GC '07: Midnight Club: Los Angeles First Look

Forget that LA traffic; we've got the first look at Rockstar's new street racing game set in the City of Angels.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--If you've ever been stuck in Los Angeles traffic, you've no doubt daydreamed about what it would be like to rip through the streets of the City of Angels without a care for your fellow drivers or the letter of the law. And while there have been arcade racing games based in LA before, none have been quite as ambitious as Rockstar's upcoming Midnight Club: Los Angeles. We got an early peek at the game here on the first day of the 2007 Leipzig Games Convention to see how this street racing game is coming together.

This is the fourth game in Rockstar's Midnight Club series and, as in the past, the publisher's San Diego studio is in charge of development duties this time around. It's obvious the team is pushing the next-gen envelope when it comes to MC:LA. The game's sprawling version of Los Angeles will provide an ample backdrop for open-world exploration and on-the-spot races by a variety of challengers. And while the version of LA in the game isn't a street-by-street re-creation of the city, there's little doubt that it's authentic enough to please the locals with popular landmarks, such as the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard, that are recognizable from the get-go. Also, the LA of Midnight Club is huge--producers told us the total drivable area in the game will add up to more than the three areas in Midnight Club: Dub Edition combined.

If you're not familiar with LA's layout, a handy minimap will be found in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, giving you the lay of your immediate surroundings, and any important information you need to know (such as the location of challenge opponents, in-race foes, and race checkpoints. If you want a larger look at the city, you can bring up a larger map, either in illustrated form or in a 3D render that looks like something straight out of Google Maps. It's impressive technology, made all the more stunning by the game's incredible lighting effects that really add a dose of realism to the game's environments. Because the game will include day and night racing, that lighting will be put to good effect, especially at night, when the city's streets are bright with street lamps and neon signs. The cars look nicely detailed as well; producers pointed out that the Mitsubishi 3000 GT that started out in the demo was composed of around 100,000 polygons.

So we've established that MC:LA looks good. But how does it play? Well, we'd love to be able to tell you firsthand, but unfortunately we weren't able to get hands-on time with the game. Instead, we watched one of the producers play the game and, from what we could glean from the handful of races we watched, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun. The cars in the game--we saw the 3000 GT, a '69 Mustang, and a Lamborghini Gallardo in action--show off some serious speed and, at top speeds, that breakneck pace looks to make for some exciting times as you dodge traffic and try to smack down opponents. There's some fun camera trickery going on here, too--when making drifting turns, for example, the camera will move slightly to show the side of the car as it burns through the turn; when using the turbo boost, the camera will zoom down low and tight to the car to further exaggerate that sense of speed.

An intense sense of speed and hot cars is fun but, sooner or later, it will all end in tears, namely in the form of a fender-folding accident. While there's still more work to do with MC:LA's damage model, we understand that damage will be mostly but not completely cosmetic in nature. While you won't be able to kill your car completely through shoddy driving, your car's performance will suffer if you make too many mistakes. After a race is over, you can choose to either take your car for more extensive repairs or use a quick-fix option, which will install unpainted replacement parts so you can get right back in the race. Sure, it might not look the part, but at least it will run fast.

We saw two race types during the demo of the game: a one-on-one street race and an arcade race that featured five competing cars on the road at the same time. Producers are aiming to cut down on load times and unnecessary HUD items, and it seems to be paying off in the demo version we watched; after the races were over, the game instantly sent the player back to free roam mode, where you can then pick up your next race event. Winning races will earn you cash and reputation points with which you can cash in for new parts, unlock new races, or buy new cars. Unlike in previous Midnight Club games, which required victories to progress through the game, you'll be earning money and rep points no matter how you finish in the race--though the better you do, the more you'll earn.

Though it's certainly an arcade racing game at heart, Midnight Club has at least one touch that hardcore car fans will love: cockpit views for every car in the game. With that kind of detail, it seems Midnight Club: Los Angeles is on its way toward becoming a fast-paced, exciting racing game. We look forward to getting our hands on the game in the future and giving you more information as it becomes available.

Discussion

95 comments
kayatblm
kayatblm

wow that game will blow off any game racing game out der dis iz da ultimate of da ultimate i hope u can customise everything from bonnet to doorz to even interiour like seats , steering wheel , pedalz , etc i hope itz got amazing carz like mclaren f1 , buggati , konnisegg , ferrari , zonda , im definetly buyin cant wait

Unabomber256
Unabomber256

Man I hope you don't have to spend crazy time and money just repairing your car. The way I drive, I'm gonna end up living in the shop. Realistic damage is OK as long as it doesn't detract from the fun.

Areeb22
Areeb22

yeah im gonna get this straight away! best series ever!!!!!!!!! IT WILL PWN NFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!

baller72
baller72

I agree I wish I could find some more videos on it... I was going to get Burnout today but I think I will hold out for this one.

Da_EB_man
Da_EB_man

this game looks good but... gamespot needs more video coverage for this game

thedarkhalf
thedarkhalf

the trailer is awesome,never was disappointed with the midnight club series,hopefully they would do more cops chasin in high speeds,like in midnight club 2,enuff talking im just cant wait for this entry

guerillaKZ2
guerillaKZ2

wooo! finally a game based in the city which i live in

mrjasler
mrjasler

the trailer for this is terrible , a purely amateur effort.. i think you guys need your eyes and brain checked if you think this game looks good

breakdown84
breakdown84

This game looks like it's going give Forza and PGR a smackdown, look out here comes Midnight Club.

jwb-2007
jwb-2007

lets hope you can run over pedestrians like in midnight club 2

Jaresk
Jaresk

Looks cool and I can't wait to try it, but I wish they would make the song list like they did in Midnight club 2. Not only I didn't know any of them but more then 5/6 of them were good. Plus it fit the whole night racing with rap/hip hop and trance/techno. Too bad they decided to do day racing this time...

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

I'd like to see an Audi. A Honda would be cool. So would E Honda.

Cyry88
Cyry88

Holy Hell... This is a really ambitious game!!! They are really pushing the limit back at Rockstar San Diego... I'm really impatient for the Quick-Fix, Cockpit Camera and the sheer SIZE of the map, maybe new vehicle brands like the much regretted Mustang in MC3 DUB Remix... Let's leave them working, they'll surely make something exciting...

XRacer06
XRacer06

PLEASE LET THERE BE HONDA IN THIS ONE!!!!!

kpenguin612
kpenguin612

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

gauthamR
gauthamR

i love mc games because of its endless customization, wide selection of cars and the arcade mode. it is so fun!!!!!!!!!! i love cruising with my friend in multiplayer. i hope they have it on los angeles. i own a mc: dub edition remix and am planning on buying los angeles. can anyone tell me if mc los angeles has multiplayer(offline)split screen

RUFF1807
RUFF1807

caaaaaaaaaaaaaaannt waaaaaaaaaaait!!

Laxfalcon246
Laxfalcon246

looking forward to in cockpit views.. not so much the "quick repair" BS.. as realistic as it looks.. I loved midnight club because its an arcade racer not because I get to worry about how much its going to cost to fix that fender.. i really hope they drop that feature... or at least make sure its free... regardless, still definately looking forward to this game..

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

I have been playing the Midnight Club series since it debuted with the first Midnight Club( the one where you can hit the ragdoll pedestrians) and I loved it. The games kept getting better after that. I cannot wait to play this game. It looks incredible.

JPDUBZ
JPDUBZ

I am absolutely shocked. I have never expected a non-simulation racing game to look so stellar! The graphics immediately defeats that of Need For Speed: ProStreet. I have so many high hopes for this game. I know this game will destroy ProStreet in every area and have so much that ProStreet missed out on and forgot to embrace. I will buy this game, no doubt! Minight Club: Los Angeles, be prepared to become a high selling and addictive game that I will spend months playing.

ZIjadi
ZIjadi

This looks awesome!!!!!! I toatally want to buy it!!!!

JONVaillant
JONVaillant

The best franchise, this new one better have splitscreen

razee
razee

I think this game will be............................................SUPER TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!

dirty55409
dirty55409

I'm excited to see more hands on previews! It'll be interesting to see if people like the idea that if you crash your car you'll have to pay to fix it and also if you're broke put different colored parts on your car! haha people will know you suck if you're cars made up of all sorts of spare parts!

Turbo-Evil
Turbo-Evil

Finally, a racing game where you DON'T have to win every race your in. Right on R*!

philip-joe
philip-joe

The past Midnight Club games have had a create a race mode, which other games didn't have, though the Gamespot fails to mention that.

jasonmasico
jasonmasico

Midnight Club series always owned need for speed. Now on next-gen console, everyone will look at the potential of MC: LA

gta564
gta564

IT looks AWESOME!! I hope it has cruise for 2 or more players!!! I loved the cruise-not many 2 or more player racing games have the cruise option. PS LA ROCKS!

michirican123
michirican123

i loved dub edition and the in car camera makes me want to get this even more

GTAIVX360
GTAIVX360

Why can't i watch the trailer it says: were sorry you are not eligibal to view or download this video due to ESRB guidelines??????? what does that mean

fromatic
fromatic

Its not Muira its Miura, WWIAB

WWIAB
WWIAB

hmmm, I didn't see a gallardo in the trailer, but I saw a 302 mustang, a Mitsubishi 3000gt, a Saleen S7 and a Lamborghini Muira

ithmoney
ithmoney

Midnight Club II + PS2 + Capture The Flag + Machine Guns/Rockets + Powerups + Aerial Tricks + a friend who knows how to play + Hardest Difficulty A.I. Foe setting and who all have the 'Rocket Car' + Heavy Flag + Meduim Traffic+ the Brian 35 song = THE BEST AND MOST FUN RACING EXPERIENCE EVER PLAYED ON A CONSOLE TO DATE!! How I miss dodging bullets on two-wheels with the nitrous going. Or shooting a missile, upside down during a backflip off a jump no less, while haveing the flag and have the missile land right in the front of 4 cars chasing behind you. BOOM! Insane! Hopefully the mutlplayer options in this will be great as well as the Career mode. Looking really forward to this, been with the MC since the very beginning. I need to buy them all again after seeing this lol.

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

This game is going to rock, I really like the idea of just returning to free roaming after the race is over and also earning points no matter how bad you too... it's interesting and catchly. I just hope you can restart the race midway the game thou, because I dont want to finish last very time and turning back to the starting point. "cockpit views for every car in the game" most advance racers now a days are buildings this... everyone seems to be excited :)

dbowlin17
dbowlin17

will u be able to free roam like in LA rush?

Gursewak_rules
Gursewak_rules

i hope it will be like dub edition. i mean the music and style. Still, no matter what, im going to get this. I'v loved and had the skills that kills in all the other midnight clubs don't see why i won't beat all my friends. :D

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

Surely ripping through the city of LA would be fun! :D

numnutz01
numnutz01

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

km1498
km1498

I didn't like the first two Midnight Club games, I did like DUB edition but it didn't last me long(kinda wished I would of rented it). Maybe this will be different but all the same, I wait for a review and (hopefully) a demo.

mr_killer_man
mr_killer_man

Re-do La? The only thing I liked about La was the biggest jump in my racing game history! IF you went down this huge hill going fast you free fall all the way down unless someone hits you from behind or you run over someone vehicle.

Forelli_Boy
Forelli_Boy

That looks like the map of the environment at the end of the trailer. And it's looking a bit small-ish...almost Los Santos-size.