Back on The Map as The Only Worthwhile Racer
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
At E3 2012, EA had an impressive lineup of titles that seemed to have continually gotten better with each new game that I saw. Most Wanted is a modern day re-imagining of arguably the best Need for Speed game ever released, Need For Speed Most Wanted.
Most Wanted seems to combine the best of both Burnout: Paradise and Hot Pursuit giving it a good chance of following in the same foot steps as Hot Pursuit.
Freedom to do what you want
Kicking off the hands-on gameplay demo with a little introduction to the world of racing, Most Wanted will feature hidden cars that can be found by players around the city, which is an easy and fair way of rewarding the player for exploration.
Combine that with the ability to smash through billboards, find jumps around the city and a multitude of other hidden secrets, and you’ll find that racing won’t exactly be the only thing you’ll be doing in Most Wanted.
When playing multiplayer, races aren’t set up during some lobby where players sit and discuss which race and route they wish to go; instead, racers need to go to a randomly generated meeting place where the game will then cook up a race type and route for players to follow.
The first race that was generated in my time was a regular checkpoint race where players needed to finish the race first by going through the checkpoints. This was a standard race type made exciting, but with a twist: if you finish first, you can still drive back and take out any player you wish so that they can’t finish the race.
Freedom is a key factor of Most Wanted, and Criterion are doing a good job of it so far.
Randomization at its finest
The next randomized race was a speed trap where players had ninety seconds to set the fastest time on a certain street. If a player was to set a top speed of 140mph, then they would need to not be taken down to keep their top position.
If another player were to take them out, then second place would now be first with the top speed that they had set. The same rules apply to everyone else.
After the ninety seconds was up, again a meeting place was set and the game generated a game type where players once more had ninety seconds to set the highest distanced traveled in a jump. If you were taken down, then any jump distance you have set is voided.
During the course of the three races, I found that every player could unlock new parts that they could tune their car with and players can level up by winning races, jumping, and of course, crashing other players cars, smashing into billboards and so much more.
Whilst this is great fun and and a great way to unlock parts, I found that the lack of customization in the game is the main reason why I loved Most Wanted so such back in the day.
When asked the question of why there is no customization in the game, a developer at Criterion stated that “if Lamborghini feel that their car is beautiful when it comes off the production line, then we do too.”
I don’t feel that is a good enough reason to not include a staple feature of the NFS franchise and whilst many wont see it as a problem, I know more than a few racing fanatics who are disappointed that it won’t feature in the game.
It’s the only quarrel I have with the game, only because with so much freedom I would like the ability to change minimal aesthetics of my car as to not get bored driving around the same ordinary looking Porsche 911.
A need for greed, or truly speed?
Fans of Hot Pursuit will feel right at home with Most Wanted and newcomers to the franchise will almost instantaneously get the hang of drifting, speeding down the highway and making those sharp turns in the most dire of situations.
Whilst being the best racer may not always guarantee victory, you need to watch out for the environment as one small clip of a fence or wall could be the end of your lead in the race.
Criterion do not disappoint when it comes to vehicle damage. Smashing into police cars whilst watching them in slow motion and doing a few barrel rolls is always great fun, especially when the cars doing the barrel role are your friends.
There is a great emphasis on social interactivity in Most Wanted and that’s something that Criterion also excel at.
Make sure that when Most Wanted is released you enlist on day one, because at the rate that they’re going, Need for Speed could more than likely be back on top as the premier racer.
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Filed under: Console gaming, E3 2012, Xbox 360 Tagged: | Burnout, Criterion, Criterion games, Electronic Arts, Lamborghini, Most Wanted, Most Wanted 2012, need for speed, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010 video game), Need For Speed: Most Wanted, New Need For Speed