Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Update

We get in some extra hands-on time with Rockstar's upcoming PSP racer.

Burning Rubber

Rockstar Leeds' mini Midnight Club is looking sharp.

We recently brought you impressions of Rockstar Leeds' upcoming Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PSP, but this time we had the opportunity to have a proper sit-down with the game, and now we're back with more impressions. The PSP racer is a portable version of Rockstar San Diego's console title, which is the third entry in Rockstar's popular street-racing series. While we still haven't been able to try out the game's multiplayer offerings, we did get some time in with the single-player modes. Though the title has some rough edges to it, there still appears to be plenty that is going right.

The game manages to offer a virtual carbon copy of the single-player modes in Midnight Club 3's console incarnations, including career, arcade, and cruise. Career mode tasks you with earning your name as a racing badass while also working your way toward owning the best ride around. Arcade is a less-pressure-filled tear through the city streets that's more for fun. Cruise mode is a low-key way to both explore and get a feel for the levels.

On the one hand, the PSP game doesn't offer many surprises if you've played the game on the PS2, since the portable title has been so faithful in re-creating the experience offered by its console cousin. The menus and options let you tailor your time in the game to suit your preferences. If you're into logging time going through and customizing every facet of your car you can. But, if you're more into getting in and racing, you can also choose an auto-upgrade option that soups up your car with the best parts you can afford. The one change to the experience is the quick-race option, which now randomizes the race it drops you into. The randomization features help keep the experience fresh and accommodate the often quick and short play sessions players will have with their PSPs when they're out and about.

The visuals have been tightened up since the last time we saw the game, and they're looking better. We played around with the camera angles during our play session and put in some time with the first-person option, which worked nicely and offered a better sense of speed. The camera mode also let us get a closer look at the environments...well, at least as best we could when tearing along at breakneck speeds. We were continually impressed with how close Rockstar Leeds has come to re-creating the console game.

The game's customization options let you spend as much or as little time as you want tricking out your car.
The game's customization options let you spend as much or as little time as you want tricking out your car.

The audio is right in step with the visuals in terms of how close the quality is to its console cousin. All the tracks from the console games appear to be included and sound fine. The same holds true with the assorted audio effects that pull you into the experience. The only minor detail to note is that, for maximum effect, you'll want to keep a pair of headphones handy, because as good as the PSP speakers are, they don't have the muscle to really blare out the audio like a television or home receiver.

Based on our updated look at Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, we can now say that the portable racer is shaping up to be one of the stronger entries in the already well-populated racing genre on the PSP. We're still hoping the odd inconsistencies revolving around the visuals clear up. With the game's impending release, we're anxious to see what multiplayer options are being worked in to take advantage of what the PSP has to offer. Until then, have a look at our exclusive media of the game in action.

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