Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad Review
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On 08/02/2012 at 12:00 PM by Nick DiMola
This bare-bones offroad racer isn't worth your dollars.
For racing fans without any other offroad racing game to turn to first.
It’s hard to really leverage any complaints against Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. It’s an inoffensive racer that’s pretty easy to pick up and play. For experienced racing fans it skews easy, but there are fleeting moments of joy while overtaking your seven opponents and dealing with the various tight turns, dips, and humps of the track. Most of the time, it’s a fairly mundane experience, requiring very little effort or struggle to win.
Utilizing a set of rally trucks, you’ll find yourself racing through different segments of the game’s six tracks in the Arcade mode. As you progress, you’ll earn XP for completing races or even doing simple things like passing racers or taking a tight turn well. XP eventually builds into points that can be spent on your vehicle to make it reach higher top speeds, accelerate more rapidly, or handle better. Better racing typically translates to more XP, which ultimately translates into even better racing thanks to your improved vehicle.
Unlike the high speed thrills and untraditional set up of Excite Truck, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad is extremely predictable as it comes down to executing simple racing maneuvers with precision. If you see a sharp turn, let off the gas long enough to make a clean corner, and quickly accelerate in the new direction. There are no shortcuts to conquer, no physics to learn, no interesting ways to vary the vanilla racing experience offered. Other recent offroad games like Motorstorm and Dirt bring real variety and intrigue to the experience that’s completely devoid from Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad.
The presentation is equally as bland and lifeless as well. Graphically the game is unimpressive, more closely resembling an Xbox or PlayStation 2 game than something from this generation. The menus are sometimes confusing and equally lo-fi, and the tracks are not only boring to look at, but they’re all very similar. Perhaps worse, there’s no music on any sort to add to the intensity or set the mood, and the sound effects are extremely ineffective.
Outside of career mode, you can hop into a quick race via the arcade mode, or jump online, but neither offers anything particularly unique. The leaderboards which keep track of your times never seemed to work for me, which was unfortunate because it’s typically a function that can easily keep me engaged in the experience. Without the leaderboards available to me, my interest in this bare bones racer quickly dwindled.
Despite its problems, the core mechanics of Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad are sound, making for at least a passable racing game. It’s not an experience that ranks high on the totem pole, but if you’re starved for a racer, there’s at least some decent value here at its $10 asking price.