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Game review: Juiced

01 Jun 2005

THQ certainly have faith in their abilities. They bought up the rights to Juiced from the late Acclaim after the game was finished and already being reviewed. But instead of sitting back and counting the money, it sent the title back to the developers to make sure that it was good enough, and it looks like this has paid off. The new developers took everything that the reviewers said was bad about the game and improved them all - from better graphics, faster gameplay, smarter AI racers, clearer interfaces and even overhauling all the tracks!

With so many racing titles coming out this year - what makes Juiced worth picking up? It’s the fact that Juiced seems to combine all the aspects from every other racing game out there in one, well-presented package. It has most of the features that a serious car simulator has, throws in the “street-cred” of games like Midnight Club and NFS as well as having unique features to distance itself from them.

As a street racing game it’s all based around respect. When you start the game no one gives a monkey’s rear-end about you, meaning you have to really beat people into the ground to get the invites to the next race.

Drive around like a teenager in a dodgem car and you’re getting nothing more than an invite to your Gran’s eightieth birthday party. You also need to build up relationships with other racers by talking to them, as well as getting involved in the gambling scene - pitching bets against each other in an underground hierarchy of petrol-heads. Winning races and bets gives you the moola to take your wheeled baby to the garage for customising.

Juiced, as in life, is all about the car. Well, okay maybe not. However style comes in a close second to speed, and Juiced offers thousands of real-time modding combinations that empower players to create their ultimate personality-infused street machines. But it takes more than a fresh coat of pearlescent paint to earn respect on the road; it takes skills to go up against trash-talking opponents who want to strip everyone of their cash, cars and pride. Another worry is, depending on how good a driver you are, your car can get damaged during races - requiring some hefty panel-beating expenses to get your car back to its prime.

With features like more than 50 licensed vehicles (including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Pontiac, Holden, Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault, Subaru, Peugeot and Chevrolet); Hundreds of authentic aftermarket parts from leading manufacturers such as A’PEXi, AEM, Bridgestone, Ferodo, Konig, Alpine and HKS that provide players with thousands of personalised vehicle customisation combinations; Progressive, non-linear gameplay that enables players to build their characters and cars, and gain respect and notoriety by winning races and cash; Unique blending of simulation and the high-octane appeal of arcade-style racing; Ability to build custom racing crews that work together as a team to win races; Authentic car physics and damage; and Online head-to-head play - it’s every car-lover’s dream.