Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Will Fairway / Nov 16th, 2005 No Comments
You are a racer new to Rockport. You challenge the #15 member on the blacklist, Razor. The blacklist is a list of racers that are most wanted by the Rockport Police. Razor and his cohorts mess up your ride before the match and you lose, thereby needing to hand over your tricked out M3. You get taken to jail, and Mia picks you up as you leave the police station. She and Roger are helping you race your way up to the top of the blacklist to defeat Razor, who got there using your M3.
The graphics in this game are the best I’ve seen coming from a game on any console or PC. The cut scenes have the same blurred look from Underground 2. The cars look like the real thing, the paint jobs actually reflect light in natural looking ways. The surroundings feel as if you are actually driving around a southern California city. The police sirens actually rotate, and the helicopter wash behaves just as you would expect it to when a helicopter swoops down to blind your path.
Another area where the game shines magnificently. 5.1 surround sound is definitely a must for immersion, but not necessary to the game play because the map shows you everything you need to know. Voice acting is above par for any game made, amazingly enough, although Razor kinda sounds like a Backstreet Boy in the ghetto trying to score coke. The music is an interesting selection of mostly alternative rock songs, but apparently Chuck D makes an appearance and that’s never a bad thing.
The gameplay of Need For Speed: Most Wanted is exactly what you would expect from the next gen NFS series. Extremely intuitive, it allows players to take a quick look at the manual and then proceed to 100+ MPH speeds as if they were born breathing NOS. Speedbreaker is a new feature to Most Wanted. It is pretty much a bullet time for driving. You have to watch out about how you turn when using it though because you can lose speed very quickly without noticing. However it is very good for preventing spinouts and dodging spike strips – it even allows you to take turn at the very last second without rolling. The drag system is very hard to appreciate – particularly with the 360 controller (had it down better with my old Xbox one amazingly enough) – especially since your opponents now have the ability to drive where they want while you are stuck in lanes. Also, When you get about halfway through the game, the difficulty seems to triple. I had a good old easy time getting to #7, but I’ve had to fight tooth and nail go do the challenges and races past that point.
Unless you’re a big fan of online racing, there is little longevity to the game. In this instance of NFS, you are allowed to customize any car you’ve unlocked with anything you’ve unlocked outside of your career mode. Meaning, you don’t have to play it over and over to get all the cars and parts available to you outside of career mode. And in all honesty, like pretty much each other racing game, there is a limit to how good you can get with a car. However, being able to performance tune on the fly is a feature that rocks.
This is where Most Wanted flounders. While I have seen some new race types, they pretty much are replacements for old race types no longer on the game. The pursuit are very GTA-ish, you can only do so much after you have beaten so many characters.
Overall, NFS: Most Wanted is a great game to (at the very least) borrow from a friend or buy used. Renting it is too short of a time, and it really doesn’t have the staying power of a game like Halo or PDZ. But if you don’t see the awesome graphics and sound, you will definitely be a sorrier person for it whether you know it or not.
OVERALL SCORE: 80%