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Midtown Madness 3 is an open world racing/arcade sequel, part of the Midtown Madness series. For the first time in the series, the game was released only on the Xbox, with a Windows version rumoured for later release, but ultimately scrapped.
The game was developed by Digital Illusions CE (of Battlefield 1942 fame) and published by Microsoft Game Studios. This marked a change from the developer of the first two games, Angel Studios (now Rockstar San Diego). Coincidentally, Midtown Madness 3 was released in 2002 against Midnight Club II, created by the developer of the first two games, Rockstar San Diego.
The Xbox-only release and change of developer heralded a significant graphical improvement to maintain the console's graphical standards. However, such a graphical improvement is inevitable as the graphical power available increases.
Paris and Washington, D.C. are available as open world recreations in the game. They represent a smaller area than the real life cities, yet are larger than the locales in Midtown Madness and Midtown Madness 2.
In single player the player can free roam, race, or complete objective-based missions. In "Cruise" (free roam) mode, the player can choose the amount of pedestrians and traffic, change the weather, the time of day and the season, and collect car-specific paint jobs, in a car selected by the user. In "Blitz" races, the player goes through all the given checkpoints in any order and races to the finish line before time runs out. In Checkpoint Races, the player goes through the checkpoints in any order and gets to the finish line before his opponents. In the "Work Undercover" mission mode, in Paris, the player works as a delivery guy, taxi driver, chauffeur, security guard, ambulance driver, police officer, special agent, whilst in Washington D.C. the player works as a pizza deliverer, rental car driver, limo driver, car salesman, stunt driver, police officer and private eye, completing objectives.
The game supports the following online multiplayer modes:
|Capture the Gold||Gold is stashed around the city and the player must take it to a hideout. Other players will attempt to steal the gold.|
|Checkpoint||Race against others on pre-defined tracks around the city.|
|Cruise||Freeroam around a city with others.|
|Hunter||One player starts off as the Hunter and everyone else in the game is Prey. As the Hunter captures Prey, they in turn become Hunters, and the last person who is Prey stands alone as the winner.|
|Stayaway||Whoever holds the rabbit for the longest time wins.|
|Tag||Players chase each other and try to bump each others cars.|