9.1

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit + Need For Speed Underground = Absolute Gameplay

Most people would have thought this game would probably suffer the fate of, "Been there, done that". Correction. This game is probably the perfect mix a racing game could have. In fact, it probably is the best racing game to date with its mix of the tuner underground with high speed chases with your friendly neighbourhood cops.

One major difference most people would have realised is that night has become day .. no more night (I guess most people would have gotten bored of darkness and strips of neon lights). But I daresay it was a good change. Art and design in the game is perfect; from the graffiti like words of each Blacklist rival's names to the HDRLed sun. Graphics have been improved tremendously as you get to see some real lighting with accurate reflections on the cars and buildings, specularity of the road and cars, tree shadows that make the game oh so real and beautiful and of course that glaring sun (yeah it really is that beautiful).

Moving on to gameplay .. if you've played Hot Pursuit and Underground ... gameplay would seem rather familiar but in Most Wanted it feels absolutely brand new. Cops chase you relentlessly til you can successfully stop them or evade them. These chases are simply great fun. Of course what's Need For Speed if there's no customisation? You can still do all your tuner stuff in Most Wanted with plenty of new stuff to customize with. Races are more or less like previous games of the series (mind you Drift and StreetX are gone) but you still have the your all time favourite circuit races, sprints and new game modes such as tollbooth and speedtrap which prove be able to breathe new life into the game. And of coourse, a final showdown with the Blacklist Rivals. One new feature in the game called Speedbreaker is real handy and its damn cool; Sharp turns can be easily taken with this as everything slows down to allow more control (think of it as ala F.E.A.R.'s Slowmo). There are several other features which I haven't mentioned but I think I wouldn't want to spoil too much of the game for you.

Sound in this game is just fantastic, from the roaring of the car engines to the screeching of burned out tyres. There has also been the addition of FMVs (Full Motion Videos) unlike Underground 2's static comic strip of Brooke Burke ... these provide comical relief and a break from the game's monotony.

All in all the game has had a stylistic touch in graphics and a revamp of a favourite classic in underground flavour. It definitely is worth playing even if racing isn't your forte.

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