If you've never driven around L.A., Midnight Club Los Angeles is an amazing racing game. If you're at all familiar with our metropolis, however, get ready to be a little lost.
First, the good: The action is top shelf. A ton of real-world cars are available that look, handle and get damaged just like their non-virtual counterparts. All kinds of after-market add-ons let you fully pimp your ride. And the lack of game load time means dropping into the open world of greater L.A. and choosing a racing challenge is seamless and fast.
But despite the incredibly detailed landmarks, the lack of an accurate map will leave Angelenos confused and, at times, frustrated. La Brea Avenue turns into Western? A theater that looks like the Wiltern at the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega? The Caltrans building downtown (also known as the Death Star) at 1st and Broadway? Apparently, the Bros. Thomas weren't consulted.
But unrealistic streets aside, MCLA is still top-notch, even if its L.A. isn't like our L.A.
Grade: B+ (Just like driving here, but not).
Details: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms; $59.99; rated Mature (mild suggestive themes, mild violence, strong language).
-- Pete Metzger