Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. 83
    Yeah, it's not for everybody (Gran Turismo fans may find themselves frustrated), but Baja gives you something a little off the beaten track -- and that's more than most racing games can say.
  2. Baja is as ambitious and attractive in its proposal, as clumsy and little inspired in its execution. The longest races, the main feature of the title, eventually become boring; the adversaries AI is so over the top that becomes frustrating; and unfortunately the graphical section for the PlayStation 3 version is especially regrettable.
  3. In the end, it seems like Baja: Edge of Control was trying to please everybody and, in doing so, managed to create an experience that isn't ideal for anyone.
  4. As a debut title, it's a straight-forward affair. [Dec 2008, p.112]
  5. The game concept holds enormous potential and brings a rare realism to the off-road genre, but it requires a few tweaks to the gameplay, and a more elaborate career mode.
  6. First of all, BAJA is in no way an instant classic. But it can give you that satisfying feeling after you won a match. The steep learning curve will scare of some gamers and if you're looking for more arcade just head over to the Motorstorm camp. But if you're a fan of the off-road genre just take a shot at BAJA.
  7. What’s most impressive is the game’s physics engine.
  8. This off-road racing game does a lot of things well, but the PS3 version looks so bad that it's tough to recommend.
  9. 70
    You are almost always riding the finest line between screaming along somewhat stably and totally losing it, and in that sense, Baja succeeds tremendously. Those kinds of stakes may not appeal to everyone, however, and the majority of people who tend to like finishing races may not need all of the incredible realism that an intense sim like Baja has to offer.
  10. Baja manages to capture the chaos and intensity of off-roading, but the finicky controls undermine the experience.
  11. Far from the grandest of racing experiences, Baja doesn't achieve a new level of depth or excitement, nor can it compete with the existing batch of off-road racers.
  12. So while Baja is technically impressive, it's also maddeningly difficult, and easily one of the more frustrating racers I've played recently. The controls are unforgiving, and the vehicle damage is definitely realistic but also provides a huge hurdle for actually enjoying the game.
  13. The harsh difficulty level and simulated driving makes for a frustrating experience if you’re not in it for the long haul.
  14. The attempt to make a more serious, demanding racing-game for next-gen consoles completely failed. The challenging control turned out to be simply frustrating, graphics would make even the PS2 look away in shame and the given tuning options can only make mechanics happy.
  15. 49
    At times, it’s an edge-of your seat experience that gives you a sense of accomplishment for sliding across the finish line in one piece. Other times, it’s a confounding mix of erratic handling, insane difficulty and drab repetition.
  16. A brave competitor to Sony's mud king, but it's all a bit too bland to get revved up over. [Nov 2008, p.96]
  17. If there were no other racers on PS3, or indeed on the planet, buying this would still be a mistake, but with the likes of Dirt already out there, and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift on the horizon, spending money on Baja would be nothing short of madness. [Dec 2008, p.113]
  18. Sadly, they didn’t capitalize on the potential and gamers were “stuck” with a mid-level game worthy of a rental at most.
  19. Every vehicle slides around every turn with an alarming lack of control. [Nov 2008, p.79]
  20. It’s a punishing game but rewarding in equal measures, and will draw you in like no other racing game quite has managed so far this generation - bring on BAJA 2: World Tour.
  21. Baja: Edge of Control gets a lot of things right … and wrong. In virtually every category, it nails one aspect but completely misses the target on another.
User Score
4.7

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Feb 23, 2013
    8
    First of all, this game has some really good physics. When you're driving down a straight, you hear the shock absorbers soaking up the bumps.First of all, this game has some really good physics. When you're driving down a straight, you hear the shock absorbers soaking up the bumps. You're really at the edge of control, even on straights. Many reviewers complain about this game being "too hard", but no, it isn't. This isn't a game where you're supposed to nail a race on your first try. You're supposed to learn the different environments and know the courses. You should learn what speed you need to make that jump, and what line you should take through that corner.

    The sponsorship feature of this game is also a neat thing, although not as good as the one in Racedriver: GRID, it still cuts it.

    However, there are a few problems with this game. First off, the visuals are somewhat mediocre, and the FPS in the garage is very low, and also gave me a headache the first time I played. The FPS is quite good while actually driving though, so it isn't a massive problem.

    The AI in this game is, in some areas, pretty good, but in others, pretty bad. It does feel like they're driving the same vehicle as you, and I couldn't tell if they were definitely faster/slower than you. They don't seem to be aware of each others presence, and often trade paint in the corners. One thing I do like about the AI, is that if you come up behind a slower vehicle in for example a rally event, you can use your horn, and they will most likely pull to the side and let you pass.

    While this game has many weak areas, the overall experience for me was very good. This game is vastly impressive by such a small development team. In my opinion, a 8/10 is well deserved for this game.

    TIP: I found driving in 3rd person nearly impossible, and really boring. Try driving in "Hood View", it really helped me a lot.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2011
    5
    From reading Dev diaries and interviews I understand how much work goes into making a game and I understand that not all games can be great.From reading Dev diaries and interviews I understand how much work goes into making a game and I understand that not all games can be great. Sadly this game just didn't do it for me. It didn't grab me from the outset and the experience was very empty. However my young nephew can't get enough of it . He loves bouncing arcoss the sand and flying through air, so that I +1 to my score :) Full Review »
  3. OOctopus
    Jan 24, 2009
    0
    What can I say?

    I'm amazed that anyone manages to see anything in this "game". If this had been a homebrew game, I'd have thought
    What can I say?

    I'm amazed that anyone manages to see anything in this "game". If this had been a homebrew game, I'd have thought "at least he tried." How anyone can mistake the collection of broken equations contained within as a physics engine is utterly beyond me.

    The car sort of wobbles along like some kind of hovercraft, randomly swerving left and right like it's possesed, and that's just the straights. Once you get into the corners you realise you are merely sending the car advice from the controller. What it actually does is pretty much random.
    Sometimes it even, for the very occasional corner, actually goes round it like an offroad vehicle might. Most of the time it wallows into the corner as if the suspension is made of marshmallow, and once this has begun, you CANNOT get it to straighten back up again. I've driven for 10/15 seconds with full left lock down a straight, with it merrily skewing off to the right. This is made all the more annyoing by the fact the AI cars go around as if they are on rails, only leaving the track when the smash into each other, apparently due to a complete lack of understanding of where each other are.

    On the plus side, the levels seem reasonably varied for an offroad game. The normalisation of the land is reasonable, the photo's used for the sky boxes are quite nice, and I've seen worse shadow maps. Despite these couple of basic (and these days standard) points, this game has virtually no redeeming features, and in fact, would still attract this kind of score from me if it were on the PS2.

    Speaking of which, I didn't mention the graphics. They are shockingly bad. A half decent dev team COULD get this to work on the PS2. Part of the problem is the awful job the team did of the PS3 version, but it goes further than that. Even on the 360 version, the game suffers from many graphical problems which I haven't seen in years.

    The alpha blending on the decals and textures is cheap, and only capable of one pass. The mipmaping is ridculously strong on some textures and none exisitant on others, leading to a mix of blury and bitty areas. On the PS3 version at least there is no form of antialiasing or smoothing whatsoever, and it suffers from a appalingly slow frame rate in places. There is occasionaly a strange long blue tube that pops up in front of camera for a single frame, and virtually none of the vegetation around the track actually exists. Surely they can at least manage to at least knock a large cactus over? I'm not saying they should use constructive state geomtry to actually damage them, or simulate the individual spines breaking off, but going straight through them like you're hallucinating? Pretty weak if you ask me.

    As a game dev myself, I can say with my hand on my heart, that I would be utterly ashamed to have my name associated with such an abomination. At the very least I would not release such a system with the physics broken as it is, and without having even mastered the basic 3D setup.

    All in all, I think I can safely say, this is one to avoid. Quite possibly the worst game I've played in a decade or more.

    Do yourself a favour - Buy DiRT for realism, or Motorstorm (2) for arcade fun. Buy this only if you require an expensive coaster.
    Full Review »