Savings

Save big thanks to this week's Xbox Deals with Gold

In for the new

Best Buy offering Xbox One for $199 after Xbox 360 trade-in

Cheap gaming

Xbox 360 4GB bundle now has a free copy of Peggle 2

Watch, but not upload

Upload adds Xbox 360 and the web to its audience

The bad guys won't snipe themselves

Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition coming to Xbox One and 360

Free is good

Free Xbox Games for Gold games for November

Crazy Xbox laptop

Xbox One and Xbox 360 get shoved into one laptop

Back to San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas getting Xbox 360 re-release

Strike Suit Zero as well

Microsoft reveals this week's Deals with Gold for Xbox

Even more Kevin Spacey

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gets new trailer

Also Outlast and Worms Battlegrounds

This week's Deals with Gold for Xbox are live

Story modes and characters available as DLC

WWE 2K15 DLC and Season Pass details released

Rap and wrestling together at last

WWE 2K15 gets a hard-hitting soundtrack, coming soon to Xbox

Get some added incentives

Xbox Live Rewards members can claim some extra bonuses

ManBearPig will be there

South Park tables launching on Pinball FX2 this week

Play online games for free this weekend

Xbox 360 owners get free Xbox Live Gold weekend

Horror games of October

The Evil Within headed to Xbox next week

Game everywhere

Call of Duty comes with free upgrade to Xbox One

Xbox One-Windows 8.1 ports out of beta Tuesday

Project Spark may not get released for Xbox 360

Doctors and monsters

Doctor Who pack for Minecraft out for Xbox 360

< >
2

Xbox 360 Impressions: Jeremy McGrath's Offroad

Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad

2XL Games made a name for themselves with off-road racer Baja: Edge of Control for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. After that, they switched gears to mobile development for several years, continuing to focus on off-the-pavement racing games. Now 2XL is back on consoles with Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad for XBLA and PSN. After coming away bored and disappointed from another recent XBLA racer (Bang Bang Racing from Digital Reality), I’m happy to report that 2XL has a grasp on making a downloadable digital racer both simple and fun.

Offroad features five different vehicles types, from Rally Cars to Trophy Trucks. Before you head to the track, you’ll choose one of 8 livery options for your vehicle and then customize it with upgrade points. Experience earned from completing races or performing in-race actions like big jumps and passing competitors can be spent on upgrading your ride’s acceleration, top speed, handling, and breaking. Nothing too complex, but the customization options are appreciated.

Head past the break for our full impressions.

Offroading it

On the track, it’s a simple 1-3 lap race to the finish line across a variety of outdoor environments. Each track is littered with foliage, fences, and signs for racers to bump into, so it’s best to stay on the track itself. Still, you can sometimes cut across corners and shave off a little distance without getting pulled back onto the dirt road. Naturally each course boasts several jumps; you can adjust your tilt to score a better landing and avoid losing speed on impact. Other track highlights like planes and helicopters flying by overhead, as well as falling rocks to dodge, pump a bit more excitement into the rural settings.

Offroad’s Career Mode spans 23 races across six different tracks and each vehicle class. My favorite aspect of Career is that you can play on the difficulty level of your choice with no penalty towards Achievements, just varying XP payouts. So many racing games are more concerned with challenging players instead of making sure they’re having fun. Here, players can make the game as easy or as hard as they’d like, resulting in a truly accessible racer.

On the downside, the game could’ve used more race types. There are only three, none of which vary to any great extent. Given the relative scarcity of tracks, a few additional races like checkpoint and elimination races would’ve boosted variety without much additional development work.

Multiplayer

Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad

Of course, multiplayer can extend the life of any racing game. Offroad sadly lacks a split-screen option (unlike Baja), but it does support online multiplayer for up to 8 racers. If 2XL had to choose between only one form of multiplayer, local would’ve worked better for a game of this scope and style. That said, LIVE multiplayer ran flawlessly in my experience. In addition to track and lap options, the host can choose whether to allow only a single type of vehicle or all of them – a good thing. XBLA games like this don’t usually develop sizable online communities, but racing against a few friends who own Offroad still makes for a great time.

Presentation

Offroad’s menus are largely no-frill affairs, though they do feature tips voiced by Jeremy McGrath himself. The menu music works well, but music doesn’t play during races – I suggest loading a custom soundtrack to provide the appropriate aural pep. Graphically, the game runs at 60-frames-per-second in 1080P, making it one of the smoothest arcade racers around. That speed comes at a cost: lens flares look a bit odd and I would’ve liked to see more dirt kicking up on the track. Then again, Offroad is a digital title, not a retail one, and it looks great in that context.

Overall Impression

Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad sells for 800 MS Points/$10. With super easy Achievements (see my guide), a silky-smooth frame rate, and good, clean controls, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a downloadable racer. Arcade racing fans: even if you don’t know your Supercross from your David Cross, give Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad a test drive.

You can find Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad here on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Reader comments

Xbox 360 Impressions: Jeremy McGrath's Offroad

2 Comments