I remember playing the original Midnight Club for the PlayStation 2 for hours at a time. As a launch title, and back in 2000, it was an extremely impressive game. It had a decent representation of New York City and I loved driving around it, spotting all of the various architecture. Now the series has evolved, as Midnight Club 3 moved the franchise into a setting featuring real cars with a plethora of customization options. Essentially, M-Club's competition suddenly became Need for Speed. Well, with NFS moving onto other things, Midnight Club: LA will continue to offer the open-world freedom the series originally pioneered for racing.
Because we're dealing with all new platforms here, you can expect the size of Los Angeles to be enormous. It will be the primary location of the game, where as in the past each MC title had two or more. But fear not, Rockstar claims that the size of the in-game Los Angeles will be larger than all three areas of MC3: Dub Edition combined. And that leaves me thinking that it's perhaps a bit…too large?
That aside, expect to see a damage model in MC:LA, one which will also affect the performance of the car. You will not be able to level a car to the point of immobilizing it, but the more damage you take, the slower your car will be. With every race completed, you can opt to perform a proper repair of the car, or do a quick-fix. The quick-fix doesn't properly repair the car, as replaced panels will not be painted, so you're going to have one fugly looking car. Regardless, performing the quick-fix does cure the car's performance.
As far as vehicles go, so far the known list of cars includes:
*Ford Mustang Boss 302
*Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
*Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
*Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14
There will be a variety of race types to choose from, and you can expect an assortment of online options, as well. We're not certain how many players will be able to partake online, but our guess would have to be six, seeing as how that is the maximum amount of racers on screen when you're playing offline.
Even though Gran Turismo 5's ludicrous 250,000 polygons per car will not be toppled anytime soon, MC:LA still boasts a respectable number, with 100,000 polygons per car. Each car will also feature modeled interiors, and yes, an in-dash view to compliment the inner details. Based on what we've seen, MC:LA is certainly looking beautiful, especially considering how vast its world is. The lighting is gorgeous, more so than some of the next-gen racers out there and the textures seem to be highly detailed. We've also heard good word that the framerate is rock solid, but no word on whether or not its 30 frames or 60 frames.
Midnight Club: LA is pinned for an early 2008 release, and that means the game is nearing completion. The game is bound to deliver in spades, and it should be on every fan's list.