I’ve been getting more and more into the racing genre lately, because it offers a fun way of spending time playing with friends. Hey, there’s nothing quite like being a douche and crashing into your friend just to throw him off of a perfect lap, right? Yes, I do play a bit dirty when it comes to racing, but in the end it’s all about the fun that you and your friends are having. Recently, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad was released to Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, bringing yet another racing game to the platforms. I’ve spent quite some time with it, and I do enjoy it, but it could use some improvement.
The first thing I noticed with Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad when I loaded it up on my Xbox 360 was Jeremy McGrath himself giving you details and tips from the start. With mos tracing games, they expect you to know what’s going on and how to handle the vehicles. In Offroad, as you go through the menus, McGrath will tell you how to upgrade your car/truck and give you random tips. After a while, it can grow a bit annoying, since the number of tips and tricks he has is limited and on repeat. This is one thing that I think needs to be fixed. Have the option to mute him from the menu. After you play the game enough, you’ll know what to do while playing, so you don’t need to be repeatedly told how to do it.
The gameplay itself gives me mixed feelings. When you play the single player game, it is very fun…at first. After beating a few of the tracks, however, it feels like you’re just repeating yourself. The fix for this is to play on a harder difficulty or play online with friends. The mechanics are very easy to grasp, and control of the vehicles is very well done. Of course, with harder difficulties, it takes a lot of practice and work to perfect. It feels like a mix of an arcade and a sim racer, to be honest, and it gets straight to the point: complete laps in the best position you can. As for online gameplay, I didn’t see too many people available to play with, but the team did a good job with the net code, and when you do find a game, you’re not likely to experience much lag.
The graphics fall short. They remind me of games that I would see on older consoles, not on current generation hardware. I’ve grown used to massive environments and lush scenery serving as a background to highly detailed player objects, but this just doesn’t feel like it’s up to snuff. Most of the time, the scenery moves in an odd way that can cause you some serious driving mistakes. There are certain spots where the graphics come through and live up to a current generation title, but not that often.
Overall, the game is fairly solid. The single player game does feel repetitive without the challenge of higher difficulty, and the multiplayer suffers from a lack of a strong community of players to provide consistent game matches. I’d say that the price would need to come down from its 800MSP/$9.99 point in order to really be worth it for most people, but if you do buy it at its current price, you’re still getting a decent amount of entertainment for your dollar. I’d love to see more areas to race in, more cars to drive, and new modes to play to make this title a stronger offering.
|Very fun to play with friends|
Will take a while to beat, which is a plus.
Repetitive, but making game harder in settings will fix that.
|Needs more tracks to race on|
Graphics are nothing special
Lack of a strong multiplayer community
This game was provided for review purposes. For more information on this game, please visit www.raceroffroad.com.