Midtown Madness 2

Developer: Angel Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform: PC
System Requirements: 166MHz Pentium II processor, Windows 95 or later, 32MB RAM, 300MB of hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM drive, 3D accelerated video card with 4MB of video memory, DirectSound 6.0-compatible sound card, Microsoft-compatible mouse or other pointing device, 28.8 Kbps or faster Internet connection or IPX LAN for multiplayer option
Rating: 80%
Price: $35.99

playboy.com / digital culture / software / midtown madness 2

November 6, 2000
By Howard Wen

The original Midtown Madness challenged you to race through the city of Chicago as fast as you could -- damn the traffic laws, other motorists, pedestrians and roadside objects of any kind. Midtown Madness 2 takes the same mayhem and visits it upon London and San Francisco.


I was a faint-hearted driver the first time I visited San Francisco in real life, wondering if the brakes on my rental car would give out under the stress of the enormous hills. But in Midtown Madness 2, I don't have to nervously wind my way down the switchback turns of Lombard Street -- I just tear right through the famous landmark and proceed hell for leather to North Beach, Coit Tower, the Presidio, Multimedia Gulch, Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The London map features Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Marble Arch, and you can even race through the city's underground tube tunnels while avoiding the trains. Don't worry about driving on the left.

The level of detail that's been put into the design of the buildings and other landmarks, along with the accurate street layouts, enhances the liberated feeling you get from committing countless moving violations in these cities. The settings of Midtown Madness 2 may look and feel similar to the real places, but these worlds don't abide by the rules of physics -- and they're not meant to. Other cars are easily rammed aside as if they were made of cardboard, and screaming pedestrians always manage to dive out of your way. However, lampposts, trees and barricades are easily -- and satisfyingly -- mowed down.


1 | 2