Midnight Club II - Xbox

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Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar San Diego Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (GB)
Released: 20 Jun 2003 (GB)
6 Jun 2003 (US)
Ratings: 15+, ESRB Teen 13+ (T)
Accessories: Wheel, Xbox Memory Unit


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Devoted to illegal street racing, Midnight Club II for PS2 was a big seller, thanks to a little controversy and some good gameplay. Following just six weeks behind is the Xbox version in all its Microsoft-powered glory.

Developed by Rockstar San Diego, Midnight Club II is a truly grown up sequel to the original. MRII looks infinitely better than the original. It runs at a higher frame rate, it's more detailed, and the texturing employed now looks solid and much more realistic. This is compounded in the Xbox release thanks to the help of the industry's most powerful console.

The concept however, remains faithful. You race, playing as one of 22 characters, to a pre-determined destination, taking any route you see fit. The concept of free-roaming, point-to-point racing is massively appealing, and comes well packaged in Midnight Club II.

There are just under 30 cars included and several bikes, with the cars made up of an impressive 5,500 polygons, twice as many as the original Midnight Club.

However, Midnight Club II really comes alive in two-player mode, with the development team shamelessly going for a Mario Kart-for-grown-ups package, and to great effect. As well as the standard races, you have capture the flag mode, offload the bomb, and circuit races in cordoned off sectors of the three cites, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo, which have been included.

It's going to be a while before you get to play Grand Theft Auto 4, so if you can't wait for a fresh bout of Rockstar's headline-grabbing gaming, get stuck into this.