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XBox Reviews: Midnight Club II


Midnight Club II Screenshots


The Final Say!

Midnight Club II - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 20 July 2003
Review Score: 8.5/10 
Distributed By: Take Two

Midnight Club 2 is the latest racing sensation to hit the powerful XBox gaming console that allows you to partake in the shady underworld of illegal street racing. Developed by Rockstar, the acclaimed creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, Midnight Club 2 promises a more enjoyable racing experience then its PS2 cousin with improved graphics and gameplay.

Midnight Club 2 features a variety of different gameplay modes that include single player, multiplayer and career mode. The career mode is probably the most interesting aspect of this game and you must "win" illegal street races in order to collect more powerful cars. As you progress through the game, a variety of different cars are soon available to the gamer and even motorbikes that were previously unavailable in the original game are now fair game to players.


The main premise behind Midnight Club 2 is to race around the streets of Paris, Los Angels and Tokyo from dusk to dawn to help minimise civilian causalities and prevent you from getting caught by the police. Movies such as the Fast and Furious, Gone in 60 Seconds and 2 Fast 2 Furious have glorified street racing and Midnight Club 2 borrows from this premise to make this quite an original racing game for the console world.

To help keep the game entertaining, the developers have implemented various adrenaline pumping courses that boast huge jumps, deadly corners, and a variety of obstacles such as pedestrians, vehicles and inanimate objects such as benches, lights, trash cars and parking meters. One wrong turn or crash into the wrong object can have serious effects on whether or not you will win the race.

The gameplay of Midnight Club 2 feels a little rough at times, mainly due to the size of the XBox controller but after a few races, you will soon be able to master the control system. The handling of the cars are also very tight and you can race around corners at highly unrealistic speeds but this is what makes the game extremely enjoyable. When you engage nitro, it is probably the best racing experience since Burnout 2 for a feeling of highly unrealistic speeds that does increase your heart beat to match the tempo of the game..

One of the biggest changes of this game since the first game in the series is the improved A.I. that now gives good gamers a run for their money. Each computer controller character has its own unique personality and style of driving that allows for more realism while playing the game. To win the races, you must ram, dodge and discover alternative routes in the city so you can get to the finish line first.



It should also be noted that the single player mode of Midnight Club 2 is extremely difficult but fortunately the multiplayer aspect of the game is brilliant.

Graphically, Midnight Club 2 looks amazing on the XBox and features a variety of special effects such as reflective surfaces on the car, amazing lighting effects and a very detailed gaming environment with detailed cities and road surfaces. Easily the most impressive feature of the game is the nitro and particle effects of the game that really looks like you are travelling at awesome speeds. The cars themselves, although sporting quite a few different style of textures and details contain a fairly low polygon count. This does not make the cars look bad but the low polygon count ensures that the frame rate of Midnight Club 2 is always funning at the best speeds possible.

The soundtrack of Midnight Club 2 uses some really entertaining "rap" music that is sure to either annoy or entertain gamers, depending on what kind of music you prefer. The sound effects in the game contain all the real world sounds of illegal street racing such as engine sounds, crashes and the taunts of your competitors. Midnight Club 2 on the XBox also supports Dolby Digital sound for some spectacular sounding racing fun, provided you have the correct speaker setup. A would highly recommend all games to purchase surround sound speakers for their consoles because if you do not have them installed, you will miss the subtle effects such as driving through tunnels or hearing cars in the distance.

In conclusion, Midnight Club 2 is a very impressive game on the XBox and is actually much better than the PlayStation 2 version with superior graphics, a more in-depth multiplayer mode and better sound effects. With some great gameplay and a brilliant game engine, Midnight Club 2 is the perfect multiplayer game but be wary the single player mode is extremely difficult.


- Andrew B

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com