You’ll have to wait a little longer for Midnight Club 3’s brand of open-city racing and spinner-rim Escalade-porn. We don’t expect that there are any problems under the hood, though—word is publisher Rockstar opted (quite sensibly) for a late January release to avoid the nasty pileup of big-name holiday games.

In case you hadn’t heard, MC3’s association with DUB magazine figures into the game’s new-found focus on high-end vehicles and serious customization. “There is a whole spectrum of car and bike culture out there, and we are capturing all of it,” says Mark Garone, the game’s producer. “We are going way beyond tuners...Midnight Club 3 will have concept cars, muscle cars, SUVs, trucks, high-end cars, street bikes, luxury rides, custom choppers, and more.”

With everything from pick-ups to Lamborghinis in MC3, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a dream car—and then jacking it up and slapping ultra-high-profile drag-racing tires on the back, or chopping the top, or going the lowrider route and installing crazy hydraulics, or...doing pretty much anything you can imagine. But then those cosmetic tweaks also have an effect on downforce and handling, so maybe that monster truckified Saleen Mustang isn’t such a great idea. “Midnight Club 3 has the deepest customization component of any racing game,” says Garone. We’ll see for ourselves in about a month.

Will it make you want to put Need for Speed Underground 2 on the shelf?

Both games cover awfully similar territory, dueling for tricked-out street-racer supremacy. MC3 seems poised to best NFSU2 in terms of serious realism and style—working closely with car-culture mag DUB imparts some serious street cred.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.

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