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L.A. Rush Review

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Another entry in the driving game Christmas rush.

★★★★★

Although Midway’s Rush franchise has never enjoyed much success outside the US, the series’ absurd action and suicidal short-cuts have at least marked it out from the myriad arcade racers cluttering the shelves. But in rebranding itself as a shadowy street racer à la Midnight Club and Need For Speed: Underground, LA Rush gets lost in the tailback of average racers queuing all the way to Christmas.

The game’s story elements – which see the gruff hero trying to reacquire his collection of tricked-out motors – are much less sophisticated than the plot devices in Midnight Club III: DUB Edition, the predictable story played out in tiresome phone conversations and ham-fisted cut scenes that lack the drama and imagination of other contemporary street racers.

Progressing through the game and collecting cars is also a chore as taking part in the challenges requires paying an entry fee, and if you lose a contest you’re often forced to retrace your steps and play earlier levels over and over again to earn the moolah needed to move on.

But while even the most basic street racer can redeem itself with decent car customisation, LA Rush drops the ball here, too; the game’s motor modification comes courtesy of West Coast Customs – the wisecracking mechanics from MTV’s Pimp My Ride – but when you leave your car in the garage you have no control over the outlandish designs they dream up, which may be entertaining on TV but makes for a monotonous video game.

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