This version of Midtown Madness has been developed by the famous Digital Illusions, makers of great titles such as Pinball Fantasies for the old Amiga and the more resent Rallisport Challenge. The previous installments of Midtown were developed by the talented guys over at Angel Studios, who were quickly snatched up by Rockstar games after the acclaimed Midnight Club. This version of the Midtown Madness series features a nice pile of brand new options, and Xbox Live baby! The two most noticeable features are that the graphics look incredible and a pile of new single player games to choose from. The career mode, this is where you should be able to unlock most, if not all of the cars in the game. MM3 lets you pick from over 30 cool vehicles such as a garbage truck, a taxi cab, a bus, a Austin mini and few others!
What?s truly remarkable is that Digital Illusions has done a wonderful job retaining the essence of the previous Midtown Madness titles. Although they are not the original developers of the previous two Midtowns' (PC only), they?ve still successfully managed to keep that unique and high-end ?over-the-top? unrealistic gameplay we?ve all come to love.
My overall impression of the game is that, even if you don?t have Xbox Live (where the game truly shines), you?ll still have a great time exploring the two huge cities and watch people jump out of the way while you cruise at high speeds on the sidewalks.
The single player modes range from a variety of over 50 missions and 14 careers, from being a pizza delivery man, a limo driver and even a cop. This really forces you to love the crappy cars as you must shuffle through all of these in order to get those cool unlockables.
But where you're going to get the best bang for your buck (as stated above) is with the all mighty Xbox Live gaming modes. The classic ?Cops and Robbers? is back. For those of you who are new to the series and don?t know what it is, imagine capture the flag but with cars. Rabbit is a new mode, where you have to steal the rabbit (don?t ask) from the other guy, but when you're all playing with a super slow vehicle like the cement truck, it's pure slow fun!
The Xbox Live in-game voice ?trash-talking? feature in Midtown 3 is really cool in that it uses a type of positional audio. Meaning, that if you are clear across town, you won?t hear the others in the game yapping away until are about a few blocks away. Now that?s cool!
Also, just sit tight, because where the old series of the game really came alive is with all the add-ons! Back in the day, users created their own cars, and even whole cities! It's safe to say that in the very near future Microsoft/Digital Illusions will have downloadable new cars, and possibly some new courses for the checkpoint races, and maybe even a new city for Xbox Live subscribers.
The reason that I?m giving MM3 high marks on the replay value is that the city is full of hidden short-cuts and insane killer jumps that you?d never take in real life. This is why we play games kids!
The game does support in game soundtracks, and let me tell you this?there is nothing more beautiful than listening to Joe Satriani?s ?Surfing With The Alien? while blazing through the streets of Paris with your Mustang, now that just rocks!