Ever since the movie The Fast and the Furious was released a few years ago, we have seen a breakout of street racing titles coming out on the market. One of the first great ones was Rockstar’s Midnight Club, which combined great arcade racing with the whole "street racing" feel. Then Rockstar came out with Midnight Club 2 which to be honest just didn’t do the series a whole lot of justice. Now it seems to me that Rockstar has gone back to the drawing board and has put in a lot of time in the third installment of the series Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition for the Xbox. Is this the best street racing game of all time? Read our full review to find out!
For those of you who have not tried out the Midnight Club series, here is what you can expect from all three of the games from the series. First are foremost this game is not a simulation style racing game, but in fact it is purely arcade style, so you can expect a lot of speed and some more forgiving handling. Also something that has also been apparent in these games has been rather pathetic attempts at trying to recreate what its like on the street with these races, as the voice acting has never been one of the games stronger points.
In Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition you get a game that takes everything from the past two games and really takes this game even further then it has ever been. First off let’s start with the single player, which I think is probably the one thing in the most need of revamping for this game. When you start the career mode, you are given $20,000 to purchase a car and to start racing. It is from there you are told to enter into races to make more money to purchase more cars and so on and so on. I must say that the game looks very similar to Need For Speed Underground 2, with the same sort of tracks and ideas. You will have a bunch of different race types to race throughout the career mode and they will all be spread throughout the different cities in which you race.
One of the great things about Midnight Club 3 is the vast number of vehicles to choose from, which also has quite a bit of diversity. The game includes some old time favorites, as well as some new hot rods along side SUV’s, and motorcycles. Similar to Need For Speed Underground 2, you can easily take these vehicles to various shops and get them tricked out with the latest paint jobs, rims, and vehicle upgrades. The game really makes it easy to upgrade your car, but I must say that when you compare it to NFSU2 it just isn’t deep enough.
The one great thing about the career mode is how deep it is, which means if you really are into this game, you are going to have plenty of hours playing this game. What makes this game interesting throughout is because the game automatically gets harder and harder throughout, which is different from the last version, which had really bad computer AI.
Once you get done with the quite lengthy career mode, you can move online, where Rockstar has actually done quite a bit of work to make a very nice online mode that works for both system link as well as Xbox Live. On Live you get a lot of the same modes from before along side some new ones like Capture the Flag and Paint the Tracks, both of which were a great deal of fun to play. What I really liked about the online play was how well it played and how I didn’t get a whole bunch of lag, which could really ruin a racing game.
Midnight Club 3 really is a solid game but it has also been done elsewhere before. Most of the things that I like about Midnight Club 3, I just got done playing in Need For Speed Underground 2. With that being said, the game still has a great sense of speed and a wonderful arcade feel that fans of the series are going to eat right up.
One of the biggest problems I had with the last Midnight Club game was that it really didn’t have all that great of visuals. You can see in Midnight Club 3 that the developers really did a great job of making this game look a lot better then the previous games. But is it good enough to compete against other street racing games out there?
The game this year around did a lot better with the environments, especially the first one that is San Diego. Living near the city I must say that the representation on screen is actually quite good and was definitely a treat. The vehicles this time around have better visuals, but I must say the game just really doesn’t do the best job of capturing the "street racing" style as well as it could.
Overall the visuals of Midnight Club 3 have been improved immensely over the previous version, but I still think the game could look a whole lot better. The car models are a little scratchy and rough around the edges. But the environments are beautiful and do a great job of giving you a great sense of speed.
The one thing I think I have agreed upon through all three of these games is that they all have been extremely fun to play. Midnight Club has both an extremely fun career mode as well as online mode, which really kept me busy for quite sometime. One of the biggest reasons this game was so much fun was because of how fast the game moved and how well it handled at those high speeds. The game just does a great job of making a game that is easy to pickup but takes much time to master.
Although Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is a great game it just isn’t the best one out there. The game doesn’t have as much customization and to be honest it seems to "borrow" a little too much from the Need For Speed Underground series. With that being said, if you are a fan of the first two games then you are probably still really going to enjoy this one, it is not only fast but it is a whole lot of fun.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.