THQ's Baja: Edge of Control Video Game Review

Oct. 10, 2008 By Craig Perronne
baja edge of controlEvery night for the last week we have been racing in Baja without dodging banditos, bribing federales, driving for countless hours or spending huge sums of cash. Instead of prepping a Trophy Truck all we do is pop Baja: Edge of Control into our Sony Playstation 3 (it is also available for Xbox 360) and hit the dirt from the comfort of our living room. It definitely beats being stuck in the silt of Baja for hours.

In our first test drive of the game we were a bit disappointed in the graphics. We had recently been playing a few games with cutting edge graphics and Baja: Edge of Control is not at the same level. However the graphics are not bad or distracting from game play. Plus Baja: Edge of Control definitely makes up for any slight lack of high-end graphics in a big way with a huge host of features. The amount of different tracks is simply mind boggling and the scope of the tracks is amazing. When racing rallies or endurance races, the tracks just go on and on. Some of the rallies take around 20 minutes to complete and the big races much longer. It is a blast to race for this long against a huge host of vehicles.

Different modes abound in the game but we have mostly been playing in the Baja career mode. Here you start in a small VW-powered buggy and earn money by winning races. The more cash you earn, the more you can modify your vehicle with better suspension, brakes, power, etc. You also earn experience points that unlock other races. Eventually you progress through mini trucks, limited buggies, fullsize trucks, unlimited buggies and Trophy Trucks. Each vehicle class has a host of races from long rallies (where you race against the clock), crazy hill climbs to circuit races where you are pitted against other racers.
 
Adding to the cool factor of the game is the realism. Bump against another truck and watch your bedsides fly off. Ram another buggy too hard and watch his spare tire or your front light bar go flying. Drive your truck or buggy hard without upgrading the radiator and prepare for it to burst. You can even pull into the BF Goodrich pits for repairs just like in a real race! If you break in the middle of nowhere radio your support helicopter and it will land and perform repairs! Pretty damn cool.

The sound is also excellent. Trophy Trucks in the game sound like the real thing. Even the beautiful sound of an air-cooled VW is right. Suspension movement is also spot on as front and rear suspensions droop and bottom out through the rough or over jumps. The only complaint we have is controlling the vehicle seemed more like an arcade game than reality. Lots of oversteer seems present and the brakes are not very progressive. Sometimes the vehicle would do things that left us scratching our heads. However it is fairly easy to learn how the vehicle will react to the controls after a bit of gameplay.

Overall Baja: Edge of Control is a blast to play. We love games that give us hours of play without being boring and this is definitely one of them. It is even more fun to race against our buddies and four can play at once with up to 10 online. If you like the dirt and off-road racing it is a must own.

www.bajagame.com

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