Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Key events

Rockstar Games Collection revealed, due in early November

Contains RDR, GTA Episodes, LA Noire, and Midnight Club: LA.

Rockstar Games has announced an anthology containing four of its most successful games of the last few years. This includes: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, LA Noire, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition.

EU PlayStation Store update 15th June

EU PlayStation Store update 15th June

Black Ops: Escalation pack finally released.

Call of Duty: Black Ops' Escalation pack at last lands on PS3, a month after its initial Xbox 360 launch.

For Ł10.99, yours will be five new maps to the mix, including George Romero-inspired zombie killing in Call of the Dead. There's even a digital version of Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Also watch out for delightfully named The 2D Adventures Of Rotating Octopus Character as a mini for both PS3 and PSP. The aquatic adventure tugged an 8/10 (out of tentacle?) from Kristan in Eurogamer's PSN: Comeback Special review roundup earlier this week.

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Trine, Bomberman head PSN refresher

Lots of special offers, too.

The long-awaited arrival of platformer Trine headlines the Thursday PSN update this week, followed admirably by Bomberman Ultra and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge.

MCLA South Central cars sold separately?

Vehicle pack leaks point to more content.

Rockstar is reportedly planning to release a couple of extra premium packs for Midnight Club: Los Angeles, which allow you to access the seven vehicles introduced by the recent South Central expansion separately.

Midnight Club expansion on Xbox Live

Midnight Club expansion on Xbox Live

Unforeseen bug located and squashed.

Rockstar has sorted out Midnight Club: Los Angeles' South Central expansion and uploaded it to Xbox Live.

The pack had been delayed due to "an unforeseen bug", but now you can download either the free South Central city expansion, or the premium version, which opens up the new area and populates it with 26 new races and nine new vehicles among many other things.

Both versions are 1.4GB, and the premium version costs 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60). The PS3 version, which has been out for just under a fortnight, is GBP 7.99.

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Midnight Club DLC detailed, priced

Free and premium South Central options.

Rockstar has announced more details and pricing information for the upcoming Midnight Club: Los Angeles South Central downloadable content.

MS sorry for leaked Midnight Club DLC

South Central goes up then down.

Microsoft has said sorry for accidentally leaking the first batch of Midnight Club: Los Angeles downloadable content onto Xbox Live Marketplace yesterday, and warned those sharp enough to grab the content before removal that they should delete the files pronto.

Rockstar XBL, PSN event this weekend

Multiplayer with staff, prizes on offer.

Rockstar is hosting a special Social Club event this weekend where fans can challenge staff at Midnight Club: Los Angeles and Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer as well as win lots of prizes.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 15

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 15

BioShock, Dead Space, Pure, Midnight Club, Spidey, Star Wars.

Eurogamer's dogged, relentless coverage of the latest in cross-platform console development continues into this mammoth 15th round, where six more high-profile games are torn apart to the sounds of rage, applause and occasional reasoned debate from the internet assembled.

Of course, you all know the deal by now. Key to our quest is mastery of the video outputs of the respective consoles. Zero-compromise 24-bit full-range RGB captures from the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 allow us to produce the best comparison screen grabs, while Eurogamer's h264-equipped video player means the best in streaming video (make sure you have that 'high quality' feature enabled). And if all that isn't good enough, the high-def captures in all their 720p 60FPS majesty can be downloaded for playback on fast PCs, Xbox 360 or PS3 via the author's blog where similar content for the technically obsessed can also be found. [Enough plugs. - Ed]

In terms of releases covered this time around, we've centred on a collection of the most recent, interesting or controversial titles:

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Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Midnight Club: Los Angeles

City of angles.

You're a loser! We're all losers. Everything's too hard, unless it's too easy, which we pretend not to notice, and then we go online and get beaten up by kids. Checkpoints are always in the wrong place, there's never enough health, weapons are puny and AI cheats. Against this (alright, exaggerated) backdrop of declining skills in videogames of the 21st century, Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a breath of occasionally swear-splattered fresh air; a fierce, often brilliant boot camp for recovering wimps.

Your drill instructor in this case is one Mr Angeles, a rather gaudy fellow in real life and less than spectacular on the eyes here, despite an engine shared with Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto IV. But his ruddy textures are forgotten in the flattering sweep of the day and night cycle and, most precipitously, when he starts throwing you around Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Downtown in a cut of the city enclosed by the 5 and 405 Freeways to the west and east and the 10 and 101 south and north.

When Rockstar North took Liberty's inspiration from the layout of New York, it sacrificed real-world details for imagined, gameplay-minded alternatives. Midnight Club's Los Angeles pulls the same trick, but rather than enabling GTA's fiction and multi-faceted action levels, the objective is to preserve the player's speed in a car or on a bike, and to this end the only things that slow you down are NPC-controlled vehicles and walls. Pedestrians scoot out of the way, and lamp-posts, chain-link fences, rubbish bins and bus shelters disintegrate on contact, or allow you to sail through them, while your speed increases, oblivious to their plight in either case. And the walls, though dangerous when struck at too straight an approach, are smooth to rub along if not, despite their superficial details. You're playing in a square-edged maze, where much of the city's content and sharp visual details are incidental to the gameplay.

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Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Speed devils in the city of angels.

We really didn't want to be back at the LA Convention Centre so soon after E3. But this quintessential 1990s corporate boot camp, this never-ending air-conditioned desert of glass, carpet and outsized croissant-wiches has a way of drawing you back, like a terminally confused and overtired moth to a particularly cheerless flame. We must have driven past it five times as we attempted to escape Los Angeles' infernal one-way system on the last day of the show.

Midnight Club: LA delayed slightly

Extra fortnight to give it clearer run.

Rockstar has punted Midnight Club: Los Angeles for PS3 and 360 and its little PSP cousin, LA Remix, a couple of weeks into the future in search of "a more favourable market window" in the words of CFO Lainie Goldstein.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Poise in the hood.

After besting Liberty City a couple of months ago, we all deserve a nice rest - and where better to head than Los Angeles? Actually we can think of lots of better places to head than Los Angeles - the inside of a woodchipper, for instance - but then Midnight Club's isn't quite the LA we know: it's a curvy cut that runs from Santa Monica to Downtown and takes in Hollywood on the way. A sizeable, varied strip of land where - in the hands of Rockstar San Diego, veterans of three Midnight Club games and a pair of Midtown Madnesses - gridlock is half the fun.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles

If you like a lot of customisation on your biscuit, join our club.

Walking into one of Rockstar's demo rooms is always a slightly unnerving experience. It's not that you wonder if the M-16 lampshade holder is fully functioning (although you do), but rather the feeling that you've been zapped by a shrink-ray. The gigantic 60-inch HDTV and huge leather sofa give the impression that you're in the Big Friendly Giant's games room.

New Midnight Club next year

Heading to PS3 and 360.

Rockstar has announced Midnight Club: Los Angeles will be the fourth game in its street-racing, ride-pimping series, and the first to hit the current generation of consoles.