Genre: Action Developer: Publisher: Classification: M Release Date: 1st Nov 2012 Platforms:
Average of 6 Ratings
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The Bugatti Veyron is famously the fastest "street legal" production car in the world - a 1.8 tonne 16 cylinder beast of a machine capable of an astonishing 417 km/h (it can go faster, but the tyres disintegrate.) The Koenigsegg Agera R is a Swedish made piece of machinery not yet seen 'in the wild' capable of the same speed, but rocking a V8 and weighing a full half a tonne less.
In Need for Speed Most Wanted terms, these cars are the two fastest in the game - and they sit at number 3 and number 1 on the 'whitelist'. The beauty of Most Wanted is that while they're definitely as fast as one another, they feel completely different in action - and while other games have realistic physics models capable of translating the way these cars handle, only MW takes the difference in momentum and slaps you in the face with it.
This is because most racing games are about getting to the end first by going the fastest. Most Wanted though, created by Criterion - the team behind the Burnout series - is about being first by any means necessary. In the nearly two tonne Veyron this means stiff-arming your way to the try-line, using your weight to intimidate your way to a win. In the Agera R, bumping into another car is a death sentence and the only path to victory is weaved through the corpses of cars who tried to take you out and missed.
The physics translate across all the cars as they should - which justifies the inclusion of the Ford F150 (for those not familiar with Ford's car lineup, it's a truck). This is best realised when you hit a hump in the road and your centre of gravity lifts - in almost all cases you can kiss goodbye any hope you have of braking or turning after this happens, forcing you to appropriately slow down (or suffer the consequences). If you're lucky, you can use some other racer to slow you down - and you might get some boost out of the successful takedown.
The 'takedown' formula of Burnout translates wonderfully into the Need for Speed franchise for the second time (Hot Pursuit being the first) - but NFSMW isn't just a Need for Speed game - itís Most Wanted - and Criterion were careful to pay homage to the series they are rebooting as well.
No, you won't be knee deep in Fast & Furious culture. You can't add giant wings to your Lamborghini, you can't put spinnerz on your Porsche and you can't add flame decals to your M3. Instead, you'll have the open world of Fairhaven to cruise around at your leisure, you'll have cops who really want to stop your illegal street racing and you'll have a shitload of the 2012 version of "electronica" (dubstep).
You can still customise your car, but all your changes are unseen - instead of adding an aftermarket fender to a car Mercedes spent literally millions of dollars on in aerodynamics, you change the gear ratio between Short and Long, you change your tyres from Off-road to Racing - you change the handling and velocity of your vehicle through your upgrades. In tuner terms, it's all go, no show.
What is really cool is that you can do all of these things on the fly. If you're in a race with a lot of turns, you can switch to short gears to up your acceleration. If you're heading into a roadblock you don't think you can dodge, you can switch from your Aero body type to your Reinforced body type to bust on through.
You do all this via the EasyDrive system - a menu you can bring up on the fly via the directional pad used for everything from changing your equipped loadout to finding your next race. Above I paint a picture of changing your car's specs on the fly, like you're the Caped Crusader at the helm of the Batmobile - but the reality is that using EasyDrive while actually careening through the streets of Fairhaven is like texting and driving (except instead of going 60km/h you're going 260 km/h).
I'm sure some quick-fingered racer with Daigo-esque muscle memory will one day show me up as the scrub I am, but I only once assigned a new mod while driving - although I will admit that I felt like a proper effing badass when I was suddenly tearing across the dirt road with more ease than my track-tyred competitors. Instead I primarily used EasyDrive while safely parked on the side of the road - the only time I want to crash is when I... um... deliberately crash into people.
You can jump in different cars on the fly with ED - but only if you've found them first. Most Wanted purports to eschew the traditional concept of player progression by letting you have (almost) any car from the very get go - but that (almost) is one hell of an elephant. The 10 Most Wanted cars in the game are locked off, and they include vehicles like the two behemoths I spoke of earlier, Lamborghini's, Pagani's, Porsche's and more - a lot of them being appropriately titled as the "Most Wanted", because they make the other cars look like lame ducks by comparison.
You get your hands on the featured cars by earning Speedpoints - a highscore style system which tracks your progress as you do everything from jump through billboards to tear past speed cameras. The easiest way to earn SP is to complete races though - and here my praise of the game wanes a little.
Each car has five races available to it - the first is "easy", the second and third are "medium" and the last two are "hard". They're worth 12 thousand Speedpoints each, which means to get the million (total) you need to unlock the 10th Most Wanted car you need to complete all five races for 16-ish cars. Seeing how all nine of the MW cars leading up to one million have five races you can complete, you actually only really need to find seven other cars throughout Fairhaven to get to 'the end'.
If you find yourself particularly capable at the game, this might take you around eight hours - and a large portion of that will involve driving from place to place (or race to race) or waiting for the game to load. It can be very easily argued that driving around Fairhaven is kind-of-the-point of Most Wanted - you're supposed to be exploring every nook and cranny of the game as you try to find the cars hidden around the joint.
But the fact that you can get by with just seven of them renders this exploration all but moot - the game's clever abandonment of our traditional concepts of player progression instead seeing me as a player smash through the game with Flash-like quickness.
It's not until you leap into the game's multiplayer that the reason for this exploration shows itself. Like many open-world racers before it, knowing the layout of the game's map is a huge boon when you're simply attempting to beat others to the end point.
You'll also use this knowledge to unlock mods for your car - the unlocks you gain don't carry over to multiplayer, so instead you have to use EasyDrive to study the details of the mods. This will tell you that for the Aero body mod you need to drift 4.5kms with Short Gears, or drive 16km in the oncoming lane - or whatever is required of you. Each mod can go 'Pro' - similar to the way Perks do in the Call of Duty series - and comprehensive knowledge of the map is helpful in completing these challenges as well.
The multiplayer doesn't stick to the rigid concept of dragging the player from race to race either - instead it's based on a Speedlist (like a Playlist but for racing). The Speedlist is a random mix of races, objectives and team games which keeps things way more dynamic than any racing game has a right to be.
You might begin with a traditional lap-based race - three times round the block - before being suddenly tasked with collectively cooperating to take each other down 10 times as quickly as possible. After this you have a team sprint race, with everyone randomly assigned to groups to get to the endpoint the quickest (a good team will run blocking for their fastest racer) until you finally wind up being individually challenged to post the highest speed past a camera somewhere.
While all of this occurs you're managing which car you're in - you have a bunch of cars pre-unlocked when you start multiplayer - and you're racing to the Meet Up spot between each event. There are no grids, but you want to be first so you've got time to prep and to snake out the best starting point possible each time.
In my experience the multiplayer was hampered to some extent by 'leavers' - people who drop from the game the moment they start losing - and not being a leaver myself it was tough to see if there was any punishment for doing this. This is the nature of sore losers, I guess - but it's something you can negate through a mixture of playing with friends and shaming them into staying.
Seeing how there's no story and no progression, it's tough to see the point of the singleplayer game at all. It exists for the portion of the massive community of gamers who remain permanently offline, but it fades so much in the shadow of the wonderfully diverse multiplayer that it almost seems like an afterthought. Isn't it odd for Need for Speed Most Wanted to abandon the primitive constraints of player progression only to find itself bound by the primitive constraints of a singleplayer campaign?
Need for Speed Most Wanted does a great job at what it's supposed to - the cars feel good, the game looks pretty and the multiplayer is phenomenal. Some curious decisions hurt more than they help, and I'll never get used to the LSD inspired intro videos, but overall it's evidence that Criterion are getting ever closer to nailing that balance between arcade and simulation racing.
Worst game ever. Don't buy it. Made by people who never played the original NFS. Worst, worst, worst game ever.
EA games should be ashamed of themselves. I want a refund.
NFS franchise has lost its way. That was your last chance. Never again.
I love and play all the NFS games and I pre-ordered and started playing the first minute it unlocked.
NFS The Run is a LOT better than this! And see what the reviewers said about that. NFS The Run has the same physics and a LOT better races. This has more interesting cars but so very little for the player to do with them. NFS World still has the most varied online experience - and remember that is a free game.
One million points in single player is easily attained with JUST ONE CAR - I like the Marussia so it's ALL I drive in single. I get my kicks from police taunting and the Speed points are MASSIVE.
So what else IS there available in solo play:
Five open races ONLY - boring.
Ten one-on-one races against the 10 BEST - adjusted so all you have to do is sprint near the end - NOT exciting.
Back to taunting the police.
The multiplayer is FAR from varied. There are very few actual races - each at the same old place each time. You race them over and over to get any progression for your online car (as if that progression actually gets you anywhere). (By comparison, NFSWorld is a plethora of choice.)
While waiting for race start, everyone is supposed to wreck each other. Some race starts do not have a repair shop anywhere nearby, so you get the 'pleasure' of starting a race on your wheel rims with no tyres remaining - NOT fun.
Did anyone mention;
- you can get started on the races early (cheat)? If you know the track, then just get down the road towards the first check point - there is no penalty for getting a big head start on everyone.
- Or the nice little ploy of winning a race and then U-turn and destroy all the losers behind you while 'hardened' as you race back around the track in reverse - ugly.
- Or how NOT exciting it is to compete for the longest drift while mutually ruining your chances.
- Or spend 5 minutes just mindlessly ramming each other with only one of you is hardened.
Answer to all this is CONSTANTLY WATCH THE MINIMAP - even if you crash or don't even see where you are going - YUK!
The whole multiplayer experience is about who can most successfully ruin the other players chances to achieve anything. AND YEAH - I'm pretty good at that, so NO I don't rage quit. But it's NOT FUN and it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
NFS World was heavily patched and is pretty good these days. I hope they patch this one to change major elements of online play. It may have a chance.
But without a LOT of new added races I think I have really wasted my $80 pre-order. And I have never felt that way with any NFS game before.
For single player ALL the previous games are much more long lasting. I will be back to playing them all soon and leave this sad game behind. Hot Pursuit is still by far the GREATEST ! Shift 2 is still lotsa fun.
I can't help it. I am really only playing on to justify those lost $80.
I suggest you all wait a few months and buy this at the inevitable sale.
*sigh* How the hell can a driving game come out without gears or a taco. Yeah I know a lot of people like driving arcade games as "Auto" but some of us like being able to chose our darn gear for a corner. Even in an arcade game it just increases the connection between a real car and the game.
It is like a FPS just ditching the idea of Ammo and Reloading. Sure it would work but it would takeaway one of the core things about the game. Sure you can still run around shooting but it just doesn't feel right.
I know lots of people will probably still like the game, but honestly they would of been just as happy playing a new burnout title. It just didn't feel like a NFS game and that for me disappointed me the most.