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Microsoft's free-roaming racing series makes its Xbox debut with Midtown Madness 3. Developed by the team responsible for RalliSport Challenge, the game features two 3D cities, based on Paris and Washington D.C. Three modes of play are carried over from past versions of the series, including Blitz, Checkpoint, and Cruise. A total of 34 vehicles are available to drive, ranging from a Lotus Espirit Turbo and garbage truck to a 1967 Ford Mustang and ambulance. Each vehicle also receives damage with repeated collisions from traffic lights, street signs, and rival cars that can affect performance.
Blitz is a timed race through either city, while Checkpoint involves passing through a series of gates — in any order — before the competition. Cruise lets players become familiar with the ins-and-outs of the two cities without worrying about goals or time limits, with adjustable options for time of day, season, weather, and either pedestrian or cop density. As in previous titles, the cities are brought to life with oncoming traffic and walking pedestrians. Neither city features a pre-defined track, so players must determine the quickest route on their own.
The heart of the game is the Work Undercover mode, which offers a total of 54 missions. In Paris, players assume the role of an undercover detective who must protect fictional racecar driver Dieter Kleinmann. In Washington D.C., players become a private investigator hired by two demanding filmmakers: Stefano and Michael Tortellini. Each job offers three missions, with tasks that include escorts, deliveries, or chases before players can advance to the next job in the storyline.
Midtown Madness 3 features eight-player System Link support, a two-player split-screen option, and online competition via Xbox Live. In addition to the Blitz and Cruise options, multiplayer game types include Capture the Gold, which involves grabbing the precious metal and delivering it to a drop-off point before rivals; Tag, an event where players try to avoid getting hit by opponents until time expires; Hunter, which pits one vehicle against the rest; and Stayaway, where players try to remain "it" for as long as possible. Also featured in the game are hidden paint jobs to customize each selected vehicle's look. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide