Rockstar’s latest entry in the Midnight Club street racing series sees players take a trip to the west coast, to a little city called Los Angeles, in Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
Using the RAGE engine, Rockstar manages to bring the virtual city of Los Angeles to life and at the same time, makes Grand Theft Auto 4 look dated. Rockstar had so much confidence in it’s recreation of Los Angeles, that Geronimo Barrera, Rockstar Employee, claimed that Midnight Club: Los Angeles is “not a 1:1 street presentation, but if you’re from LA, you can definitely get around.” Does his claim hold any ground?
So, how accurate is Midnight Club?
Above is an in-game picture of Wilshire Blvd, one of the main boulevards in Los Angeles that goes from Downtown to Santa Monica beach, crossing the 405, and MacArthur Park. In real life, this section of Wilshire Blvd looks nothing like the picture above.
Yet, it looks exactly like it should look like, keep in mind, Rockstar stated that Midnight Club is not supposed to be street for street accurate. The tallest building in the picture, the Bullocks Wilshire looks exactly the same as it should in real life. The building at the leftmost corner, that is the Wilshire Colonnade and the church next to it is the Wilshire Christian Church, followed by the Gaylord (Waylord in game) apartment buildings. In the background, which can barely be seen, lies MacArthur Park.
In real life, none of these buildings are this close to each other.
The Westlake Theater, “Westdale Theater” in-game, is located off Wilshire Blvd on Alvardo Blvd, right next to MacArthur Park. The theater, built byÂ West Coast-Langley Theaters sometime in the 1920s,Â was once a swanky place in it’s prime time, and is now a swap-meet. While the Wilshire Center area is not accurately portrayed in the Midnight Club (i.e. The downtown skyline isn’t that close, MacArthur Park is not next to the Bollocks, and Lafayette Park is missing), it’s still pretty close.
Ah, Hollywood, where the movie magic happens.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles‘s rendition of the famous boulevard is eerily accurate to it’s real life counterpart, save for some minor geological inconsistencies. For example, Hollywood Blvd is a straight road, as straight as it can be until the Vermont Blvd/Prospect Ave intersection. In Midnight Club, the street is constantly curving.
The in-game picture above was taken at Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave. The theater at the left hand corner is El Capitan Theater, called the “La Cienega” (which is actually a street), strangely, the El Capitan Entertainment Centre is missing from the game. Next to El Capitan Theater is the TV Guide Hollywood Center, the building does not have anything painted on the side of it in real life, though it does have full side advertisements from time to time. Right next to the TV Guide Hollywood Center lies the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which is perfect, sans the rebranding as the “Washington Hotel.”
On the right hand side of the picture lies the Hollywood and Highland Center. Although from this angle not much can be seen. Behind the tree is the Virgin Megastore, which is where Rockstar held the Midnight Club midnight release party.
Above is what Hollywood Blvd looks like in real life. The Midnight Club: Los Angeles representation is very accurate and it does actually “feel” like the true Hollywood Blvd.
This is Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave intersection, the same location as the picture above, except looking the other way. The intersection is accurate to real life, save for the Zaxby’s advertisement. Speaking of which, Zaxby’s has prominent advertising in Midnight Club: Los Angeles, with everything from in-game locations to advertisements, yet, Zaxby’s don’t exist in Los Angeles, much less California.
On the left hand corner of the image is the First National Bank of Hollywood. Across the street is the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, complete with the dinosaur that broke the roof of the location and ate a clock. Like I said before, in real life, Hollywood Boulevard is a straight road and does not curve. In the distance lies the Capital Records building, which would be impossible to see from this location in real life.
There are some minor differences, and like stated before, the Capital Records building is impossible to see from this intersection. Rockstar did a damn well job in recreating this major intersection. Thankfully, Rockstar didn’t accurately recreate the traffic.
Here we see the Hollywood and Highland Center from the inside. It’s so accurate, that it’s even possible to see the Hollywood sign through the arch, which is what the arch was built for. Behind the Center, we see the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. To the right of the hotel, which can barely be seen, is the Hollywood United Methodist Church.
This is what Hollywood and Highland looks like in real life. In the game, behind the Hollywood and Highland complex center is a 7-Eleven gas station. While in real life, the station is not that close, it’s neat that Rockstar actually featured it.
Hollywood Blvd and Vine St.
The location in the picture featured above is the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.
On the left side, the building that says “Vine Bldg,” that is the Taft Building, which was the place where most Charlie Chaplin’s films were written. Next to the Taft Building is the B.H. Dyas building, normally called Broadway Hollywood. On the right side of the picture, across the street from the Taft Building is the Equitable Building. In real life, there is no Pizza Hut at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, the location in which the Pizza Hut is situated, is where The Laemmle Building is supposed to be.
That’s it for now, but check back next time.