky spawns of civilians on the roads.

The choice of cars is also a major disappointment with only a small selection of manufacturers being represented. Once you have a tricked out Saleen with all the upgrades the game will gather dust on your shelf, and that can be done ina few days of non hardcore gaming.

The difficulty also scales, meaning any ideas you have about finding noobs in Scirroco's or Golf GTis and blazing them in your Lamborghini are ultimately futile because the computer will also be driving a high end car. Essentially, there is no reward for bettering your car as the cpu player will have the same one, pointless eh?

Online is also faily dismal for the same reason; everyone drives the same car, there is no variety. This is one to rent or borrow from a friend. I sold mine after 3 days.

 Great ideas, bad execution

| | See all HitmanN's reviews (9)

I really really wanted to like this game, but the things that would've made it fun have been totally ruined. Learning the map and the positions where civilian vehicles appear as obstacles has a much greater impact on your performance than learning to drive the vehicles. And even if you do learn the maps, the game cheats. In addition to the classic AI cheating, which makes AI drive faster and more intelligently if you're in the first place, and slower and worse if you're in last place, the game amplifies your penalties depending on your position in race. Crash in the first place, and your vehicle is often gonna flip twenty times around, wasting 10-20 seconds of time at worst, while such effects never happen if you're in the last place (at least not during my 30-40 hours with the game). Difficulty isn't flexible at all. Buy a better car for a tournament you lost last time, the AI drivers will have better cars too. Upgrading the vehicle doesn't improve your results in the end. I really got sick of these fake and artificial difficulty factors.

So, how about going online then? Sure, against other players with nothing but the best tuned up to the max. You gotta finish half the offline game just to get a vehicle good enough to compete. That, plus there wasn't any civilian/npc cars online. It's purely a matter or knowing the map and about how fast your vehicle is.

What I found great in the game were the visuals and city map itself. It's fun to just drive around exploring every now and then. The weather effects look great (loved driving in rain, despite the added difficulty), it's fun to play hide'n seek with the cops, listening to their radio chatter, etc. Music was ok, though required turning off third of the tracks to be enjoyable. (Sorry, ain't a fan of rap and such).

Basically everything about the game is good enough, except the racing itself. Instead of making the game easier for the player if they get stuck, the little progress you make is hindered with even worse penalties than before. Not even halfway to the game and most races require you to not mess up a single time. It's just simply not fun, and definitely not challenging the way a challenge should be presented.

I would've liked the game better if the AI raced with a fixed pace, so that if you learn to drive faster than how they perform, you can go past them just as much as your performance is better, without the AI closing that gap instantly with ridiculously maximized performance. I know I'm not the best with racing games, but I've played my fair share. I'm just wondering how horrible experience this is for someone new to racing games. Definitely NOT recommended for beginners!

To summarize: Basically, driving is fun, racing is not. Not a totally horrible purchase at under 25€ though, I suppose.

 Best Arcade Racer on the 360

| | See all Quicksilver11's reviews (29)

Need for Speed: Most Wanted, PGR4, Burnout Paradise and Test Drive Unlimited, this game takes the best areas from all of those games, and improves upon them. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is easily the best and most enjoyable racing game I have played on the xbox 360. If you have even a remote trace of petrol in your head, you should definately buy this game.

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Rating12+ (PEGI)