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Need for Speed Most Wanted blew me away in all of the previews Id seen and played with this year. Does the final product remain as excellent?

Posted by Staff on Dec 14, 2012 13:57 (Dec 14, 2012 13:57)

Written by: Ian
My Most Wanted of 2012?
"Need for Speed: Most Wanted" blew me away in all of the previews I’d seen and played with this year. Does the final product remain as excellent? It was certainly one of my most anticipated games of the year, with Criterion promising to bring back something of Burnout Paradise, whilst retain the hallmarks of the NFS franchise.
Surely this is a match made in heaven?
It’s a rocky start though, because Razor Callaghan is no-where to be seen, bar a couple of obscure references to the previous game. Bar a quick introduction, there’s no story whatsoever. You get to find some cars, and after you’ve earned enough points, you can challenge the next person in the list.
But there’s no personality there, just a car which you’ll get as a reward. It can make the experience all feel just a little soulless and sterile, like there’s no actual life to the city.
Burnout Paradise was a pretty awesome game, and critically remains one of my favourite games of this generation. Many others out there seem to feel the same way. Unfortunately, Criterion appear to have taken this to their heads a little too much, bringing perhaps too much of the multiplayer experience into the single player.
Need For Speed Most Wanted screenshot #1
As a result, there is very little structure, and you see the return of some of the most annoying aspects of Paradise creep back in, even ones that were eventually patched out due to player criticism. Thus you have to drive to an even for the first time before you can race in it. It’s true there is plenty to do and see, and whilst exploration can be fun, it’s pretty annoying having to drive 2-3 miles per event, only to at the last corner then see a new car or something else which distracts you, or to get caught up in a cop chase that sees you end up miles away again. It would help if there were just a set number of events, but these change dependant on what you’re driving, so the distances between races are often too great to be much fun.
If you get busted or change car, you also start back at the original spawn point; again often miles away from any races. Yes, there’s more ‘jackpoints’ as they’re called to unlock, but you of course have to find them all individually, rather than on a per car basis.
Too much of the game takes you away from the core gameplay of driving, drifting, racing and escaping the cops to make the single player much use. Considering playing enough multiplayer will also unlock cars and mods in a similar way, there’s almost no reason to play it beyond either getting achievements, or ranking up before going online.
Need For Speed Most Wanted screenshot #2
The mod system is nice and easy to use, and offers some real tactical options, so it is worthwhile completing the objectives required to upgrade your machine.
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Our members have ranked Need For Speed: Most Wanted 4199 out of 4,763 total games.

4198. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Xbox 360

4199. Need For Speed: Most Wanted
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