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Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition review: Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Xbox review

Bring out your bling and prepare to pimp out your ride: Midnight Club is back with its DUB Edition.

Randolph Ramsay
Randolph was previously a member of the CNET Australia team and now works for Gamespot.
Randolph Ramsay
4 min read

The latest in the Midnight Club series of arcade racers, DUB Edition, takes the best bits of the previous games and adds enough tweaks to make it the most outstanding in the series so far. If you're looking for a twitch racer that will test your reflexes, then DUB Edition's the challenge you've been looking for.


Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition

The Good

Outstanding sense of speed. Great graphics and effects. Huge, open environments to explore.

The Bad

You’ll need to memorise the maps for success. Can get repetitive.

The Bottom Line

Outstanding graphics, a real sense of speed and tight controls all add up to Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition being a flat-out adrenalin rush of a game.

Gameplay in DUB Edition is similar to Midnight Club 2, where you're given a large city to roam and find racers and tournaments to compete in. You begin in San Diego, but your lead foot will eventually open up two other cities to burn in -- Atlanta and Detroit. All three cities offer you practically hundreds of kilometers of streets to cruise, and they are, if anything, wider and more accommodating for the most part than the previous game. That's not to say its all eight lane highways, however - all three cities present a great mix of city terrain, from freeways and alleyways to large open parks and construction sites. And of course, there are a myriad of shortcuts that go around, through, under and over buildings that can only be found through thorough exploration.

There are several types of races to compete in DUB Edition. You can challenge individuals to street races, enter car club tournaments that require you to be in a particular class of vehicle (such as muscle cars, luxury or motorcycles), enter city tournaments and more. Most of the races you'll find yourself in will be point to point, where you have to pass a series of checkpoints on the way to the finish line (the path you take to each checkpoint is up to you). But Dub Edition also features some timed races, where the streets are blocked off and all you need to do is beat the clock.

The cash you earn from racing can be spent at the garage, where you can buy new vehicles (there are more than 60 available), upgrade your existing cars or pimp out your ride with new paint jobs or decals. DUB Edition isn't Forza, however, so your car upgrade and customisation options aren't that exhaustive. When it comes to performance tweaks, the game has a simple three-step improvement process for most upgrades; customisation options are a little better, and with enough tweaking you'll no doubt be able to come up with a unique look for your ride.

Not that we're lamenting this lack of options - DUB's quick and easy customisation options fit in well with the game's arcade sensibilities. After all, the game is at its heart a rather simple affair - drive very, very fast between A and B, while trying to avoid as many prangs as possible. Rinse, lather, repeat.

What makes it compelling is the state of controlled chaos you're forced to navigate through each and every race. The streets of each city are packed with traffic, pedestrians and obstacles you have to avoid whilst you're at top speed, and with the random placement of cars on the road (apart from some obvious 'triggered' sections) each race feels different from the last. If going at close to 200km/h while narrowly dodging in and out of freeway traffic doesn't give you an adrenalin buzz, then nothing short of grabbing the exposed ends of some electrical wire will.

What adds to the rush is that DUB Edition is by far the best looking game in the Midnight Club series thus far. The cars are extremely well detailed, while the streets themselves look almost photo-realistic (if a little on the shiny side). DUB Edition also introduces a nice graphical touch where a blurring motion is added on cars just as you pass them, which once again adds to the game's sense of speed. Pedestrian models leave a little to be desired though, as most of them look rather blocky and 2D. But since you'll be flying past them at ridiculous speeds you probably won't even notice.

Thankfully, the tight and responsive controls of Midnight Club 2 have been retained. The various vehicles respond quickly and smoothly to commands, meaning at most times its poor player reflexes rather than poor control than leads to crashes. The nitrous boost system of the previous game also makes a comeback, but DUB Edition also adds three new 'powers' for the cars - roar, agro and zone. Roar sends out a shockwave that knocks other vehicles off their course; agro gives your car the ability to plow through any traffic; and zone slows down time allowing you to slip in and out of traffic easier. Like nitrous, each of these new abilities can become vital parts of your racing strategy and need to be used wisely.

Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is an easy game to pick up and play, but to master it you'll need dedication and perseverance. Unless you're willing to spend hours memorising the large network of streets and alleys in each city, you'll find that you'll be constantly replaying races as you try to find the best paths through. This trial and error process may get frustrating for some, so be prepared to spend some time in game's open cruise mode just driving around the streets and plotting your path.

Realistic graphics, a real sense of speed and tight controls all add up to Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition being a flat-out adrenalin rush of a game.

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