Need For Speed: Most Wanted, although was released as a multi-platform game, manages to be a great racing game for the Xbox 360. Although it is incomparable to Project Gotham Racing 3, Need For Speed: Most Wanted offered some things that PGR3 was unable to deliver. In this review we will go deep within the confines of NFS: MW.
One of the more important keys to the door of the hall of fame is storyline, and Most Wanted didn’t quite pick up that key. In the game you’ll find that there is a Black List. This is a list of the top 15 racers that are most wanted by the police. Right from the start of the game, you have one of the nicest cars to race with. However, it is taken away from you after losing a race that you bet a guy for pink slips (he ends up rigging your car and beating you pretty unfairly). You lose your car to him and he reaches the top of the Black List using your car. You spend the entire game trying to get to the top of the Black List just to get your car back. I found this to be pointless because, the cars I had trying to reach my old car were better than my old car. This storyline wasn’t to great because you do what you usually do in every Need for Speed game and that is, beat the game so that you can unlock parts to make your car better and simply win against your opponents. With Xbox Live multiplayer, you can race singleplayer to better yourself online. If you care nothing about storyline then you wouldn’t mind racing for money and being chased by the cops to raise your bounty every two seconds. One thing I was not happy with was the fact that you are unable to free-ride the city without your career car. As far as storyline goes, I give it: 3
(out of 5).
Personally I love the style of game play that Most Wanted gives you. Just like the previous NFS games, the controls haven’t changed, which is usually something overlooked by developers that are producing a sequel. Although the controls are the same, there are a few additions that you can add to your car that has changed since previous NFS games. Things such as nitrous regeneration, will make the game more interesting. Nitrous will regenerate on its own, regardless of whether or not you drift or power-slide or even crash stuff. This addition is very helpful for when you are running from the police. Some police chases can anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes, and it really gets intense. Another beautiful addition to the game play that is only available to you in the single player mode is slow-motion-steering. This is for those people who just never got the hang of slowing down before that 90 degree turn at a busy intersection. The slow motion helps people out with such turns, but it only lasts a limited amount of time (this also regenerates like nitrous).
In career more, driving recklessly will get people to call the cops on you. You know when this happens because you have a police radio and a police radar in your vehicle at all times. With the police radio, you can hear everything the cops are talking about. Such things as: what car they are looking for, what road they last saw you on, where they are setting up roadblocks, when backup is coming, and even the locations that they set up a spike-strip on. Your police radar blinks when there is an officer near by and gets faster the closer the officer gets, however this radar does not pick up police behind you.
Putting all of that aside, the game has limited car customization down. Instead of having a hundred useless extras, you are limited to body kit parts and other accessories; performance parts; and rim, body, window tint, and vinyls/decals. I didn’t mind the change in customizing because the point of this game is not customizing your car, and the parts that were removed since NFS: Underground were pointless in my eyes. To offset the balance of what they took out of car customization, they added several new gametypes which more than make up for a minor loss. I give the game-play a 4.5 out of 5.
Lets keep this to the 360. This game was released on various consoles but on the Xbox 360 alone I feel that the graphics are amazing, both inside and outside of cut scenes. All of the cars look fantastically realistic as does the environment. While driving fast at first, you may be skeptical of the graphics because everything is slightly blurred and your probably not paying attention to what you're doing. But if you drive slow you will see the detail in a garbage can, the other vehicles on the road, or even the reflection of the buildings and trees in your window. Adds to the feel you get while playing: wicked speed. The game play makes the game fun, but the graphics make it serious. And with these two together, it makes Most Wanted a great game all together. I give the graphics a whopping 5 out of 5.
In the multiplayer mode, you may race a friend split-screen in any of the race types using a stock, career, or customized vehicle. Sadly I did say “a” friend. The game supports only 1-2 players. This isn’t a bad thing though, because with four screens racing at a time, it can be a health hazzard as far as seizures, and annoying as far as knowing when to turn. The online multiplayer is the biggest, yet the smallest part of the game. How is that possible? Well in the multi-player you may only do circuit races, sprint races, and drag races. To compensate for this you are allowed to race with a good 4 people total, and can host custom games, unlike other Xbox 360 games we have played. Racing people online is a load of fun. There aren’t many angry people “yet” and I don’t receive lag often at all. The leaderboards of the online world are very interesting and persuasive. There is an overall leaderboard, but the top fifteen are on the online “Black List” similar to the Black List you fight to be on in carreer mode. I thought this was creative and interesting.
While playing, I faced one small problem where the game froze in the middle of a match. I was a bit frustrated with this, but it wasn't anything serious, so it seems. Overall, my experiences online forced me to give the multiplayer a 4.5 our of 5 rating.
I feel that this game is worth playing. It's fun to play with your friends, and is very enjoyable through Xbox Live. If you like cars or racing, it would be foolish not to pick this title up. Hopefully you make the better decision and I will race you sometime.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5.
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