Fans of racing games may recall the 2008 title, Baja: Edge of Control. It was released to generally positive reviews and was even one of the nominees for “best racing game of 2008” by GameSpot. Unfortunately, the game was not released on PC at the time. Now, almost ten years later, the game has been remastered for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 platforms as Baja: Edge of Control HD.
At its core, Baja: Edge of Control HD puts gamers in the cockpit of over 160 sponsored vehicles from multiple classes. There are go-karts, buggies, 4×4’s, and a lot more. This is because Baja: Edhe of Control HD allows you to compete in a variety of game modes, including hill-climbs and endurance races. There is enough to keep any racing gamer occupied for a while as they learn the various events and the quirks of operating each vehicle. I spent most of my time in the game’s career mode, where you rise in the ranks throughout a huge number of races. In this mode, you earn credits to buy new vehicles and vehicle upgrades, and this in and of itself is a lot of fun.
The most impressive mode that will definitely appeal to the hardcore racers out there are the lengthy “Baja” race modes. These races take place over huge plots of land and can, in the longest race, take you a few hours to complete. I thought the game was a lot of fun, but that is too much for this writer! Good luck to those of you with the fortitude and racing skill to complete it, I salute you.
The controller support seemed good, and my Logitech racing wheel gave me some decent force feedback effects during my races. I would NOT recommend this game for those PC players wanting to just use their keyboards. You really need at least a game pad for this one.
Truth be told, I am usually a horrible racing game player – I just never find the right amount of throttle to not go flying off the corners of the track. I did not suffer this fate in Baja: Edge of Control HD, however, as the game is sort of in the middle of difficulty spectrum. The vehicles handle in what feels like a realistic fashion, but it is not unforgiving like many racers I have suffered through. This balance allowed me to really get into each race and enjoy the experience of flying through the hills and valleys at high speed. According to the developers, the game has had some updating in its physics system, but I did not play the original to compare the two. Whatever they did, though, was positive as I had a lot of fun with the racing component of this game.
While there is a multiplayer mode, it looks like the server populations are not that great right now, so I spent my time mainly in single player. According to the game synopsis, the developers updated the vehicle AI for greater challenger and flexibility. I felt that my AI racing opponents were skilled and usually gave a me a run for my money.
Visually, Baja: Edge of Control HD is no beauty queen. It’s a decent game on the graphical front but, despite the up-to 4K face-lift, there are still a lot of textures that just don’t look very detailed. The good news is that, because of not needing a blisteringly-fast GPU to run, the game is very accessible for a variety of PC configurations and should allow you to see some nice frame rates. Baja: Edge of Control HD features good audio design and plenty of ambient, real-world sounds to make the racing experience sound believable.
Overall, Baja: Edge of Control HD is a fun racing game that is accessible enough for the layperson but not so “dumbed down” that the racing game purists will be turned off. Another huge thing going for it is its very reasonable price point of $29.99. At this price point, it is well worth the purchase for your PC racing setup.
Baja: Edge of Control HD Review Score(4 out of 5 Stars)