Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad comes at a very good time when the economy is bad and gaming needs new direction. In which the game is affordable, playable and it’s developer 2XL Games put a lot of hard work and effort into the title. With retail graphics, official licensing and did I mention that the game runs at 1080p 60 FPS with 5.1 Surround Sound. For an arcade title this team put together one of the best looking Digital only titles to ever be released on the Xbox Live market place and PlayStation Network. Other features include Upgrading your vehicle, as well as Jeremy McGrath greeting you like a moth to a flame upon starting the game up.
The game has 3 different racing modes to appease the $9.99 budget price tag. Which include Career, Arcade and the online mode which pits you up against 8 other players. Starting off with Career mode I quickly realized that at first this game comes off as a racing game geared for those who have never played a racing game in their life. As I swooned by Jeremy McGrath I felt almost as if I was racing Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray… yea that guy from Extra too. Oh how wrong I was by the 4th event my truck became a tonka toy and swirled through the air with spectacular crash written all over it. For my former thought I had felt like a crash test dummy. This is due in part because of the track design which early on felt as if it was catering me to 1st. The truth was though it was a tease much like a stripper licking her finger to keep me in dead last… seeing her quickly run off to service another leaving me with no money left in my wallet.
While Arcade and the Online feature feel similar as they offer 8 player races. On one of the six various tracks found in the game. Yet this feels somewhat of a drawback in terms of the selection of tracks. While variety is found as far as locations from Ecuador to Wyoming, variations of the tracks would have been welcome to keep the tracks feeling somewhat fresh. However the 5 different classes of vehicles help mediate this cause with rigs such as: the Sportsman Buggy, ProLite Trucks, Pro Buggy, Rally Car, and Trophy Trucks to choose from. Each vehicle class feels different as far as handling and speed goes for example Trucks allow you to get more hang time while jumping, yet the weight of the truck could allow you to crash if holding down the throttle.
Controls and customization in the game is both simple and at times frustrating. The camera at times is great and cinematic however on occasion while playing behind the car like pictured above the camera tends to go onto the side of the truck or bug. Which makes it almost a pain to maneuver and adjust the camera on certain tracks. The XP earned while racing also can be applied to your vehicle to give you a better super fast kick ass truck/bug. Yet while playing online against the almost non existent community going up against a level 54 player while being only level 5 is nerve wrecking affair. With the obvious advantage going to the pimped out players truck it almost made me feel like I was racing a ’93 White Toyota Corolla(that hasn’t been washed in 3 months) Vs. a SR-71 with gold plating… yep that big of a difference. While racing online is both cool and competitive a tad bit of balancing would be nice.
The presentation for the game has much left to be desired. With a game that runs at 60 FPS and amazing track design. You might expect the main menu to look well amazing… yet instead your getting a screen full of cheese that is not from Wisconsin. This is also found in the HUD in-game. Even if this is a budget title my expectations ran high on seeing Jeremy McGrath to pop into the screen Mortal Kombat style and say “Whoopsee you beat me!” when coming into first place. Instead you get a Cruis’in the USA like whirr of a compressed-air powered wrench. And after that a less than splendid animation of a Yellow 1st comes into view… Perhaps a Monster or Lucas Oil Ad would’ve added a little bit of flair to the fact that I just went down 7 Hard Lefts and a series of S turns while competing against 7 other players. Yet for some reason Jeremy McGrath has his helmet on during the main menu and sounds like Bane from the upcoming Batman movie. We know it is a racing game Jeremy you can take your Monster sponsored helmet off.
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad isn’t a bad game by any means. But don’t expect this to totally blow you away in terms of new gameplay style or a new type of racing mode. This is the same game we have played from every standard racing title. Yet if you are looking for a nice scenic distraction with twists and turns this game is definitely recommended with given the price and the 3 different gameplay modes. Some other key elements have also been left in the dust such as time trial modes, and the Split Screen mode which really in this day and age for a racing title is a no brainer. Let’s not forget that Jeremy McGrath rides pretty much anything and does some of the most craziest stunts in the world, so why isn’t their a dirt bike in the game again… weird.