LA Rush review

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As the races are a point-to-point affair (these are dotted around the map and cost varying prices to enter), it's well worth checking out the fully-rendered districts situated in the city - just to familiarise yourself with the area, otherwise you could be losing thousands of dollars for coming last.

So whether it's the sun-kissed sands of Venice Beach or the unusually calm Compton 'hood, there's always a shortcut tucked away somewhere. And besides, you can use your free-roaming time to go and check out landmarks such as the Convention Centre (E3 is held there) or the star-strewn pavements on Hollywood Boulevard.

See, who needs a real holiday when you've got LA Rush? But all this tourism will pay off because you'll need to have sharp reactions when deciding whether it's best to slip down an alley or risk a daring high-speed move under an articulated lorry to gain the upper hand.

But it's not just switching directions that you'll need to worry about. As well as your opponents trying their best to ram you off the road, there are also the coppers to contend with. These terminator-style pursuers are hard to lose once they appear in your rear-view mirror - sideswiping at every opportunity as your opponent gets off relatively scot-free.

It feels biased, but then again you are supposed to be the best racer around. Just take their attention as a compliment, we suppose.

While the pressure of dodging rivals and the noise of the wailing police sirens may seem tasking, there's still another minor problem to get to grips with - upcoming corners are sometimes unclear.

Although the array of vehicles handle well around the city streets, if a turn isn't apparent (say for example, it's between two building) then not even a set of Goodyear's finest tyres will scramble for grip in time to make it.

You'll get used to the courses, but they should be clearly marked. And although LA looks amazingly accurate and beautiful, you'll end up getting lost. A lot.

This means you'll have to revert to the GPS system, but this won't help, because you'll still want to take shortcuts to your destination and then the GPS will become confused in blur of flashing brown lines.

Perhaps next time we can have a Bath Rush instead. We'd like it, even if no-one else would.

Another 'interesting' fact (even if it is for all the wrong reasons) is the harsh way in which you have to work your tyres down to the alloys to acquire a decent amount of cash.

You can't sell your motors to earn extra funds for the necessary race entry fee, you see, and there's only one free race available to boost your cash without fear of loss, which means torturously repeating that race over and over again to earn funds, at least until you've a car you're confident enough with to win the high-risk races.

Overall, there's a decent amount of entertainment to be sucked from LA Rush's fun pipe. What with its fine depiction of speed and handling (thanks to the realistic motion blur and sturdy physics) and the open-ended racing routes, the action is always fresh.

But for all the smashing through construction sites and billboards in super-slow motion, LA Rush is more like a reliable family saloon than the pimped-out, nitrous-blasting racer it should've been.

LA Rush is out for PS2 and Xbox on 21 October and for PC on 4 November

More Info

PlatformXbox, PS2