Midnight Club: Los Angeles is the fourth video game in the Midnight Club series of racing video games. It was officially announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on January 11, 2008 by Rockstar Games. The game was developed by Rockstar San Diego. The game features 43 cars and 4 motorcycles. The open world map of Los Angeles is confirmed to be the size of all three cities from the previous installment combined. It has also been confirmed by several sources that each car has a polygon count of roughly 100,000. After several delays, Midnight Club: Los Angeles was released on October 20, 2008 in North America and on October 24, 2008 in the PAL region.
The game is set in the city of Los Angeles, again providing the option to completely free-roam (in an open world environment larger than all the three cities combined from the previous game, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition). New additions are a 24 hour day-to-night cycle, weather effects and traffic with licensed vehicles, adding a realistic aspect to the game. After races, if any damage is inflicted upon the vehicle, the player doesn't necessarily have to drive back to the garage for a full repair, but instead can choose the Quick Fix option through which old, junkyard-esque parts will be added to the car. To get the nice look back, the player must actually drive back to repair their vehicle at a garage or at a gas station, so totaling the car is only possible within a single race or event. With the RAGE system being used for this game, traffic levels fluctuate throughout the day, with heavy traffic in the morning and afternoon, and little traffic at night. Motorcycles are again part of the game, including the Ducati 999R and the hyper sport bike, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14. Convertible cars, customizable interiors, in-game photo mode, and customizable exotics are all new additions.
The game is said to be the longest of the 4, with more than 10 different types of races including series races, tournaments, pink slip races, and even freeway races, there is always plenty to do. The player even has options. For each race the player must drive to the start line or racer which adds to why the game takes so long to beat. The races also have different difficulties. Easy, medium, hard, and hardest. The difficulties are color-coded with green being easy, yellow being medium,orange being hard, and red being hardest. Each difficulty race has greater rewards than the latter.
The Special Abilities options have also been brought into the game (a returning feature from the previous installment), which include EMP, when activated will disable the electronics of every vehicle around the player; Agro, when activated will make the player's vehicle indestructible giving him the ability to plow through traffic without slowing the car down; Roar, when activated will send out a sound wave moving traffic out of the player's way for a clear and straight path through the streets; Zone, when activated will slow down time allowing the player to get between that tough gap in the traffic or letting the player get around that sharp corner without losing too much speed. The previous installment had limited which type of car could get that special ability, but all cars in this game can now have any one of the special abilities, that the player chooses. The abilities can also be changed at any time the player feels.
Police return but are no longer scripted to a specific race; they take notice to simple infractions in the game (running red lights, Burning out, hitting their cars or nearby cars, and driving off-road). If caught, a "pull over" cutscene will initiate, that is, if you choose to pull over. If not, the game goes into "pursuit mode" after a period of time or if they lose sight of you, this also happens if you pull off during the "pull over" cutscene. Infractions that cause it to go directly to pursuit mode include speeding, and excessively damaging a cop car. They will chase the player no matter where the player is and the longer the player runs from them, the higher the fine will be if the character is arrested. Totaling your car (damage out) during a pursuit results in instant arrest. Developers placed great emphasis on the elimination of load screens, stating that the player can literally jump from career mode to an online race in under ten seconds. The new dynamic weather system has been reported to alter the gameplay experience, making the vehicle more prone to sliding in the rain.
Online play supports 16 players at once and a number of new modes will be introduced including, Keep Away where the player must hold the flag as long as he can and Stockpile in which there are numerous flags to be captured. New online power-ups mentioned include Mirror (will reflect any power-up fired at the player back to the person who fired it), Agro (will act the same as the offline special ability, increasing the players vehicle weight and enabling them to crash through other vehicles without taking damage or slowing down), and Random (gives the player a random power-up). A new aspect entitled "Rate My Ride" is also to be introduced, where the players can go online to view vehicles that other players have created. PlayStation Network trophies are also included, with a total of 46 trophies to be won.