December 3rd, 2005, 10:24 Posted By: wraggster
News article from Success HK
Need for Speed Most Wanted
The Short Bark:
EA's Need For Speed franchise gets a much-needed fuel injection of fun with the return above ground, deep racing gameplay and the thrill of police chases. While the racing may get a bit repetitive at times there's enough going on during the game keep things interesting. Graphically, NFSMW packs a punch on the current consoles and it goes without saying looks fantastic on the 360. Coming into the sunlight to the sounds of sirens breathing down your back was just what this franchise needed to place it firmly in the halls of great racing games and make it a must-have on any gamers list.
The Full Bite:
The latest release in Electronic Arts' long running Need For Speed series, Most Wanted, returns the popular franchise to daytime racing and brings back the one thing that was sorely missing from the last few versions - the police. Never has lawlessness been so much fun as you zoom your way through challenges and races all the while evading some amazingly intelligent A.I cops and building up a reputation that allows you to live up to the title of the game.
The plot of NFSMW puts you in the immense fake polis of Rockport where you encounter one nasty street racer by the name of Razor Callahan. Duping you into a race, he gets you jacked by the police, sabotages you, then takes your ride and uses it to make his way from 15 to number one on the "blacklist." The blacklist consists of the 15 best and most notorious street racers in the circuit and you race your way up through the ranks being an all around reckless street racing superstar to earn you cred with blacklisters, a rap sheet with the cops, and a chance to get your ride back from Razor.
Jumping right into the career mode of Most Wanted, you'll encounter what has to be some of the most unintentionally hilarious cut scenes in a game this year. With a healthy dollop of cheese these full-motion videos mix real footage with CG animation creating this weird glazed over type visual. Through these lusciously cornball interludes you meet Razor, some other sepia-toned racers, the obligatory "racing hogtie" Mia (Maxim 'it' girl Josie Moran) and some not so scrupulous detectives who aren't very fond of you. It's a shame you don't get treated to more of these over the top attempts at a plot, as most of the story will play out through HUD cell phone conversations,
Following the continuing trend of "free roam" gameplay, you can indulge in a variety of challenges and races plus two new game modes, which have you basically begging to be chased by the fuzz. Alrentantely you can tool around this massive city, figuring out where all the nooks, crannies and side roads are so that when you do hear those red and blues blaring, you'll be able to make a decent job of getting away. Without a doubt, the art of being chased and being able to successfully escape is what makes "Most Wanted" most fun.
You'll start off with something called a "heat level" which, much like the Grand Theft Auto star system, establishes just how bad you are. As your heat level rises so does the level of pursuit employed by the cops - making for intense, racing mayhem that will put your driving skills to the test. You can successfully out drive the cops and bring your level back down but the further along you go in the game the more challenging you'll find that solution.
At level 1 you'll have the requisite cruisers doing their best to shut you down. Slowly you'll see the difficulty increase, initially with random spike strips and road blocks, and building up to a heat level where you deal with kamikaze police SUVs, helicopters, and souped up cruisers - all after you. Making things even more interesting are select spots on the road where you can knock into things like a log-carrying tuck or a giant donut sign which can temporarily disable your pursuers so you can run and hide to race another day. If that doesn't help there's also the addition of a bullet-time slow down effect which may or may not help you steer yourself out of a jam.
The racing elements of NFSMW are pretty standard fare, as is the customization of the truckload of licensed vehicles you'll either win or buy. While the racing may get a bit repetitive at times there's enough going on during the game keep things interesting. Graphically, NFSMW packs a punch on the current consoles and it goes without saying looks fantastic on the 360. Coming into the sunlight to the sounds of sirens breathing down your back was just what this franchise needed to place it firmly in the halls of great racing games and make it a must-have on any gamers list.
Need for Speed Most Wanted is out on PSP, DS and Xbox 360
For more information and downloads, click here!
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