Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Update

Our final look at Rockstar's upcoming PSP game focuses on the Wi-Fi multiplayer.

Burning Rubber

You might not be able to afford an Escalade in real life, but you'll be able to have your own virtual one in MC3.

The last time we looked at the upcoming version of Rockstar's Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PSP, we focused on the single-player component of the game. A recent trip to Rockstar's local offices has finally shed some light on the game's Wi-Fi multiplayer modes. We had the chance to get in several races on a work-in-progress version of the game to get a feel for how the game's wireless play is shaping up.

Much like the single-player mode, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition's multiplayer modes re-create their console cousins' options on the PSP. However, some concessions have been made to keep it fun and playable, so don't plan on seeing multiplayer spilt-screen support or online play on the PSP. Instead, you can look forward to ad hoc multiplayer for up to six people. Setting up an ad hoc game is in line with other PSP titles we've played. One player will host the game, and up to five others will be able to join. The host will be able to set the race options, such as race type, location, and conditions (like number of laps or whether power-ups will be available).

Once everyone has finished the race, the host can choose to replay the race or dump everyone out to the lobby while he or she concocts a new challenge for the group. The only catch to the experience is that the version of the game we were playing was on a Universal Media Disc and sported some meaty loading times. Rockstar reps on hand were quick to point out that loading is being optimized for the game's final release and is expected to improve.

As far as modes go, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition will feature the same 10 race types its console relatives do: cruise, ordered, circuit, unordered, autocross, track, capture the flag (which features several variations), tag, paint, and frenzy. We managed to try out several of the race types, including CTF, paint, and ordered, and are pleased to report that the games all retain the appeal of their console counterparts. The only rough spots to the experience were some moments of slowdown that occurred and the aforementioned loads in between races. The game's performance over Wi-Fi was good and responsive in the races we played, with nary a hint of lag.

Bikes require a bit more work to master, but the effort certainly pays off.
Bikes require a bit more work to master, but the effort certainly pays off.

While we were pleased by the multiplayer offerings, we were also pleased to hear that Rockstar is including support for downloadable content, which will be revealed later. Although it would have been nice to play online through infrastructure mode, we're pleased by what the game has to offer.

Based on our time with the game, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition's multiplayer is solid and is definitely fun to play. The only blemishes are the load times, which we hope will be reduced, and the occasionally chunky slowdown that happens during some of the more hectic moments. Though the game is fun, both issues could hurt it in the long run. Still, if you're looking for a deep racer for the PSP, you'll want to keep an eye out for Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition when it ships later this month.

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