Midtown Madness 3 Review
So, letís say youíre a big fan of Paris and Washington DC. Now letís also say you would love to drive like a madman through these cities and when I say madman Iím talking about the type of driving that would wind you up behind bars about 2 minutes into your trip. But say that I can offer you complete freedom from any real legal prosecution and, more importantly, can make sure you get through it all without a scratch. Yea, now youíre listening! While I canít make that deal in the real world I can give you the next best thing and point you in the direction of Midtown Madness 3 for the XBox where you can live out many of your social breaking driving dreams.
Joyriding in Paris.
Like I just mentioned, Midtown Madness 3 (MM3) takes place in two different cities: Paris and Washington DC (who said WDC and France werenít getting along??). If youíre not familiar with the Midtown Madness series let me sum it up for you like this; the game lets you run completely amok crashing into all sorts of things and scaring mimes to death. Personally any game that lets me chase down a mime with a car is all right by me. (A quick note: much like Crazy Taxi no virtual pedestrians are ever actually hit. They all make amazing dives out of the way at the last second.)
MM3 has a few different modes for you to choose. Within the Single Race you can either go with the Blitz mode where you race against the clock, try the Checkpoint mode which is just as it sounds, or just Cruise where you can go at your own pace to learn the city or just go site-seeing. There is also the ďWork UndercoverĒ option where you play as either an undercover cop in Paris or as a detective in DC. In this mode you end up doing things like delivering pizzas, driving an ambulance or even becoming a stunt driver. Basically these are just excuses for you to drive as fast and carelessly as possible while trying to accomplish some relatively simple task. Oh, and you get to crash into just about anything you can find.
Midtown Madness 3 is fast driving and high flying.
One of the more entertaining parts of MM3 is that it does not take itself seriously. Itís not trying to become the next Gran Turismo; no itís more along the lines of a Cyndi Lauper that just wants to have fun. However, unlike Ms. Lauper this is not a freaky looking thing, but instead a very beautiful game. I can not really vouch for how authentic Paris has been represented, but I can do so for DC and itís very detailed and very nice looking. There is just something cool about being able to drive up to the U.S. Capital and drive right up the steps. Each city has tons of little secrets hidden about and a large part of the fun is finding them. The controls are about what you would expect, not very realistic but good control given what the game is all about.
Naturally one of the better parts of MM3 is that itís Xbox Live enabled. Of course this automatically sends the replay value sky high as playing against up to 7 other drivers is always dynamic. The one compliant that I have about the Xbox Live part really has nothing to do with the game as it handles the online play flawlessly, but rather the players who show up. I suppose itís just the price you have to pay to be online, but do I really have to hear people that are just plain mean-spirited and vulgar every time I go online? Probably.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 84%. Midtown Madness 3 is a rolling good time where those pesky traffic laws take a back seat to fun.