by Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by Digital Illusions C.E.
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
two very successful titles on the PC, it was always going to be
highly likely that Microsoft would bring the Midtown Madness series
to their debut console. In fact if you think about it the Midtown
Madness series has the potential to work well on the Xbox. The Controller
S is very good for driving games and with the series always boasting
an excellent online element, it looks to be ready made for Xbox
Live. Let's take a look at how the series has adapted to becoming
a console game.
the PC versions of Midtown Madness the game is based around two
cities. In Midtown Madness 3 the cities on offer are Paris and Washington
DC. It was a wise decision to appoint Digital Illusions C.E. as
the developers for Midtown Madness 3. They were responsible for
Rallisport Challenge which is an excellent title and has proved
to be a successful title. Midtown Madness retains the excellent
control that Rallisport Challenge had. You use the right and left
triggers for accelerating and braking. The left control stick is
used to steer and the right analogue stick is use to change your
view and you can temporarily increase the map size by pressing the
stick down. The black button changes the camera and the white button
knocks on the vehicle lights, which is recommended for night driving.
single player game offers a choice of Cruise, Blitz and Checkpoint
drives as well as a Work Undercover mode. Cruise mode is basically
an unlimited drive around the city of your choice. You get to choose
the traffic conditions, the season and whether or not you'd like
the police chasing you (if you do you can set the density of the
police coverage). To further spice up the Cruise mode you can also
collect bonuses such as extra paint jobs for the vehicles. There
are around 40 different Blitz and Checkpoint races for you to try
and win and doing so will lead to the unlocking of extra vehicles
(there are over 30 in total). Work Undercover mode is comprised
of 14 different careers, 7 in each city. These careers, that range
from the delivery guy to the private eye, have to be completed in
order and involve high speed racing in one form or another.
you can have split-screen and system link races the Xbox Live experience
is something else. We still don't have Xbox Live here at Deaf Gamers,
however, I have been fortunate to experience Midtown Madness 3 on
a friend's Xbox who has Xbox Live and all I can say is WOW! This
has to be the ultimate use of the Xbox Live online gaming system
so far. A collection of superb games have been included. Capture
the gold is were you have to drive around collecting as much gold
as possible. Stayaway is the 'reverse' of the game called tag with
the idea being you have to be 'it' for as long as possible as being
'it' earns you points. Tag is the opposite of Stayaway in that you
have to avoid being 'it'. If you're 'it' for too long you're eliminated.
Hunter sees one player as the hunter and as he makes contact with
the other cars they too become hunters and turn on the remaining
drivers. All the games are very simple to set up and you can customise
them too (team play is also possible in most games) to make them
Midtown Madness looks good. Some of the textures look a little bland
but all things considered it looks good. The framerate is generally
good too. There are some occasions where slowdown occurs but these
are not too common (usually when you're driving with the camera
behind the car and the traffic is heavy) and do not spoil the gameplay.
I thought it was a particularly nice touch that in Cruise mode you
could set the weather and season of the city you are driving around
in. If you want to see Paris in the winter it'll have snow on the
floor and likewise Washington DC has that distinct late October
look to it when you select Autumn (Fall). It's also great to be
able to ride around famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in
cruise mode too. What is strange though is whilst most trees and
lamp posts can be driven straight through you occasionally come
up against one that is solid which stops you dead in your tracks.
It would have been better if they all had been the same.
Madness 3 is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. You can enable subtitles
and although there are one or two omissions, like the introduction
cutscenes to the Work Undercover mode, everything is subtitled so
you're going to be able to fully enjoy the game, which is brilliant.
Madness 3 is a bit difficult to evaluate. The single player game
is good and will keep you busy for a while but it's probably not
something you'll keep coming back to and I would only give the single
player game a 7/10. However if you have Xbox Live then the picture
changes dramatically. The Xbox Live games are excellent and if I
were to give a rating to the Xbox Live content it would receive
a definite 10/10.
Game Rating: 8.3/10
Madness finally breaks away from being confined to the PC and gives
us a good single player game and a top notch Xbox Live title.
Mostly subtitled so you'll be able to enjoy the high speed mayhem
of Midtown Madness 3.