Midtown Madness 3


posted 7/7/2003 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Midtown Madness 3 is the latest in a string on non-linear racers, instead of forcing you to follow a track you have the freedom to choose the best path possible to get from point A to point B (and in some cases, navigate to points C, D, E, and F). Midtown Madness 3 features 30 fully licensed cars that you can drive around (and under) two major cities, Paris and Washington DC (trivia fact: DC and Paris are the only cities in the world with underground railroad systems called “Metros”).

The graphics Midtown Madness 3 are well done and tight. The design team did an excellent job of creating a nice vivid world. The game is done with very bright colors (especially in contrast to Midnight Club II) and there’s a real bright feel to all of the menus and interface screens. The in-game graphics are also well done and the cities are very nicely rendered while the car graphics are good but not groundbreaking. The artists did a nice job of representing the major monuments of each city and it’s cool to race around the Eiffel tour and the Washington monument. Even with all of the graphical goodness I never experienced any kind of slow-down, everything was nice and silky smooth and provided a nice feeling of speed.

The audio for the game is also solid, the engines sound nice and there is a nice crunch every time you smack into something. The only annoying thing is that some of the voice audio is a bit grating. Maybe it is the French accents in the French missions but there were times when I was close to muting the TV to prevent myself from tearing out what is left of my hair. The in game music is adequate but it’s not something you’re going to burn off and listen to in your car (although it is certainly better than the music for Midnight Club II). Since you can use your own MP3’s you aren’t limited to what Microsoft and DICE created and it’s a nice touch to be able to create your own soundtrack.

The controls for Midtown Madness 3 are straightforward and tight once you get used to them. The game features the usual controls, accelerate, decelerated, hand brake, headlights, horn/sirens and up shift/down shift buttons if you’re man enough to drive a manual transmission car. The game has a few different layouts so you can pick the one that’s right for you. Your force feedback will also get a workout as the game tosses a ton of it at you. You feel every bump in the road, every lamp post you hit, and you get a nice massage when traveling over cobblestone streets. By the end of my first session I could actually hear my S controller begging for mercy.
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