Constant police chases mar the experience

User Rating: 5 | Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game PC

Most Wanted, your aim is to climb the leader-board to be ranked in the top 10 "Most Wanted" drivers, although that's all there is to the story. There's no over-arching narrative like you find in The Crew. You climb the ranks by completing race events, and by accomplishing other tasks like smashing billboards, breaking the speed limit as you pass speed cameras, and successfully escaping the cops during chases.

You will be escaping the cops an awful lot. Passing them while you are driving in the city will most likely trigger a chase since you will most likely be speeding or driving dangerously. It's the usual thing of escaping a circle radius for a set amount of time which depends on your wanted level. This is often easier said than done due to the amount of police cars on the road, and the fact that they are usually faster than whatever you are driving. At first I thought it was because I was driving a basic car, but even my fancy Lamborghini Diablo didn't stand a chance. Sometimes these chases lasted for around 10 mins before I gave up. When police are constantly ramming you, Swat teams have blocked off many roads, and there is police everywhere you look; it's time to call it a day.

The police chases are obviously the game's selling point; after all - it's called 'Most Wanted'. They will often chase you during races and there's a dedicated event called 'Ambush' which is exclusively a police chase. They even continue to pursue you after you have completed the event; which is infuriating.

In a racing game, I just want to race. There's loads of aspects about this game that drove me insane. Like I said, the racing often includes police so they are a nuisance. Once an event is complete, I just want to start the next one, but I have to drive there. But first I have to escape the cops! Then drive carefully so they don't chase me again. After all, once you reach the event marker, you can't start it if the cops are chasing you! Then how motivated was I if I had escaped the cops just to play an event where I have to escape the cops? Then the event finishes and I have to escape the cops?

If you have played an event before, you can replay the event by selecting it in the menu. If it's a new event, then you have to drive there. There is no other form of quick travel, so it doesn't matter if you have driven down those roads before; you are gonna have to take the long drive there.

Cars are unlocked by finding them as you drive around. They are added to your collection when you drive close to them, and you can hop in with a press of a button.

You can press Right on the D-pad to bring up a menu where you can upgrade your car, switch cars, or see the list of events you can attempt with your current car. Event difficulties are displayed but I often found it hard to win a Medium difficulty race; at least when I first started playing. When you start off with 1 car and have 1 Easy event to play; it's definitely a slow and stressful start to the game.

Events can be attempted with many cars, although it's not clear which other ones are eligible. If you switch cars, you are transported to where you found the car. Why can't you stay where you are? Why can't you switch at the event's starting location?

When you start an event, you are treated to an introduction sequence which doesn't tell you anything about the event. Maybe you will see your car being constructed out of particles, maybe the scenery will be coloured red, maybe the camera will pan upside-down and be extremely disorienting. Why did the developers waste their time with this? I'm not penalising the game for these sequences, but it's worth mentioning them because it's such a strange inclusion.

During races, sometimes you can use nitrous which you accumulate by driving recklessly like drifting, taking down cops and rivals, and driving in oncoming traffic. This is available when you are outside the races too.

The game also contains all the other aspects that can annoy me such as having to wait for the game to load the world then having to go into a menu to select Retry (why isn't that an option when you finish the race?), or graphical annoyances such as an overly bright sun shining in your face, lens flare and dirt on the camera.

Speaking of cameras, there's only two angles. Not having a behind-the-wheel view in these modern times usually infuriates many racing fanatics. Personally, I'm always happy with the behind the car view, but it's a nice bonus to have many angles; but you won't find it here.

There's DLC in this game, and the game won't let you forget it. You will find cars which take you to the store to purchase them, and races appear in your event list which will take you to the store. Notifications will be displayed on the loading screens too.

Since it's an open world racing game, I was probably never gonna like this game. I do feel that the game has thrown all it's eggs in one basket by emphasising the police chases. If you don't like the police chases in the game, then you can't possibly enjoy this game – which is what happened to me. I also think that other racing games have featured more variety in event types, but in this game, most events seem to play out the same way.