Previews// Midnight Club: Los Angeles - Multiplayer

Posted 1 Oct 2008 18:02 by
If Rockstar made jewellery, which I?m sure one day it will, then its best-selling piece would be an extravagant, platinum, diamond-encrusted cock-ring. It would then be a shock to find out its second biggest seller is a small, pretty multi-stone necklace ? the sort you?d buy for your sister?s birthday. Harmless, simple, uncontroversial: the sort of jewellery you could unwrap in front of the whole family, not just in a private moment under the table of a Michelin-starred restaurant. I?m going to step away from the analogy now before I lose it.

Rockstar is apparently already dipping its toes into disparate worlds such as premium lagers with its exceptional Piβwasser, though sadly it was seen clogging up a cupboard at their London HQ rather than lubricating my f(l)avour receptors. Coming from a company that loves its publicity (I?m genuinely expecting some money for the cock-ring idea) Midnight Club: LA?s most disturbing attribute, at least for journalists, is the lack of drama following it. Hence me digging about in cupboards whilst other journalists pressed their faces up against the glass in doors and bemoaned the fact that the Rockstar peeps have pushed all their desks to the other end of the room, erected scaffolding and stuck up a 'No Homers' sign.

There's a fine chap ? who I won't name for fear of his various gamer accounts getting pummelled - looking after us today. He grins widely and corrects me about his Lancastrian heritage as we wait for other journalists (later than me!) to arrive. As we head in to the oversized lounge area, he informs us that it's going to be "Car-nage!" and then suggests I quote him on that. We all look at our feet. I still quote him on that.

The first noticeably different things in the new Midnight Club are the options for camera view. There are five, count 'em, five of them including my new favourite, Cockpit. This gives a first-person perspective and makes it look, as I start cruising randomly around the city, as if the world has gone into hyperdrive. There are three other third-person perspectives and a bumper position, just in case the cockpit view wasn't extreme enough to make you wet yourself.

'Cruising' seems a bit unfair as a title, doing nothing but belie the bordering-on-insane speeds and acute turns that can be achieved on the Ninja 2X14 motorbike I started getting to grips with the game on.

I, however, decide to take 'Cruising' at its word. I stop in the middle of the road to change radio stations, selecting a suitably intense rock track by a band who've not been shy with recent DLC tracks. I'm engrossed in taking notes on the radio tracks when I'm stopped in my tracks by a concerned looking PR.

Rockstar prides itself on its careful selection of über cool tunes, creating soundtracks that will appeal to, and educate,
its audience; adding to their overall gaming experience and perhaps, inspiring them to venture into new musical territory. Did I just say all that, for real? It's amazing what a trip to 'that London' can do for the critical faculties.
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