Need for Speed: Most Wanted Review
It's not quite the smooth, finely tuned speed machine it could have been, but Need for Speed: Most Wanted is still an exciting racer.
Additionally, some parts of the city don't have many areas that are off the beaten path; you might enter cooldown but find yourself with nowhere to hide from patrolling police who soon spot you and reinitiate the pursuit. The balance between making it very possible for you to be spotted again during cooldown and giving you good options for eluding the police was better handled in 2005's Most Wanted, which provided you with more spots that cops on the hunt for you might or might not investigate. That earlier game also did a better job with police chatter; here, the police are irritatingly repetitive. Several times during the same pursuit, you might hear cops, awed by your driving prowess, come to the realization that they're "not dealing with joyriders."
The available events for each car come in a few varieties. There are standard checkpoint races against other cars, which sometimes attract the attention of the police. In speed runs, you try to maintain the highest possible average speed on a course. And ambushes start with you surrounded by cops; your goal is to lose them in as little time as possible. Though fun in faster cars, ambushes can be maddening in the game's more ordinary autos.
And then there are the 10 one-on-one showdowns against the most wanted. These races always involve the police, and always follow great routes that have you speeding on numerous surfaces through varied parts of the city. In addition to racing on the road, you might find yourself speeding across dirt, gravel, or rickety beach boardwalks. Your opponents are skilled but fallible, and you never quite know what's going to happen. You might be approaching the finish in first place, only to have victory snagged from your grasp as a police car takes you down, but conversely, you might be trailing behind your opponent when a police car does you the favor of taking him out, leaving you home free. These elements of luck don't diminish the sense of accomplishment that comes with winning; they just add some unpredictability to these races. You must still drive skillfully if you're to have any hope of winning.
Winning the race against a most wanted driver isn't the end of the struggle, though. You must then do a takedown on the car to add it to your collection. This sounds like a satisfying way to cement your victory, but it usually doesn't play out that way. As soon as you've won a race against a most wanted car, it starts driving incredibly poorly, often wrecking itself in head-on collisions in its attempts to stay away from you. As a result, what should have been a tense game of cat and mouse frequently turns into you waiting for your suicidal quarry to respawn after a wreck and then hoping that this time you can destroy it before it destroys itself yet again.
Some of the most fun you can have in Fairhaven happens not during events, but just when you're cruising around town. Cameras all over the city track the highest speed at which you zoom past them and show you how your top speed measures up to your friends' top speeds, but these are too inconspicuous and ubiquitous to make dominating any one of them, or all of them, worth caring about. The smashable billboards all over town, however, you will almost certainly care about. Fairhaven is filled with billboards that have the names of EA game studios on them, at least until you drive through them. After that, they become notices about one of the city's most wanted drivers.
If you get more air when crashing through a billboard than any of your friends have gotten, you can take pride in seeing your own gamerpic or avatar gracing the sign. However, if one of your friends has soared farther than you when destroying that billboard, it will be him or her you see displayed, and few things are more motivating than the prospect of smashing your friends' faces and their records, and claiming those little pieces of Fairhaven as your own. If you crave more competition, you can always easily access Autolog recommendations, which keep you apprised of events that friends have bested you at, or that you haven't tried yet, so opportunities for friendly competition are never in short supply.
You can also hop online with friends or strangers for traditional, simultaneous multiplayer competition, but this is frustratingly uneven. Of course, it's fun to host or join a game with friends and just roam around the city, smashing billboards and taking each other down. You can participate in races, team races, speed tests, and challenges, though you can't just start one of these events as a one-off. Oddly, you must do events in groups of five, which are called speedlists. In public games, speedlists are initiated automatically; in friends games, the host can use premade Criterion speedlists, or build his or her own. Particularly in public games with players who are more interested in messing around than completing objectives, a single five-event playlist can drag on for 45 minutes.
Traditional races are great, though the absence of police in online play feels like a missed opportunity, since dodging spike strips, finding the gaps in roadblocks, and taking out cops are defining aspects of the single-player experience. Challenges leave a lot to be desired, however. Though they were great fun in Burnout Paradise, here, their design often makes them a chore. You might head to a specific location only to find that your goal is nothing more interesting than speeding off a cliff a certain number of times, and vague instructions sometimes result in your spending a few minutes just trying to figure out exactly what it is you're supposed to do. Of course, some challenges make coordinating with friends to pull off a strange feat (20 near misses on a bizarre, loopy art installation, for instance) enjoyable, but like the proverbial box of chocolates, until you try one, you never know what you're gonna get.
Despite its inconsistencies and disappointments, there's a lot to like about Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Fairhaven is a lovely and varied city that looks gorgeous no matter how fast or slow you're going. Police chases provide plenty of reckless, high-speed thrills, and seeing friends dominate the billboards in your city fans the flames of friendly competition in an innovative and very effective way. Need for Speed: Most Wanted isn't quite a return to the racing paradise of some earlier Criterion games, but it's a mostly exciting ride nonetheless.
I have been playing NFS since 1994. I have all NFS games up to 2008 + shift 2 unleahed. Before anyone comments about my experience.
Going by the sounds of the reviews and what people are saying one here Most wanted ( by Criterion)sounds like a bad burnout game with police and licensed cars added.
I know MW wasn't any good because I was playing burnout paradise when it came out and noticed the sudden drop in people on BP. Then a gradule rise about 2-3 weeks later.
I have never played the new MW but if BP is anything to go by then there are probably plenty of bugs in it,
EA do you realy listen nfs MW fans.....if you guys can?t do better just admit it and realize that the original MW was the best you had to offer, here some advice give us a PS3 version of the original MW I?m sure the fans would love that. (bossman001 u rule dude!!)
I've played the original 2005 NFS Most Wanted on PS2 which is really excting and fun for me. When I read this review and listen to a story review about this game from my friend, I think this new NFS Most Wanted is really dissapointing because there are no modifications, the story is unclear, and lack of variaties. Even though game play is good, but I think it's not worthed to buy this game especially for NFS fans. I hope they want to make a better NFS Games next time like for instance the NFS Underground 3 or something like that which still have a modification features.
Excellent review, I just do not get it why Criterion want to build a Burnout game on whatever they do. The first Most wanted is still one of my best driving game
Where is Cross! , Where is the Top ten most wanted characters, where is the theater and drama that conceptualize the original MW, where is the accomplishments, there is no feeling of accomplishments in this game, yes it?s a good racer and the police chase can be intense sometimes which is fun but that?s it
It starting to look like they will never be able to improve on the original most wanted and as much as I love the series I am not buying another NFS MW until they can significantly improve the game.
EA if you guys can?t do better just admit it and realize that the original MW was the best you had to offer, here some advice give us a PS3 version of the original MW I?m sure the fans would love that.
This games Sucks . I'm so happy i have game fly, even tho i have to pay extra for an online pass for multiplayer games. but it save me 60-65 dollars on waste less spending per game , graph was good , but this is suppose to be an arcade racing game? please , go pick up midnight club .Or better yet, get gta 4 , I'm no fan of burnout , ridge racer is arcade game with better content . need for speed shift is also an arcade game , need for speed games focus on making racing games for everyone(sad) ill be dame, no skill needed . One of the elite arcade racing games was Project Gotham Racing , that was on Xbox first system 2001 shit Sega Saturn started it all , oh food for thought why the fuck you need a steering wheel for an arcade racing when you have no cockpit view! this is y EA puts out shit games . 60 bucks lmao ,well if you bought this game and enjoyed it ,well another group ill stay away from!
Yo I played most wanted three times. Once on the ps2 and pc and once on the psp . I know the game stayed most wanted just looked like burout
.This review is totally wrong I know your a great writer but maybe you got bias here I am not a big fan of racing games But I must say NSF stood out and you just shut it down
@RealitycheckXyz you really should try the original NFS Most Wanted first mate
@RealitycheckXyz dude...r u new to the nfs series or what...have u played the original nfs mostwanted...the game it is named after..if u havent..go and play it first..i hate these new gamers..who dont have no idea what a nfs game is supposed to be like...and they say its awsum..we r ot critcizing the game..its a great burnout game.but it should ave been a sequel to burnout paradise..not most wanted..thats why we mostwanted fans..give it a 4 or less...try to understand the reason..and please..if u are new..please go and play burnout paradise and original mostwanted and then comment..then u will knw y criterion is ruining the title..:)
Need for Speed Most Wanted is my favourite racing game of all time. Since this came came out, I started replaying it. Carbon was a good followup. But after Hot Pursuit came out, I'm wary of buying another NFS game ever again. No cash, you just get a car! Come on, that's the whole point of these games!
I really have to disagree with the review. Been playing this the last five days. But, that is your opinion.
It plays a lot more like Burnout than Hot Pursuit, which is good. The getting away from cops may seem hard, because it is. It isn't supposed to be easy, but you can mostly just get Busted and let it end there after a race where you are chased by cops. The all or nothing with a general pursuit only applies to that pursuit, if it wasn't done that way then you have nothing to gain by getting away? So, you would just take out cops forever?
However, that was an awfully short and weird review to me. Just very little info for one of the bigger games this year. Just because the game doesn't do Halo traffic doesn't mean it isn't important or worth a lengthy talk.
the game is total crap. No story, no motivation for winning the races or finding new cars or mess with the cops.the older version is 10 times better than this one. I wonder when they will finally make an NFS game that is actually worth buying/playing...
They still have a chance of getting a good NFS, just get Criterion and Blackbox out of the picture!!!
@muzza93 lol..they would name it underground 3..but just to make mostwanted player buy the crap...they will make a underground game with no mdification,no street racing,cash,motivation..all they will do is make a sequel to this crap...so best of luck with undergound 3 as long as criterion fuckers are making it...
i know this isnt a vita review but im 40% through the main game on vita and im absolutely lovin it.... its pretty much the same as the console....so stoked i got it! make sure you download the 1st patch though. Vitas game of the year easy !
I can't get the game until tomorrow ( damn the UK for releasing games on Fridays instead of Tuesdays! ) but it sounds great. I am looking forward to it even more now than I was before. Even if I don't always agree I find Carolyn's reviews to be well written!
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@saosebastiao Reading that gave me cancer.
@saosebastiao Chill, it's just a video game.
..and if Dark Souls is too difficult for you, maybe it is you that should stick to the party games, work out that frustration with Raving Rabbids or something.
@ojplay Dark Souls deserves the 9,5 rating on consoles, but the Pc port, I'm really sorry, it was poorly made. Just try both versions (console port and pc port), and you'll know what I mean.
Yes, it's hard as nails, but oh so rewarding. Really an amazing game.
@ojplay The PC port of Dark Souls is Games for Windows Live infested crap. The console versions are amazing though.
@saosebastiao I agree with you on this. It's a Criterion game so it is bound to be different. They are not making sequels for NFS. They now own the rights so they can make their game however they want. Criterion just made 'their' NFS Most Wanted.
@saosebastiao Why do you end most of your sentences with "woman" and "lady"? If the reviewer were a man, would you go to great lengths to point out his sex in your rambling posts? It's a well-written, informative review which acknowledges the game is good. Go cry somewhere else.
you failed me. and again you ignore what nfs fans want not criterion decide. is plain stupid. and i rated ya'all 5.0. this game is plain garbage now, sorry i m old school fans not fucktard new school shit. next installment, no more criterion cuz it look burnout platform is plain shit. get real developer not wackass criterion. sorry that i offensive ea and you, ea need to wake the fuck up and once u hear this game will rated ya 6.0 or below for blowout or your business sink in somewhere in the middle of ocean.
the views are really bad 1st view feels like your on the road not in the car for it.
car handling is a joke. shall i go on?
this game is pile of dung it is not Need for speed. and if you loved need for speed most want the better verson dont buy this it will make you wanna vomit
A majority of the reviews so far have given this game a 90% or higher. Personally, I'd say it's like an 8.5. This review seems nit picky. And complaining about the story... really?
@Lost-to-Apathy dude..answer one thing have u played the original most wanted and how often and how long have you been playing mostwanted games..if u did play the original nfs games like underground 2 or mostwanted..u would knw why it deserves a 5..
@Lost-to-Apathy The lack of story stopped me from purchasing this game. So at least for me it is a valid complaint. From watching and reading reviews I have decided that if I want to play a racing game I'll reinstall any number of the ones I already have. I do not see a good reason to "upgrade" to either this or the also recently released Forza Horizon.
@Lost-to-Apathy I agree. Also its Caroline whos reviewed it.
@Lost-to-Apathy believe me, of course they just gave this rate because is not more NFS, loooks like Burnout p.s agree with then, but the rate they gave is really generous. Like, isn't like Most Wanted, doens't bring nothing new to franchise
Just another meh NFS, i haven't really enjoyed any racing game since burnoutakedown... sure hope criterion makes another burnout similar to that one.
Don't get the same opinion as those video game critics, they're stupid on the noob gaming level. Pick up Forza Horizon because the single player is better. This one should belong in the Briton Bargain Bin.
Generally whenever I read these reviews, I first look over the summary points in "The Good" and "The Bad"... but with this review, it feels a little contradictory...(or is it just me?)...
Anyway...if this game doesn't really offer anything significant that improves the level of quality in 2010's NFS: Hot Pursuit....then I really don't see any benefit in purchasing this game...(Especially when considering that PS3 games in my country are sold at a premium!)
@jack00 seriously? that's like giving pong a crap score because it doesn't have an immersive, quick time event based story.
Lacks: missing; narrative: story; motivation: purpose. Form these words into a sentence for a complete thought: the game doesn't have enough of a well-developed story to help make you want to play it. It's just driving for driving's sake. Which is fine, but if you're looking for more, you won't find it here. Big words make head hurt! Hulk SMASH!
When has one played a racing games for its story? Is there even such a thing as a racing game with a good story?
@Lost-to-Apathy Do you people even read the reviews before commenting? Taken from her review:
"Here, you also have the goal of defeating a number of street racers, but there's no narrative to back it up. The 10 racers on your list are identified only by their cars--they don't have names or faces or personalities--and without a personal investment in defeating them, doing so isn't nearly as satisfying here as it was in the 2005 game. It is merely a structural hoop to jump through; you do it simply because the game tells you that this is what you are supposed to do.
Well, that and the fact that driving, racing, and eluding the police are really enjoyable, for the most part."
So she's saying that no, story isn't a huge part of most racing games, and it's a pretty enjoyable game anyway. But that the level of story they had in 2005's Most Wanted, the predecessor to this game, is part of what made that game experience so much more enjoyable. The fact that they seemed to have taken a step backwards is what made her list it as a criticism and helped keep a good game from being great.
- Player Reviews: 31
- Game Universe:
- Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (PS, PC, GBA),
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PS2, PC, GC, XBOX),
- Need for Speed Underground (PS2, XBOX, GC, GBA, PC),
- Need for Speed Underground 2 (XBOX, GC, PS2, GBA, PC, DS, MOBILE),
- Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005) (XBOX, PS2, GC, PSP, PC, X360, DS, GBA, MOBILE),
- Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (PC, PS),
- Need for Speed: High Stakes (PC, PS),
- Need for Speed II (PC, PS),
- Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed (PS, SAT),
- Need for Speed Carbon (DS, GBA, XBOX, X360, GC, PS2, PSP, WII, PC, PS3, MAC, ZB)