Published on July 10th, 2012 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad Review
Developer: 2XL Games
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3
Release Date: June 26, 2012
MSRP: $10 (800 MS Points)
Review Notes: A game token was received for review purposes.
There have been very few racing games that seem to scratch the retro itch in some of us as of late. Burnout Paradise was the closest that I seem to recall. However, coming off of some of the industry’s worst motorbike racing games, Jeremy McGrath redeems his name with the release of Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. Some of you may know the name of Jeremy “The King of Super-cross” McGrath as being a major star in the dirt bike sports racing scene, however this game touches into Jeremy’s latest passion, and that is off road four wheel racing.
In the game you are given four different classes of vehicles to choose from: sportsman buggies, prolite trucks, pro buggies, rally cars and trophy trucks.
The first thing that this game seems to get right is the accessibility. Too many times racing games come out with horrible controls, or features mechanics that only real gear heads and racing aficionados seem to adapt well to. Offroad not only appeals to serious racing fans, but also to core gamers that are looking for something different to play.
For the second thing, you will notice that Offroad does not punish you as the player for learning how to play. If you think that you have to place in the top three to advance your career, game modes, or even new cars, you need not worry. Offroad is very forgiving, which offers a feeling of comfort so that you can still unlock cars and tracks, even if you place last in all of your races. But don’t think it’s an easy ride; Offroad is the type of game that is easy to learn but is difficult to master.
Pulling off perfect jumps and power slides into airtight turns are very self-rewarding, but will not leave you wanting to throw the controller if you miss.
For the gear heads that are looking for depth, Offroad offers you the goods. With each event that you participate in gains you XP, which can be spend on vehicles upgrades to it’s handling, brakes, acceleration and top speed. You can earn extra experience points during the events by performing particular moves. Nail a power slide perfectly without going off the tracks, or pass an opponent in a unique way, earns you a lot more that the typical points you would have received.
The career mode is just what you would have expected from a downloadable game–not very long, or in depth, however the progress is free of effort and relatively painless. You race through the circuits unlocking more cars and different race types as you continue, earning XP which boosts up your profile to outfit your vehicle. However, it is not much of a challenge when it comes to completing the career due to the games simple pick up and play controls. Finishing first seems effortless at times.
Multiplayer will add some longevity to the game. It does bring back the old school style of racing with your or against your friends and battling it out by competing, not only for first place, but for XP. The game supports up to eight different players, so when just you and a friend aren’t enough, you can challenge six others on the tight tracks.
Visually, Offroad is an average game. It is not a beauty to look at all times, and certainly has some texture pop-in issues. The cars themselves all look very similar except for those who can customize the paint job, but you have to win races to earn XP to spend on upgrades. The in game drivers look very robotic and have to fluidity to them at all.
If you are looking for a digital download game that features some addictive retro, arcade style fun, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad is a game well worth getting. The $10 price tag packs quite a lot with it, including five vehicle classes, six tracks, a career and arcade mode, and an eight-player online multiplayer mode. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but is definitely worth the price tag if you are wanting a solid, fun racing game that is easy to learn and enjoy.
+ Addictive offroad fun
+ A lot packed into a $10 download
+ Easy-to-pick-up controls
– Average visuals
– Not much customization