While the multiplayer was the highlight of yesterday's Rockstar event supporting the publisher's upcoming Midnight Club: Los Angeles, I can't tell you anything about it thanks to the wonders of embargoes. That said, I did get a chance to check out one aspect of the game we hadn't yet seen: motorcycles. Bottom line: Two wheels in Midnight Club is just as fun as four, even if it's a slightly different experience.
Now, don't go thinking that Midnight Club is some motorcycle sim ala MotoGP 08. Far from it. But, it's worth pointing out that the bikes in MC:LA do handle differently from their four-wheeled counterparts. They don't turn as quickly but they are blazingly fast. And it doesn't hurt that they're cheap--while a topline car in the game will run north of $500,000, you can get a pretty hot little bike for something close to twenty grand--one that will serve you well as you build your racing rep.
Other things to keep in mind for motorcycles in MC:LA: unlike cars, you can't draft other vehicles on a bike. As a result, you can't use the turbo boost that your car-driving opponents will be earning by staying in the slipstream of a car ahead of them. That said, riding a bike does offer you some benefits you find elsewhere. There's the aforementioned speed, of course, and the fact that bikes are narrow, making it easier to slip in between the traffic that permeates the streets of this virtual City of Angels. You'll also be able to use "body control" in turns by pressing the B button. Here, you'll be able to subtlety shift your rider's position on the bike left or right to give you a sharper turn in the corners. It's a cool little feat that makes bikes that much more fun.
The one thing we didn't get to explore with the bikes are the customization options. If they're anything like the options available for the cars--you should have seen the sick-looking Audi R8 we created with oversize rear wheels, yellow rims, and red brake pads--you'll be having a great deal of fun simply getting your crotch rocket looking as cool as you can.
Stay tuned for more on Midnight Club: Los Angeles soon, including a hands-on look at the game's multiplayer options on October 7. In the meantime, check out the re-cap and pictures from yesterday's event over at the GameSpot Sports blog.