Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad is more of an arcade racer than a simulation. The game offers smooth controls that require no technical precision (i.e. knowing how to properly drive into an apex, for example).
There is a handful of suspension settings to choose from when selecting a car. The suspension selection ranges from fast and slippery to tight and softer; this is both good and bad. It’s good for gamers less interested in mechanics, but bad for those who enjoy tinkering around with their cars and finding that perfect setting that fits their driving style.
Even though you can’t customize your vehicle’s suspension or its exterior, there are at least eight completely designed vinyl cars in each class to choose from. They come complete with brand-name sponsors such as Monster, Toyo Tires and more. I would have preferred an option to customize the vehicles to my liking, but what is available makes up for this.
Each vehicle is designed to perfectly replicate the real deal. The vehicle models are absolutely remarkable, complete with brand-name sponsors. The only thing missing is an option to play the game from an in-dash perspective.
Driving is rather simple and requires little effort. The available cars are light, fast and easy to maneuver. Drifting is no challenge at all with the help of the boost button. The L1 button is used to boost your vehicle and act as a clutch. This is great for pushing your vehicle out of corners and getting that initial edge at the starting line.
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad has role-playing elements. You can level up over the course of each race in career mode. Everything you do during a race will earn you experience points that can be used to upgrade your vehicles, passing opponents via clutch kicking using the boost button, and hand braking.
When upgrading a vehicle, you can spend your points in four different categories: Handling, Top Speed, Acceleration and Braking. None of the points earned for the current vehicle in use will carry over to a new one. This means you will have to earn experience points for every new vehicle selected, but previously driven vehicles will remain untouched.
In career mode, there are twenty-three different events/locations for the gamer to play through in single-player mode. The locations are unique and range from from Utah to the Netherlands. Each track is challenging and unique to its location. There are also hazards that make driving more dangerous. You’ll encounter many things during the race, including falling rocks and bails of hay.
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad even has a crash cam for when you lose control of your vehicle and crash. What really disappointed me is how the crash cam shows incredible wrecks, but the vehicles do not sustain any damage from the accidents. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but I was hoping to see physical damage done to the cars.
There are a total of five different car classes to choose from. Being a rookie, you start out in the lower ranks driving the Sportsman class. After you have a few races under your belt, you will quickly move up in rank to Pro Lite, Pro Buggy, Rally Car and then to the final class, Trophy Trucks.
The stages are brilliantly done; they include some of the best environmental effects ever seen in a PSN release. In one stage, a low flying biplane buzzes your vehicle as you race frantically to the finish line. Seeing this for the first time was shocking to say the very least. Career mode never grows dull no matter how many times you play it. You can switch up race classes over the duration of career mode. This is nice; the game doesn’t force you to stay with one kind of vehicle. The game gently pushes you into new classes so you can experience everything Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad has to offer.
The in-game music will keep you rocking as you fly over ditches and hills and around corners. More Techno Trance than Rock, the music keeps the mood going even when you’re surfing the in-game menus.
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad is a great arcade racing game; it offers everything that racing fans want, including online multiplayer. And when you consider that Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad will only set you back $9.99, you can’t go wrong.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: Playstation 3 (Available on PSN)
Developer: 2XL Games
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
ESRB: E (Everyone)
|Beautiful environments and phenomenal vehicle models really make Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad standout.|
|Terrific music that offers a blend of techno/trance.|
|Fast-paced arcade action that includes a career mode and five fun-filled car classes.|
|Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad offers an enjoyable single-player career mode. If you’re a racing fan, you'll definitely enjoy playing this game.|