Rockstar stopped by recently with updated copies of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, the third entry in its street racing series. Besides letting us try our hands at both work-in-progress versions of the game, we were also able to get a look at some of the new moves added to your impressive array of car tricks, as well try out a bit of the single-player game to see how it's changed. Though there's still some work to be done, we're certainly digging the tweaks and additions that Rockstar San Diego has been making to the classic Midnight Club formula.
The single-player game will start you out, as usual, with a serviceable pair of wheels. You'll be given a decent amount of cash and allowed to select from a passable selection of vehicles that are within your budgetary range, which is technically in the area of "po." Thankfully, the game takes some pity on you and eases you into the experience with races that are challenging but not impossible to win, which will earn you the bling you seek. Once that's sorted, you'll interact with the colorful cast and begin your career as a newbie speed demon who's eager to make a name and some money for himself. The game offers just the right amount of handholding for old- and new-timers who need to learn or reacquaint themselves with the control system. Newcomers will be able to watch tutorial sequences that lay out the ins and outs of the mechanics for you, while old-timers can choose to skip the jibber jabber and head out.
When you start, you'll find basically the same move set you had at the end of Midnight Club 2, which should make DUB Edition feel like slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans. You'll once again be able to powerslide, which will let you take hard turns by oversteering and using your emergency brake to drift around corners. When you're in the air during one of the many insane jumps you'll encounter in your races, you'll be able to tilt your vehicle left, right, up, and/or down, which lets you hit the ground running at the best possible angle. Nitrous boosts return, allowing you to tear off at screen-warping speeds, assuming you've invested the money in some nitrous tanks (as you should). Slipstream turbo, an on the fly speed boost you can earn by positioning yourself in your opponent's wake during the race, is also back and is as useful as ever. Adventurous racers with a knack for being showy can once again make use of two-wheel driving, which lets you drive your car as it balances on two wheels. The last returning mechanic, weight transfer, is centered around the motorcycles and offers you precision control over your wheels by letting you lean into turns, perform wheelies, and duck to avoid wind resistance. These are all key elements to performing stoppies.
Whether you're a vet of the series or are new to it, these core moves will serve you well at the outset of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, which will give you a few ways to make your way through its three cities of San Diego, Atlantic City, and Detroit. You'll have the option to go through and participate in several different race types to clear enough goals to move on to the next city. A newly improved city map lets you pinpoint where to go and even prompts you with onscreen information to let you know you're near your goal. Each city will have a challenging set of races--such as city, club, and tournament variations--that you'll be able to compete in to win money and get some props from your fellow racers. Once you have enough, you'll be able to head out and take on some new competition.
Midnight Club veterans should feel at home with the basic set of moves available in DUB Edition.
How you choose to go up against the racing elite is up to you. If there are some competitions you want to avoid, you'll be able to skip them and still move on if you manage to clock in enough time with the others. If you find all the choices intimidating, you'll be able to go through and methodically clear enough goals to progress. This time out, the requirements for moving on have been changed, which frees you from having to buckle down and grind through goals so you can move on. However, if you're more focused on having the coolest-looking and best-running ride around, you'll likely want to earn some cash by getting through as much as you can in each city while lavishing money and parts on your four-wheeled baby.
Do guerillas roll dice to see if they're getting drunk before they storm government complexes in search of arms shipments and hostages? Maybe not, but this upcoming game from publisher Atari and developer Deep Shadows will drop you in the middle of a politically volatile South American country, where you'll embark on a lengthy adventure using both your reflexes and your wits. Boiling Point will be a hybrid game that plays like a first-person shooter but includes many adventure and role-playing game elements in a huge world that's more than 600 square kilometers in size. You'll play as Saul Meyers, a grizzled military veteran whose daughter, an investigative reporter, has been kidnapped by a crime cartel in the fictitious country of Realia. We've seen the game up close and personal and have the details for you here.
You'll take on crime cartels and local insurgents in search of your missing daughter in Boiling Point.
You'll begin in the fictitious city of Puerto Sombra, where you'll travel the streets on foot from a first-person perspective and meet with representatives from the six primary factions, from whom you'll receive missions and with whom you'll eventually become friendlier or more hostile. These factions include the local mafia, the guerillas, the bandits, the Indians, the government, and the American CIA...plus the neutral faction of civilians, who won't give you any missions but may pull out weapons and fight back if you attack them indiscriminately. Yes, we said neutral civilians you can attack in a huge world. And like another famous game that let you do this sort of thing, Boiling Point will also have a great many drivable vehicles (26 in all), including everything from run-down automobiles to helicopters to boats to tanks. As we were shown, the handling on these vehicles will be pretty lenient, though your vehicles will take damage if you slam into a tree, and you can get into trouble with the authorities if you slam into a pedestrian instead (unless the authorities really don't like a particular pedestrian).
Depending on your actions, you can increase your standing with specific factions based on how you handle yourself in town and on missions. You'll interact with characters using dialogue trees similar to the ones you may have seen in role-playing games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and here they're also complete with full voice-over. Your interactions with specific characters will depend on your standing with them (and in some cases, how much you bribe them with money and booze). The game will have a central, story-based mission (your character's mission is to rescue his kidnapped daughter), but, according to Atari, the game will also have hundreds of side missions that will require you to assassinate key targets, retrieve incriminating documents, and generally further the agenda of one or more major factions. You may find yourself taking a sojourn into the jungle to retrieve a briefcase containing important documents that will get you in slightly better with the cops and make the mafia slightly less fond of you. However, if you decide to run amok with your assault rifle on the enemy compound, the mafia will think a lot less of you in a hurry.
Boiling Point's combat system works just like a first-person shooter...almost. You can carry several weapons, but in keeping with the game's role-playing elements, your inventory will be limited by your weight capacity. As you successfully complete your adventures, you'll actually be able to increase your initial carrying weight of just over 100 kilograms, along with your skills with specific weapons, which will increase with use. You'll also be able to medicate your wounds with pills or booze. However, if you rely too much on chemical stimulants, you'll not only get "buzzed" (getting drunk causes your view to sway from side to side), but also you'll get fewer benefits from them, because you'll build up a tolerance and will eventually become a sickly addict. Like a first-person shooter, you'll engage in battle by pointing your weapons (including pistols, sniper rifles, assault rifles, and grenade launchers, among others) and pulling the trigger, though you'll also have access to some unusual items, like a jar of jam. That's right, jam. The same sticky, sugary substance you put on your toast will get you eaten alive by killer bees if you get covered in it in Boiling Point.
Expect to use a variety of different vehicles to traverse the 625 square kilometers of Realia.
Over the course of the game, you'll travel across the jungle countryside of Realia, which is a whopping 25-by-25 kilometers in size. We actually attempted to fly across the map. However, after hopping into a small commercial plane and flying for several minutes, we made it only about a third of the way across. We also watched several other vehicles in action, including tanks and mobile surface-to-air missile platforms that can blast choppers out of the sky (as long as the choppers don't launch counter-ordnance). Vehicles will have limited ammo, chassis strength, and gasoline to keep players on track with their missions. However, these vehicles can also be brought back to gas stations and garages to both get repaired and gassed up. Travel, exploration, character interaction, and first-person shooter combat will all be integral to Boiling Point. The game is scheduled for release later this year.