Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Midnight Club: Los AngelesMidnight Club: Los Angeles is the fourth video game in the Midnight Club series of racing video games. It was officially announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on January 11, 2008 by Rockstar Games. The game was developed by Rockstar San Diego. The game features 43 cars and 4 motorcycles. The open world map of Los Angeles is confirmed to be the size of all three cities from the previous installment combined. It has also been confirmed by several sources that each car has a polygon count of roughly 100,000. After several delays, Midnight Club: Los Angeles was released on October 20, 2008 in North America and on October 24, 2008 in the PAL region.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles PlotA man from the East Coast moves to Los Angeles. The character, known only as "Player", later "Judas", takes a major role in the game. In the intro of the game, he is on the phone with the (unknown to the player at the time) Los Angeles City Champ, Booke, telling him to meet at a fast-food restaurant named Carney's Express Limited. He gives the protagonist the choice of three cars, one to pick, in the beginning of the game: a Nissan 240SX, 1983 Volkswagen Golf GTI, or Volkswagen Scirocco.
Once the player has built up enough of a reputation, they gain the ability to become Champ of the City and of each car type. The first one that is offered is becoming City Champ. At a point in the game, Karol calls telling the player about Booke being back as City Champ. Booke then tells the player to race regional opponents to see if they can race against him. After the player beats them, Booke calls saying he is impressed, and to meet him at the Standard Hotel for a race which ends up being the City Champ race vs. Booke and one of the final races on Career mode. When the player wins, the player not only becomes City Champ, but other championship races open. Once the player wins against the lesser opponents, the Champs of all five vehicle classes in the game challenge the player. The characters are Oswaldo, Julian, Lester, Pete, Marcel.
After the player become City Champ, Karol calls and has a proposition. He asks the player to get $1 million to help co-own his two garages with him for his business. In return, he lets the player have anything in the garages for free. This proposition also affects Doc's South Central garage although the game does not mention it.
After the character has completed 100% in Los Angeles in the PSP version, an unknown man somehow has reached his cell number, and calls saying that he wants to meet him at the Los Angeles International Airport on "his flight to Tokyo", which causes the character to say, "You talking about the Mid Night Club?" After the call, the Tokyo career and map can be accessed in Midnight Club: L.A. Remix.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles GameplayThe game is set in the city of Los Angeles, again providing the option to completely free-roam (in an open world environment larger than all the three cities combined from the previous game, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition). New additions are a 24 hour day-to-night cycle, weather effects and traffic with licensed vehicles, adding a realistic aspect to the game. The new dynamic weather system has been reported to alter the gameplay experience, making the vehicle more prone to sliding in the rain. After races, if any damage is inflicted upon the vehicle, the player doesn't necessarily have to drive back to the garage for a full repair, but instead can choose the "Quick Fix" option through which old, junkyard-esque parts will be added to the car. To get the nice look back, the player must actually drive back to repair their vehicle at a garage or at a gas station, so totaling the car is only possible within a single race or event. With the RAGE system being used for this game, traffic levels fluctuate throughout the day, with light traffic at night, heavy traffic in the morning and afternoon, and heaviest traffic in the evening. Motorcycles are again part of the game, including the Ducati 999R and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14. Convertible cars, customizable interiors, in-game photo mode, and customizable exotics are all new additions. Developers placed great emphasis on the elimination of load screens, stating that the player can literally jump from career mode to an online race in under ten seconds.
Los Angeles is said to be the longest of the four Midnight Club games, with more than ten different types of races including series races, tournaments, pink slip races, and freeway races. For most races, the player must race against an opponent to the start line to earn extra rep (a leveling system used to determine the player's skill in the game) before the actual race, although this can be skipped. The races also have four different difficulties: easiest, medium, hard, and hardest. The difficulties are color-coded with green being easy, yellow being medium, orange being hard, and red being hardest. Each successive difficulty race has greater rewards than the former.
Special abilities have also been brought into the game (a returning feature from the previous installment), which include EMP, which disables the electronics of every vehicle around the player; Agro, which makes the player's vehicle indestructible giving him the ability to plow through traffic without slowing the car down; Roar, which sends out a sound wave moving traffic out of the player's way for a clear and straight path through the streets; and Zone, which slows down time and allows the player to gain a temporary boost in handling. The previous installment had restricted special abilities to certain cars, but all cars in this game can now use any one of the special abilities as chosen by the player. The abilities can also be changed in a garage at any time.
Police return but are no longer scripted to a specific race; they take notice to simple infractions in the game (running red lights, speeding, burning out, hitting their cars or nearby cars, and driving offroad). If caught, the player has the choice to pull over (which will initiate a special cutscene when the police car approaches) or lead the police into a pursuit. The game goes into "pursuit mode" after a period of time or if the police lose sight of the player; this will also happen if the player pulls off during the "pull over" cutscene. Infractions that cause it to go directly to pursuit mode include speeding and excessively damaging a police car. They will chase the player no matter where the player is and the longer the player runs from them, the higher the fine will be if the player is arrested. The player will be arrested instantly if he totals (damages out) his vehicle.
Additionally, there are sixty collectables hidden throughout Los Angeles that the player can find. They appear as yellow oil barrels with Rockstar's logo printed on them. Every ten collectables that are found will unlock one of six game modifiers (mentioned in-game as "cheat codes"), while finding half and all of the collectables will unlock achievements. However, enabling any of these special modifiers (with the exception of a modifier that unlocks an overhead view camera) will prevent the player from earning money, rep, and further career progression.
SettingThe game is compacted and is not a street-accurate depiction of Los Angeles, though it features many of Los Angeles' landmarks, including:
Capitol Records Tower
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Los Angeles City Hall
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Santa Monica Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica City Hall
Chateau Marmont Hotel
La Brea Tar Pits
Pink's Hot Dogs restaurant
Fox Village Theater
U.S. Bank Tower
Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre (as "Wilmere")
Gas Company Tower
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Westin Bonaventure Hotel
Crossroads of the World
Los Angeles California Temple
Staples Center (titled "Sports Center" in the game)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Los Angeles River Basin
Los Angeles Convention Center
Fox Plaza (aka Die Hard building)
The Roxy nightclub
Viper Room nightclub
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills Civic Center
UCLA campus (as "ULAC")
University of Southern California campus
Baldwin Hills Oil Field
Los Angeles International Airport (from a distance)
Whisky a Go Go nightclub
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Los Angeles Public Library
Aerospace Museum of California
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (titled "South Central Coliseum" in the game)
Shangri-La Santa Monica
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