Need for Speed Most Wanted, developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. The Need for Speed series has been with us for a rather long time having its ups and downs with almost every other release, the most recent downer as the Shift series where they removed illegal street racing and gave the gamers legalised racing tracks. Most Wanted brings Need for Speed back to its roots “Thank god for that” bring on the Cops, Street Racing and the pure thrills of the open roads.
Need for speed is simply an all-out, rubber burning street racer at its heart, take this away and all you are left with is a rusty banger you most likely had as your first at the age 18. The game brings you little to no story at all, apart from the fact you need to defeat 10 of the most wanted drivers so you can become top dog. The Top Racers are not only the best and fastest racers; they are also on the top most wanted hit list. To even be within a chance of beating the top dogs, you are going to need cars, lots and lots of cars. While grabbing as many cars as possible you will also need to build your most wanted level by either racing, getting the police’s attention and successfully and evading capture, bashing through sign posts or ramming through gates, eventually becoming first on that Most Wanted Trophy list.
Gameplay is simply drive, race, and win it’s that simple nothing much more can be said about any racing game, only it’s much faster, tighter and a heck of a lot more dangerous( apart from the one fact, regardless of how many times you crash the car it will still keep going). Flying around corners at 110mph is not recommended; even more so when you are under pressure by another competitor, knowing that just around that corner is a shortcut, shortcut being, a very long and tight alleyway with just enough room for one car.
The game uses a GPS called Easy-Drive to help navigate the world, find cars, customise your car and finally instantly jump to other cars that you have found and added to your inventory. Much like the other games the easy drive is a big help, giving you tips on how to increase your wanted level, update on friends beating your billboard jumps.
One part of the game that is missing, that was a feature within previous games is the capability of car customisation from decals, body kits, neon lights and much more. However this is where the game comes back to the real world, if your car stands out too much, every cop will notice you at every corner you take. This is where the Garage comes into play rather well when being chased by the police, go through one and your car will be repaired and it will also change the colour of your vehicle, this is rather handy when the police do not have a visual of you and it will help reduce your heat level.
Spread around the city are billboards with different advertisements, drive through them as fast as you can while also getting as air time as possible, if you do well enough you well get your gamer tag and picture printed on to the billboard next time around. This is where the single player online features come into play, based on your friends list and of course if your friends have the game, you will have to fight for your way to the top of the leader board, or face seeing your friend’s ugly mug in your game. Not only that but finding the Jack spots will show who found the jack spot first amongst your friends.
The hardest part of the game to get used to will be the controls, using a keyboard has to be the hardest way to play this game, as you have little to no precision with steering or speed and will take the average player some time to get used to. When you or if you get used to using the keyboard it can be just as good and only a slight bit less comfortable that using a game controller or a steering wheel. It is recommended that you configure the keys to suit your play style, as you are able to key bind everything, we recommend setting ‘D’ as brake if you stay with the original configuration. (A for accelerate and Z for brakes is not the most comfortable or efficient position for drifting)
Graphically the game is on par with the current generation of racing games; everything looks very realistic from the buildings to the terrain to the design of each and every car, everything look great and you can tell that they put a lot of emphasis into making the cars look perfect. When traveling at 175MPH through a tunnel you certainly do feel a bit woozy, having the lights flashing past, it does feel very realistic. The graphics engine is pushed to its limits when it comes to car damage, as with each crash, bump and scratch will be shown on your vehicle.
So you might be thinking does Need for Speed have a multiplayer feature? Well you be happy to hear it does. A multiplayer brings together 12 players to compete to be the best, in the nonstop Playlist of competitive races, events and challenges.
As with all online games people will be there to interfere, to become top of the leader board, so expect mayhem, takedowns and many more tactics to kick you down the board. So looking at multiplayer events in a bit more detail we shall start with ‘Circuit’ a race that simply requires you to do a certain amount of laps around a set track, ‘Sprint’ is a race from point A to point B as fast as you can. ‘Jump’ events, quite simple gain as much air time as possible, look at customising your car like weight and speed to get the best out of this event.
Hold the point events require you to arrive at the location and stop and gain the most points during a set time by not moving, other cars will bash into you to try to stop you, but don’t forget while there hitting you they aren’t gaining any points either. Hold your position events require you to get to the location first and then stay in the location until all 12 players arrive or the timer runs out, if you get knocked out of the location u need to get back into it but your position will drop down the table. So try to knock other players out while you’re in the location to climb the leader board but be careful not to drive out yourself.
Overall the game fantastic, any Need for Speed fan should 100% grab this game, graphics are awesome, gameplay is very fun with lots and lots to do in the game, PC version allows you to use a control pad is needed we would recommend the Xbox 360 controller for PC. Looking at interface and options there is plenty available for any PC fan that wishes to control what they see on screen from V-sync, resolution, key-binding and many more features.
“ A fantastic fun of a ride game well worth spending your money on”
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.