Baja: Edge of Control HD – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: 2XL Games, Blitworks
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Baja: Edge of Control HD – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Astonishing soundtrack, great blend of arcade and simulation, fun for hours
Bad: Vehicle selection does not really matter in terms of performance
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

In the mid 1960’s the inhabitants of Southern California found an inexpensive alternative to the popular dune buggy. As there were a ton of Volkswagen Beetles scattered around, people started to modify these to light off-road vehicles that are meant to be fun and enjoyable on raiding the beaches. This is when the popular Baja Bug was born, and this vehicle is the backbone behind this game. 

BAJA-Edge-of-Control-HD-header

Story

Baja: Edge of Control HD will have you started out as an all-terrain rookie, and newbies are not handed the keys of expensive high powered machines. So you begin with a humble 60hp Beetle that you may modify to your liking. As you work up into the ranks more speedy and bigger cars will be available to you. Because you can buy any vehicle for any class at the beginning only money limits your growth in the career mode. It is in the best of interests to race well, so you land a sponsorship that gives your career that extra boost. This is as far as the story goes, and it will end with you ultimately being the winner. Does it affect gameplay you may ask, well in an arcade title such as this it brings down nothing, as it is just a fun racing game meant for relaxing.

Graphics

The game is a polished version of its previous generation’s version, this makes its graphics very smooth while not utilizing all the current consoles power. We understand why this is done since Baja: Edge of Control HD is an arcade game and the developers wanted to keep this feeling. The tracks are very nicely made with clear indications of the road, beautiful surroundings and wildlife that runs around. From dusty hills with desert plants to moist mountains with beautiful waterfalls or cities with many buildings located next to a canyon. Vehicles themselves have detailed damage models that will have parts coming of and scattered all around the track, so wreck away unless you have a sponsor paying you, then they will not be pleased.

Baja: Edge of Control HD_4

Sound

People who remember the old arcades will know that most games were a symphony of loud mixed sounds combining into one hectic adrenaline infusing experience. Even this nostalgic feeling has been perfectly recreated by the developers as loud and heavy music blasts through the speakers, engines rev in high RPM, each bump, crash, landing and clacking of the suspension is heard. This getting together of perfectly placed sound effects ensures the player has a unique and nostalgic experience. The soundtrack of this game consists mostly of hard rock, metal, rap and techno music, as popular in the early 2000’s this makes Baja a noticeable game not only for gameplay but for its emotion-creating sounds.

Gameplay

Baja: Edge of Control HD is a racing game that blends arcade and simulation elements into one fine title. As these two total opposites make at first no sense to combine it gets appreciated greatly when this is done. The vehicles handle greatly as you can throw them around through corners and not have to worry about grip while on the other hand the jumps (that are a great deal in this game) are really well-simulated with physics on the suspension components making sure everything goes as smooth and realistic as planned. So for an arcade game there are many realistic factors in play, such as parts wearing out, engine overheating, things breaking and this also greatly influences gameplay on its part. An overheated engine will not produce as much power or a broken suspension will make the vehicle drop on its knees and slow down. To counter this you can upgrade your car in various ways, either make it faster and more powerful and have the pieces that get damaged replaced with some of better fit for the harsh nature for increased durability. These upgrades are greatly noticeable in any way so comparing a stock vehicle to a modified one is very easy.

Baja: Edge of Control HD_1

To begin your career you will need to buy a machine, each one has the same specs in their respective category. This makes the various models purely a cosmetic preference, this is good on one hand so you have no handicap on a model that you like, but on the other hand this makes vehicle selection a bit less-performance based. Is it bad or irritating? Not really, but it takes away a bit of the necessity to have a certain setup. You then enter championships, these are various races and when you do good you might be able to pick up a sponsor. These will give you some extra money and XP along the way as long as you keep your ride in a good shape. Because they have their decals posted on your panels but when you drive like it are banger races sponsors will not be happy that their stickers are scattered on the ground on your parts. With enough money you can buy new four wheelers to progress farther into leagues to finally get to the cream of the crop: the 800+ HP Trophy Trucks.In career mode you also will unlock new toys to play within the arcade and multiplayer modes, these are special versions of racing teams their variants of models and have unique specifications.

Baja: Edge of Control HD_2

The game is very easy to control as it only uses a few buttons so anyone can just pick it up and play it with ease after a few races. For the more experienced gamers they have the option to go full simulation and hard difficulty.

Conclusion

Baja: Edge of Control HD is a really big and fun game to spend hours on off-road racing and just getting dust all over the place or get wet in the many water parts. Build your buggy the way you like it and have an edge over the competition if you can afford it. Progress is only halted by your own decisions (save up for a higher rank or firstly upgrade your vehicle to clear every trophy in the current session). For people who have played the original will notice the many upgrades this game has and it surely is a worthy title to pick up again and play in HD.

Baja: Edge of Control HD_3

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Baja: Edge of Control HD - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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