Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a racing game developed by Rockstar Games. One of our favourite and best ones we ever played. The story is simple, you are a incredibly confident driver who shows up wanting to make a name for himself. Challenging and being challenged by others. So win races, get races and be the best. Simple to understand and makes sense.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles starts of with a trick. They give you the choice from three different cars to make your own. Kind of like with Pokemon. The car that looks the nicest isn’t the fastest. It’s actually the sirocco that’s the fastest but doesn’t look nice in the slightest. As you win races you get both more ‘rep’ which is reputation and money. The higher your rep, the more races you unlock as people start talking about you and want to see if you can really drive for themselves. The story isn’t all that strong though. It’s just simply that you meet some characters as you win races, they hook you up with some races going on, you win some more, then you meet more people and then win some more until you become the king basically.
There is a bit of variety when it comes to the races. There are the simple ones where you go from start to finish driving through all the yellow marked spots on the map. There are lap races where you must complete the lap two times. There are some people who challenge you to multiple races and it’s the first to win 2 of them or 3. There are red light races where you start at a traffic light and race to a certain landmark, the racers start as soon as the light turns green. Then there’s the motor way races where everything stays on the motor way and lives on the motorway. Some races have multiple racers like 4 others while some are 1 on 1. Motor way is definitely X35 Earthwalker’s favourite. Just pure speed.
To unlock faster and better cars in Midnight Club: Los Angeles, players must continue winning races and completing the main objectives. Start with group 1 cars which have D and C class vehicles. Overtime players will unlock group 2 and then 3 for powerful cars. Group 4 is where the real racing cars are at. Monster vehicles. Each vehicle you buy can be upgraded. Players can buy nine upgrades, better quality tires, extra nitrous etc to improve top speed, acceleration and handling. The car stats were kept simple which is a very good thing.
Eventually players can get their hands on special abilities for their vehicle. That’s right Midnight Club: Los Angeles didn’t leave what was in Dub Edition. The abilities: Zone, Agro, Roar and EMP are here. You can only equip one at a time. Driving cleanly will charge them up and once full can be used. Repeatedly using these abilities will eventually lead to a level up meaning you can store more of that ability in your vehicle. Now different players say different things about these abilities. Some come off as more useful than others but they do have to some extent pros and cons.
Zone allows players to drive their vehicle but in slow motion temporarily. While everything is slowed down, players also have enhanced control over their vehicle and more grip meaning handling tight turns, dodging a vehicle or slipping in between two cars becomes too easy. Agro basically turns your car into the Juggernaut from Marvel comics. You become invincible for a short period of time, meaning you take zero damage from crashes or whatever. Also you inflict like times 100 more damage to anything that touches you, sending them flying. Roar allows players to send off a powerful shockwave in front of you that forces and moves all vehicles out of your way. It’s literally a repelling force. Get all the traffic out your way. Roar also effects enemy races so you can use roar to send them going straight when all were suppose to turn right. EMP is literally what it says on the box. It short circuits all vehicles around you for a few seconds. This means they cannot accelerate. This can be used to prevent others from passing you or to allow you to zoom past them.
Take this into account when playing Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Zone becomes much less useful as you get better at the game. Eventually, with enough skill, you can slip between cars while driving at high speeds and read the map well enough to know when to turn and handle those turns. So top level drivers won’t find a need for zone. is considered one of the better ones as it can be used both offensively and defensively but it’s offence is limited to you actually having to touch your opponent. They can still keep their distance from you. Also, even though you are smashing things aside, you can still get slowed down if you smash into too much in a row. Roar only effects those in front of you, also if you are about to smash into a vehicle roar may not work fast enough to get that vehicle out of the way in time, especially if you are travelling at high speeds. EMP doesn’t last long at all and doesn’t reduce the opponents speed. It just for a few seconds prevents them from increasing speed. So think about what serves you the best.
The pink slip races and wager races are the worst and make even the best and most confident racers sweat. In wagers you bet money while in pink slip… you bet your car. If you win, you get back what you betted and you get what the opponent betted too. You know how in games when you are about to lose, you just turn off the game or hit restart then you don’t lose anything… well that doesn’t work here. From the moment you accept the race the game takes away your money or car betted and saves the game. The only way you can your bet back is to win that race. So if you don’t cross that finish line first, your car or money is gone. No questions, no negotiation, no one cares. Even if you had a power cut in your area, you lose your car. Smart on the developers part but horrible for players.
What’s worse is that you race on the streets like normal anyway. This means anything can go wrong. A A.I car could suddenly turn into your path crashes into you, makes you spin out allowing your opponent to zoom cleanly ahead. Guess what?… it al counts. What matters if who crosses that line first. No restarts, no second tries. X35 Earthwalker once had a pink slip race where a random car didn’t to turn right and smashed into his vehicle, he then cleanly crashed into a wall. He just about won in the end though. Too close for comfort. Players are warned before agreeing to wager and pink slip races though so that’s fair. Doesn’t make it any less scary and intense.
The customisation in Midnight Club: Los Angeles is amazing. You can customise everything from the hood, to the front and back bumpers, to the lights, the doors, the sides of the vehicle, the license plate, the tires, brakes and rims, the car colour, the internal colour and gauge colour, neon lights both outside and inside glow, colour of the glow, the seats, the steering wheel you name it. Allowing you to practically make your own vehicle. It’s done very well. if only other racing games had this level of customisation. be warned the most expensive thing to customise is the rims and tyres. Cost more than engine upgrades. Ridiculous. You can have vinyl designs on your vehicle and symbols. It’s that good. See it for yourself.
Now Midnight Club: Los Angeles isn’t perfect at all. Let’s talk about some negatives. What’s really annoying is when you a target on your gps to know where to go but then a character pops up to talk to you. Their interaction screen replaces your gps, meaning you can’t see where you are going and have to wait until they finish or go back to the gps screen and then come back out again, wasting time. Next is the fact that the police at times are unpredictable. X35 Earthwalker once saw a police car coming and decided to slow real down. He reached the traffic lights and then when the lights turned green went of at a real slow speed around 15 miles per hour. The police got triggered and chased after him. Maybe X35 went too slow. Either way we still find it ridiculous.
Another problem is that some cars that are displayed as slower are somehow faster than cars displayed as faster. For example when you unlock the Camaro dub edition muscle car in a tournament it comes upgraded already. When you compare that to the lancer class B car when upgraded as well has lower stats. So the Lancer is shown as definitely faster but when you drive them both it’s obvious that the Camaro is actually faster which makes no sense. That is deceiving. If the stats show car A to be faster than car B then Car A should actually be faster, that’s common sense and a game as good as Midnight Club shouldn’t have this problem. This is linked to the next issue. There are two more stats to take note of with these cars. The torque and horse power. This must be the thing many players are missing. While the Lancer had higher speed stats shown by bar graph, it’s torque and horse power was lower than the Camaro’s according to the graph. We aren’t car people, so we don’t know about torque and horse power. The game should do something simple like explaining those two to us. Does having high horse power mean your car is faster? if so then why isn’t the speed bar higher to match it? too many questions. it’s confusing. Either make the stats accurate or explain everything concerning the cars. It’s simple developers, get it right! Oh it doesn’t help that you can’t see the torque and horse power graph until after you get or buy the car which means you may have spent good money for a vehicle that’s slower than what you already have which sucks.
Next complaint is that the A.I are too difficult in many cases. They also at times don’t make sense. For example the first time you race Karol, he’s speeding, over taking you and zooming around corners almost perfectly. When you beat him, get his vehicle and check it’s stats; you learn that he was using a very slow, weak stats vehicle. It’s a D class! How was he keeping up with my upgraded Shinka which can be considered a B class vehicle with the right upgrades. Midnight Club: Los Angeles should be realistic. If your opponent drives a slow car then they should be no match for you, don’t give them some supernatural boosts. That’s stupid. Also X35 Earthwalker had the fastest and best car you could get at that point of the game and entered a dub tournament. Two of the opponents had slower cars while the main opponent had an A class super fast car. When the race started all off the opponents were too fast. We can understand the A class guy being too fast but why all of them especially when X35 was using a B class vehicle and the other two had B and C class? Again it’s stupid and makes no sense.
Overall Midnight Club: Los Angeles is still one of our favourite racing games of all times. Lots of high speed races, some of which can get quite intense and some moments when you hate everything. Great graphics concerning the cars and locations, very different race tracks forcing players to rely on certain vehicles and skills. The abilities makes everything more exciting and cool. The many many races and characters show that’s lots of stuff is happening for you to be a part off. Many cars to choose from, even police vehicles and the customisation is the best we have seen for cars. So much positives concerning this game and it’s worth playing. You can see some Midnight Club action on the X35 Earthwalker Mixer livestream channel from time to time so make sure to follow to know when the streams happen. It’s confirmed that you can find some serious drives in Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
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