Nearly seven years after the release of the original Need for Speed Most Wanted comes the reboot from the critically acclaimed Burnout developer Criterion. In the past, they have rose up the ranks of many racing developers, and most recently worked with the Need for Speed franchise on Hot Pursuit. Now they take on the role of reviving a game that many racing fans felt was the greatest in the franchise, but do they succeed in the revival, or is the Need for Speed franchise slowly dying off?
Let’s find out what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
Need for Speed hits hard in its latest iteration and is beautiful as ever, and even more so. The series has time and time again proved it is capable of incredible visuals in all aspects. Every car you can find across the city is destructible The physics compliment the cars very well an the attention to detail is verily seen. For example, performing a burnout has the opportunity to pop your tires, and if this happens, you better believe sparks will fly. On the larger scale of the visuals, the city shows incredibly. Not only is the city quite large, but the detail is exquisite throughout. Blasting through different environments will yield the results as would be expected; dirt flying all over the screen, gravel shooting off, and sand clouds are a few prime examples. All in all, Most Wanted definitely does not disappoint in the visuals aspect.
Gameplay & Content
Criterion strikes back with a huge amount of things to do in Need for Speed Most Wanted. The main story focuses on the top 10 Most Wanted Blacklist, but this is not all there is to the game. To unlock the right to race against these blacklisters, you must gain speed points. Speed points can be acquired by winning side racers with your car collection. Each car on the streets of Fairhaven have five races to run that will give speed points and upgrades. This system is a great idea so the player has a large variety of powerful cars, vests one super-charged beast. The actual number of races is quite high considering the 40+ cars available in the game to drive: do the math. If you want a break from the actual racing, there are three sets of collectibles available. Billboards and smash gates return from Burnout Paradise, and are complimented by the new addition of speed cameras. Both billboards and speed cameras will have you rerunning lines to get the best time amongst your friends, since a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone.
The soundtrack in Most Wanted by default is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some songs go very well with the game and its atmosphere, while others should have never made it into the consideration stage. The great thing here is that the game fully supports custom soundtracks across all platforms. Not satisfied with the music in the game? Swap it out with your own personal picks and enjoy the rest of the racing ambiance at the same time.
Quite the cool new addition to the game is a feature called Easydrive. Replacing a main menu in most ways is this slick little in-game integration. Using this allows you to start and set destinations for races, change and find cars, customize your performance, and more. The best thing about it in my experience is the ease of use and the ultimate convenience of the feature. Say you recently unlocked a new performance mod for your car, you’re having some troubles winning your current race, but you don’t want to drive all the way across the city; simple! Head into your easy drive menu, go into the customization area, and switch out parts as you need. You can even do this while your racing, so if you happen to pop a tire going 150+, feel free to quick swap your re-inflating tires so you don’t risk losing the race.