They remastered what?
The generation of remasters continues. This time around it is of a 2008 off-road racer that most people likely forgot even existed. THQ Nordic has quietly been remastering lots of titles from the 360/PS3 days. Most are to generate interest for upcoming sequels, but I somehow doubt that Baja is getting a new entry anytime soon. Which begs the biggest question…why? Why remaster a game hardly anyone played? Still I had a solid time with this scrappy racer.
It is easy to forget Baja on its own merits. There is little here to help it stand out amongst other games in its class. It is even easier to forget considering it came out in 2008, surrounded by much more prevalent racing games. Today it is launching once again in the sea of awesome that is 2017.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
Still, with everything working against it, I had fun with Baja. I am a sucker for off-road racing games. Those with arcade physics interest me even more. That isn’t to say there isn’t some attempt at depth here. Baja has a damage and wear-and-tear system that degrades over the course of the race. Take too much damage or overheat the car, and a pit stop for repairs is needed. I say attempt because I never once had to make said pit stop. Most races don’t go on long enough to warrant them.
There is also a nice level of customization with each vehicle. I was able to purchase new parts and equip them for better performance. Credits come easily, so upgrading was never an issue. It also makes a solid difference on the track. No subtle improvements here. The loop wears thin though and after a while I felt like I was grinding simply for the sake of stacking my garage.
What I do really enjoy about Baja though is variety. There are several different types of vehicles. Each one handles differently as well. The tracks though are where I fell in love. Overcast beaches, sandy deserts, and lush forests round out the pack. I felt like every race took place in a new, and interesting environment.
Visually the game looks better than it did in 2008, but most of that is due to resolution. I could still tell this was a last generation game. The frame rate feels good most of the time, but it certainly isn’t locked. Also a warning, this game launched when bad licensed soundtracks were the rage, so expect plenty of hard metal that thankfully disappears into the background during races. Totally forgettable.
Baja: Edge of Control is anything but special, but at $29.99 it is hard to fault it too much. I had fun. I love off-road racing games and this one just scratched that itch. The track diversity is nice, I just wish it didn’t turn into such a grind as the game went on.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.