Midtown Madness 2 is the exact opposite of the typical racing game. Instead it's the simple racer for which PC speed freaks have been praying. It looks and plays better than most console racers, and while it is definitely an arcade racer and not a full-on driving simulation, that doesn't mean you can play it with your brain in park. The only people who might have a gripe with Midtown 2 are those who played the original to death, as the sequel is only slightly improved from the original. As in the original game, Midtown 2 features wild racing through busy city streets complete with multicar pileups and citizens diving for cover.
This time the action takes place in the streets of San Francisco and London. As expected, San Francisco sports its many landmarks and famous rolling hills, which offer plenty of chances to build up speed for ludicrous stunts. Keep an eye open for the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts. London's tight turns and twisting streets put the emphasis on driver skill rather than flat-out speed. Landmarks include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Trafalgar Square. Of course, the secret to success in the Midtown games is to find unconventional shortcuts that can bring about a quick victory.
For the most part players will be racing in standard circuit and checkpoint races. Interestingly, you must unlock most of the 20 cars in the game by finishing a series of races or completing the two in-game driving schools. You can't drive our favorite car--the Aston Martin DB7--until you finish British cabby school, but once you do get it, you'll be a terror on the highways. We only wish more automobiles were available right from the start, as the performance of the cars varies as wildly as their makes and models.
# Two New Cities to Race & Explore! Midtown Madness 2 features two all new fully-living and interactive cities each with accurate street maps and accurately rendered landmarks:
Tear across Hyde Park and take a snap-shot of Buckingham Palace as you race in the twisting streets of ole' London town! Or dash your car into the 'Tube' for a quick short-cut… Just look out for that train!!!
* San Francisco
Lombard Street and Union Square ain't seen nothing yet as your car leaps from hill to hill in San Fran's suspension bustin' streets. Look out for that Street Car!!!
# 10 all-new vehicles to smash and crash! Midtown Madness 2 puts you in the driver's seat of 10 all new campy urban roadsters ranging from the Aston Martin Vantage DB-7 to a cherry-red Freightliner Fire Truck in addition to the madcap assortment of cars and trucks from the original (like the VW Bug and Ford Mustang)!
# New Crash Course Mission Mode. Jump in the drivers seat as either a Hollywood Stunt Man on location in your latest action-thriller in San Francisco or as an aspiring Cab Driver just entering the hallowed halls of the East End Cab Company School of Driving in London. Crash Course mode features a series of skill-building scenarios where drivers can master the challenges of Madness Driving in addition to unlocking cool new races, vehicles and Easter Eggs galore!
# Improved Driving & Racing Performance. Midtown Madness 2 builds upon the groundbreaking physics engine of the original allowing drivers all new racing challenges like power slides, mastering the hand brake, and more. In addition, damage modeling has been improved allowing breakaway parts and even better damage detail.
# Race how and where you want! Just like the original, Midtown Madness 2 lets you chart your own racing course in two all new fully interactive and explorable cities! Careen down a packed avenue in downtown San Fran taking out a garbage can or two or zip down a back-alley while pedestrians dive out of your way in London - the choice of where and how you want to race is yours in Midtown Madness 2!
# Same Great Racing Excitement to Cure Your Commuting Blues! Midtown Madness 2 features the same great racing modes as the original including Blitz, Check-Point, Circuit and Multiplayer Capture-the-Gold in two all new cities with 10 fabulous new urban racers.
# Improved Muliplayer and Community Features. Midtown Madness 2 will be optimized for full LAN, and Internet based multiplayer gaming via the MSN Gaming Zone for stable and competitive multiplay for up to 8 racers.