and fashionable and engaging story lines. The main buzz here is the feeling of being part of some crazy petrol head, action movie and complete customization. The driving in Juiced falls more in the former category than the later. The tracks feature no traffic or police and everything other than the rather unimaginative tracks is cordoned off.
The best game-play is to be found in the career mode. This is where you get to buy your cars, bet on races and earn respect from rival teams. Your career begins with you choosing a name, crew and mobile phone model. Straight away you get challenged to a race for which you borrow a car, if you win this race you can head for the garage to buy your own set of wheels. At first there isn't much choice but as time goes on more and more cars will become available at the dealership.
In Juiced's career mode you race as part of a team. Racing teams are more than an after-thought in Juiced. You are able to pick up free racers to join up with you and race in your squad. In single entrant events you can also get one of your newly recruited drivers to take your place in the race to gain experience. Although there is no function to speed up or skip the race itself, which may have you watching CPU only races time after time to up your team skills. To me this is unacceptable; I would rather fail than waste my time watching bots race. In team events the winner is decided by the team that has all of its teams cars finished first.
The other interesting mode available is style based and depends highly on how tricked up your cars are. The customization available is OK but not outstanding, I suppose over a year ago and prior to other afore mentioned titles it was pretty forward thinking stuff but things move very quickly in the games world. The style mode has you driving about performing various 360 spins, donuts and fast and dangerous moves. Though if your vehicle isn't customized to the max then you will struggle to score highly in this mode.
Multi-player functionality is fairly presented in Juiced and comes in split-screen, sys-link and online formats. Online you can race both custom and career modes and in career mode you can race with your customized offline cars and team mates.
Graphically Juiced looks pretty sweet. Sometimes the track design is a bit repetitive but the cars look decent. The whole thing runs very smoothly and there isn't any background drop out or pixelization to speak of. The in race camera and replay camera also performs well. I would presume the Xbox version looks smoother than other consoles as this is usually the case these days. The sound is all pretty cool too. There are some nice up-to-date bands and artists present covering genres from hip-hop to rock & dance etc.
Overall Juiced isn't a bad game. Unfortunately the delay in its release has been its biggest downfall. Other games have managed to fill the boots before Juiced could make it to the retail stores. If you are short of a racer or you are hooked on Tricking cars out and have the pother titles then Juiced is for you.
7 out of 10
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