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Need for Speed: Most Wanted Review

by phnk

posted November 21, 2012 @ 12:24AM
blog posts

filed under Games


Criterion's latest hit, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, is a game that will soar onto gaming platforms from all directions: the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Vita, the PC, the iOS systems, Android devices, the Wii U and even the Kindle Fire. For a game that intends to speed across every system that one can think of, does it form a solid path to paradise, or has it made a few wrong turns?

The same gameplay from the first iteration of Most Wanted stays prominent in this 2012 version; players must select a single car and compete against other racers to get to a marked destination without being pulled over by the cops, who are chasing after the racing individuals and using destructive tactics to try and stop the action.

Not everything remains the same, however; Most Wanted has been likened to another Criterion hit, Burnout Paradise, in that races feature a starting point and a finishing point but do not have a set linear path that players are required to follow—as long as the player makes it across the finish line before anybody else and without getting arrested, it doesn't matter exactly how he makes it there.

As usual, there is a significant variety of vehicles, and they all look just as stunning as the rest of the city. In all, there are 65 vehicles, with each one featuring five missions to complete in order to unlock the vehicle modifications that improve its performance. Just completing these missions help give Most Wanted a fair amount of gameplay value, so one does not need to worry about not getting enough value for the purchase.

In the single-player mode, the objective at the end of the day is to become the Most Wanted Driver in all of Fairhaven by earning speed points, which is the game's fancy way of referring to experience points. Once the player collects 100,000 speed points, he can compete against one of ten Most Wanted Drivers and take him down to win his car to drive.

The similarities to Burnout Paradise are so resounding that there is actually some merit to consider it its successor rather than being a new iteration of the Need for Speed series. Of course, even though it's clear that Criterion borrowed a hefty amount of inspiration from its own franchise, Most Wanted is still very much down to earth, unlike the wacky antics that Burnout Paradise focused on, which is a clear reminder that it is a Need for Speed game. Ultimately, Most Wanted is an excellent compromise between the two universes and styles of gameplay.

One problem that players may have rests with the Xbox 360 version if the Kinect is plugged in. While it can be used to help with some commands, it behaves somewhat erratically when players engage in normal conversation. Seemingly innocent words can suddenly interrupt an intense race, bringing players to the pause menu just when the race is reaching its climax. Though it could have been a nice touch to add to the Xbox 360 version of Most Wanted, it is recommended to ignore the feature and even unplug the Kinect while playing.

The Wii U version is due sometime in 2013.

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