Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition PlayStation 2 & Xbox
Published by Rockstar Games
Developed by Rockstar San Diego
Release Date: Out Now
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition an introduction.
Street racing games have proved to be enormously popular over the last few years. At the forefront of this popularity have been two series, the Need for Speed Underground series and the Midnight Club series from Rockstar San Diego. Here we have the third title in the Midnight Club series for both Xbox and PlayStation 2. Once again you'll be challenged with completing checkpoint races and as well as trying to outdo your opponents you'll have to cope with oncoming traffic. It's all hectic stuff and fans of the series should definitely enjoy what this third game has to offer.
What's the game about?
If you've played a street racing game at all, you'll be instantly familiar with how Midnight Club 3 plays. Set in San Diego, Atlanta and Detroit you'll take part in checkpoint races and a multitude of other kinds of races in your bid to earn cash to upgrade and customise your cars. As before, in the races, your only obligation is to make it to the next check point. How you get there doesn't really matter. To this end it's wise to play in cruise mode and learn the city you're driving around making note of all the shortcuts that's on offer. The game offers a Career mode, Arcade mode and online races. There's also a race editor for you to play around with.
What's good about the game?
Midnight Club 2 was a tough nut to crack and it took a lot of effort to progress through the game. Midnight Club 3 is nowhere near as frustrating and you'll seemingly fly through the game in comparison (perversely though if you enjoyed the difficulty level in MC 2 then this will be a disappointment). This is an issue where the developers can't please everyone though and personally I feel it's better if the game is more accessible. The game offers pure arcade style fun (reminiscent of Midtown Madness on the PC) and it's actually addictive stuff because of the emphasis on arcade action rather than trying to be a simulation. The Xbox version handles better than the PlayStation 2 version using the default controllers but the PlayStation 2 version supports the 900° wheel rotation offered by the Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel and playing the game with this wheel offered the best driving experience of the bunch. You'll also notice that this time the cars have special moves such as AGRO which allows you to plough through your opponents. These are fun and thankfully they don't get in the way of the racing.
What's not so good about the game?
As we mentioned above if you enjoyed the immense challenge of Midnight Club 2 then the easier experience that you'll find in Midnight Club 3 will disappoint you. It's now possible to have a couple of crashes and still win the race. Whilst this may be seen as dumbing the whole thing down a little too much, it does take away the frustration of having to do the same races over and over again because of one mistake which was often the case in Midnight Club 2. Some might point to the car customisation options as being a little limited when compared to other games but what's here is adequate and is straight forward to use, which is something you can't say for the same features in other games.
How does it look?
Midnight Club 3 looks OK on both the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Recently we've seen plenty of driving games on the PlayStation 2 and they've all looked quite impressive. Midnight Club 3 doesn't look as good as GT4, Enthusia or NFS Underground 2 but nevertheless it still looks OK. The Xbox version looks marginally better but there's not a great deal of difference to be honest. The Xbox version does a better job of maintaining a constant frame rate but with that said the PlayStation 2 version doesn't suffer from much slowdown.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Midnight Club 3 is OK for deaf gamers. Movie subtitles can be enabled and when they are you'll be able to enjoy the game's cutscenes. All important information is shown in text and when you are driving around the city you'll be notified of events in text. Unfortunately there's also some speech that accompanies this text notification of events and this extra speech is not subtitled. On the online side of things the PlayStation 2 version has text chat whilst the Xbox version has voice communications so if you're looking to play online and want to communicate then the PlayStation 2 version is going to be the better choice.
On the whole Rockstar San Diego have done a great job with Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition. Midnight Club 2, whilst a great game, was frustrating and did make you want to pull your hair out at times with the level of difficulty it offered. Midnight Club 3 isn't as frustrating and you'll find yourself enjoying the game more (and playing it for longer periods) as a result. The package as a whole is impressive and the Career mode offers at least 20 hours of play by itself. Online is also great fun but as we mentioned earlier only the PlayStation 2 version offers text communication. If you're fancying some street racing that's light on realism but heavy on the arcade thrills and spills then Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (on either the Xbox or PlayStation 2) is certainly worth a purchase.
Overall Game Rating: 8.6/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
(Click here for full details)
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is a fine addition to the series that manages to be more accessible and a more enjoyable game than its prequel. If you're a fan of street racing games then you'll enjoy what Midnight Club 3 has to offer.