Gearheads, Motocross fans, and racing gamers: get ready to put the pedal to the metal in 2XL Games latest title, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. This game is a PSN / XBLA title available for $9.99, but for those that are worried about a lack of content because it is a downloadable title, you can put those worries to rest. There is plenty of content to sink your teeth into, and fans of motocross will appreciate Jeremy McGrath himself lending his voice and likeness to the game. The question remains, though: will this title satisfy a racing gamer’s need for speed, or will it leave them in the dust? Read on to find out.
Gamers who enjoy playing racing games look for a few essential components to decide whether a game is worth playing or not. They need to have a change of scenery from track to track, multiple vehicle options, and different playable modes. The development team at 2XL Games has done a great job at giving gamers a wide variety of options in each of these major categories. There are several playable modes, including several online and offline options. Gamers can compete in a single race or participate in a career, which is made up of several single races in a row. However, the best mode available is the ability to play online in a multiplayer race. Players can take on up to seven other drivers in a quest to finish first. The online mode is a great feature to the game and provides gamers with the best competition available to test their racing skills.
The variation doesn’t end with game modes when considering everything this game has to offer. The one major category where you’ll have the most options to choose from is the number of vehicles. When playing in the career mode, racers will have the chance to race buggies, rally cars, and trophy trucks. You will then have the option to pick a paint job/advertising scheme and customize the look of your vehicle. There are lots of different options to choose from, so the chances of two cars looking exactly the same is low. Once you’ve made your decision, you will start the race. After you are finished, you will earn upgrades depending on your performance. These upgrades will contribute to improving your car’s individual performance. There are lots of different looks, modes, and cars, so when you consider the low price, there is plenty of value to be had in this game.
Despite the fact that many characteristics of an excellent racing game are present, the game has many issues holding it back from reaching its true potential. There is a distinct lack of realism, and though there isn’t anything wrong with having an arcade game system, this title lacks some basic facets of reality. Accidents or using the vehicle for anything other than racing are simply left out of the game. You’ll be able to crash into a car at 100 miles-per-hour and keep moving as if nothing happened. You would expect the cars to be left on the side of the road in a burning pile of scrap, but instead, you just continue the race. Considering the success of the Burnout franchise, where an emphasis is placed on collisions, this seems like something that could have been improved upon.
Additionally, the game is very easy. Luckily, there are multiple playable classes to choose from to adjust the difficulty level, but even average players who go for the hardest difficulty will find the game doesn’t provide much of a challenge. While playing the career mode, you will find that first place is quite easy to achieve, and midway through the first lap, you will find it difficult to lose your grip on the top position. As you progress through the game, you gain XP points to help your vehicle become even faster, further lowering the prospect of having a tight race. With such a low level of difficulty, there isn’t much driving the players to make them want to play this game.
Finally, Jeremy McGrath is an issue. Yes, the main character of the game and the narrator is a big issue. Jeremy does not stop talking. There is no on-screen map for drivers to see where the course is going to turn next; however, Jeremy is there to let us know what to do next. He constant yells phrases such as, “Sharp left” or, “long, easy right”, and they become extremely annoying during a three-lap race. Furthermore, Jeremy enjoys sharing his knowledge of racing during the menu selection process. Normally, that racing insight is interesting, but it has nothing to do with the game itself. It is just more dialogue you have to wade through to do what you want to do. He becomes the sole, and quite annoying, focal point of the game. In most cases, less is more, and in this case, we could have done with a lot less.
Unfortunately, this game is difficult to recommend to racing fans out there. While there was plenty of potential with lots of choices for different racing styles, there were too many mechanics that got in the way of just enjoying this game. With a number of superior racing titles on the market, there are more attractive options out there. With a little more time, this could have impressed even the most hardcore racing fans, but unfortunately, it ultimately falls short. Today, we give Jeremy McGraths’s Offroad 7 out of 10 laps completed.
This review is based off of a review copy of the XBLA version of Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad by 2XL Games