A Tough Ride Round L.A.
So the first thing I have to mention about Midnight Club L.A. is that if your a fan of the series then this game is a buy for you. A veteran of the series will feel right at home once you load the game up and start zooming round the city. For those of you not so new to the series you might need to step in with caution, but lets back out for a second.
Midnight Club L.A. is a fast paced street racing game from Rockstar which features intense races and sweet customizable cars. You play the game as an unnamed street racer who's come over to L.A. from the east coast. At the beginning you meet some street racer characters who want you to prove your worth and the story really takes off from there. You get a bad ride, you win some races, upagrade your ride, buy new ride and so on. The game seems like its going to have a story due to the cutscenes and presentation, but nothing really happens and you do just end up racing every person you meet a fair few times.
So while the story is not that great, the representation of Los Angeles is what really makes the game shine. The graphics are really amazing and the frame rate is top notch with me not experiencing one technical hiccup. The city is fairly big roughly the same as Burnout Paradise' if a little smaller. There are a ton of real world restaruants and retailers around the place which start off quite cool but it does end up turning into a giant advert at some points. The graphics on the cars and bikes are also incredibly detailed and the customization is fantastic.
The real part that gets me down about Midnight Club L.A. is its gameplay. The cars handle great and the driving model is fantastic but the A.I. is so brutal, I'd say it would be very hard to a newcomer to the series to pick up this game and not get killed on their first try. Unlike Burnout if you crash don't get spawned back anywhere you have to start your self up again and attempt to catch up, but you definitely won't. One mistake can cost you an entire race and I felt in my time playing the game that you either come first or last. As I had previously played Midnight Club 3 I knew how the checkpoint style gameplay worked and the tough competition, but someone who has never played it before could find it really hard. There are a number of races to choose at points in the game, each of them with colours representing their difficulty, so while that might help someone get better by picking off the easy ones first the game is still really hard. The good news now is that L.A. features a rep system which rewards you for completing races, this means even if you finish first or last you will get rep letting you upgrade your cars and unlock new stuff.
As you progres you unlock various upgrades for your car and special abilities which is what makes Midnight Club unique. Its also fair to say the game is very long and if you can get over the difficulty you will find a lot to do in L.A. From my estimates it would probably take you around 30 hours to do every mission and unlock every car in the game, providing your good enough and you could commit yourself.
It is also worthy to say that the soundtrack for this game is amazing and quite a redeeming factor. There are some great tunes and remixes from a load of cool artists, thats one thing I definitely can't complain about.
So overall if your really into your Midnight Club and know the series well you should buy this game. It has a ton to do and the racing is very tight. If your new to street racing games, you might be better off playing Burnout Paradise before this one, but its worth checking out.