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Avatar image for mrklorox
Posted By MrKlorox

Forgot to mention how completely fucked the PC version is. If you use your PC as anything other than a gaming rig and use more than one monitor, DO NOT BUY. This game won't even launch far enough to create its config files the first time if you have a secondary monitor. What a total piece of shit. Anybody who got this for "free" for buying Sim City, EA just fucked you twice.

Avatar image for graf1k
Posted By graf1k

@agentgray: Exactly. The cops ended up sucking the fun out of the game. Not only are they built like tanks (even with a crazy durable car and the mods that make it more durable, it's nigh impossible to go through an SUV roadblock without wrecking) but as soon as you get into cool down cops spawn in front of and behind you constantly. As if that wasn't bad enough, going through a repair shop and having your car sprayed will only lower your wanted meter ONE BAR! So if I'm in a level 4 pursuit, I have to drive through the stupid thing FOUR TIMES to completely lose the cops. It's ridiculous.

Then, to top it all off, the variety of events is terrible. If you do the 5 events per car to get all the upgrades for that car, after about 5-10 of the 40ish cars nearly all the events for the subsequent cars are just repeat events in a different car. They don't even play differently based on the characteristics of the car. I remember one event specifically for either the Caterham or the Ariel Atom and after getting wrecked the entire race, I decided to go for flat out speed and acceleration on the next try and applied my upgrades accordingly. Didn't matter at all. All the big lumbering cars were still just as fast as me thanks to the bullshit rubberbanding and then they would just smash right into me. So then I decided to try making my car as durable as possible. Again, didn't matter. I still got the shit knocked out of me and the other cars were still the same speed as me almost the entire time, not faster or slower. It's really dumb. I did end up S-ranking it but only because I'm very stubborn and having zero interest in Halo 4 or BLOPS 2, I didn't really have anything else to play until AC3 came in.

That said, I have some tips that may keep the pain and frustration to a minimum. First and foremost, if you care about achievements and want the one for getting first in all events in all cars, YOU DON'T NEED TO. Just get first in each event once and you'll unlock it. Any race you can start instantly from the quick menu is one you've already raced so just make sure you get first. That will cut down your event list by at least 60%. Secondly, do the events in the order they give, top to bottom. Doing the last race first is just asking for frustration. It's certainly possible to win this way but it's just more frustration than it's worth. Lastly, in a race wreck the SHIT out of the other racers and use nitro as much as possible. It seems to break the rubberbanding. In Ambushes, if it starts you out facing west, drive east. If it starts you out south, drive north. Seriously, it's so much easier this way. It's like they didn't plan for U-turns.

Avatar image for agentgray
Posted By agentgray

@graf1k Jeff's review was good but your assessment was spot on. I have never been so frustrated playing a game. It's like they took all the frustrations of Mario Kart and enhanced them. The cop cars being built like tanks and running up to speed (out of character)...and then there is the fact they takedown at random and without warning. Not fun. Actually the entire cop-chase mechanic is not fun. Your own cars are brittle and getting their upgrades is an exercise in frustration. Single player is a complete and utter waste. However, the multiplayer is fantastic, but alas, I don't usually play online.

Avatar image for snakepond
Posted By Snakepond

I think a 4 is way too generous. I popped in the game this weekend on 360 and there something wrong with this game. The frame rate drops constantly and the single player progression is the worst design in a car game I have ever played. Instead of building up to the elite cars you have to go find them and then when you do they repeat the same events. This is no way a burnout paradise sequel.

Avatar image for budsaq
Posted By budsaq

I live in San Francisco... the term "jackspots" means something completely different here.

Avatar image for sear
Edited By sear

I already played this game. 5 years ago. It was called Burnout Paradise. Why would I want a smaller, inferior version of that, exactly, where the only improvements have been made are to multiplayer, and most of the rest is worse? Shouldn't the expectation for a follow-up include words like "bigger" and "better"?

Oh right, EA. I'm sorry Criterion, I'm so sorry. Run while you have the chance.

Avatar image for graf1k
Edited By graf1k

After about 2 hours with the game I am seriously at a loss for words. I know that is not a lot of time, but this is coming from someone who put 90+ hours into Paradise between single player and online and really enjoyed Criterion's first take on NFS. The game thus far feels like the worse mash up of Paradise and Hot Pursuit I could have imagined. You'd think adding the police and quality racing of Hot Pursuit to the over the top crashes and jumps of Paradise would be a marriage made in heaven but so far it just feels like Criterion and EA would have been better off picking one or the other than combining the two for a watered down version of each.

The crashes suck, probably because like Jeff said in the bombcast this week they had to tone them down because of the licensed cars. Running from the cops is more of a hassel than anything because unlike Hot Pursuit, I get flagged by the cops just driving around the city going to events or looking for billboards which is just annoying. Not to mention that in just 2 hours of playing I don't think I've gone 5 minutes without being pursued.

Then there is the world itself. It just doesn't feel like an open world. The majority of the time I'm driving around being chased by the cops looking for a way to evade them, there is one, maybe two ways I can go, and that's it. Maybe Paradise wasn't as open as I remember but it didn't ever feel as small as Most Wanted because I wasn't looking for a way to get away from the cops. Not only that, but for a racing game, the world feels poorly planned. Paradise City always felt very streamlined to me, so that I only really crashed when there was a lot of traffic or I just didn't break properly when trying to make a hard turn at incredibly high speeds. In Most Wanted I'm crashing every 2-3 minutes because there is always a pillar, or an edge sticking out or something. Between all that shit, the traffic cars, and psychotic, ever-present police in the game, it's impossible to ever get the feeling of break-neck speed that Paradise had.

Lastly, and I hope this is just me having come off Forza Horizon, but the handling just seems terrible so far. It's some kind of shit-sandwich hybrid of Burnout's precise yet psychics-defying controls and something more realistic but certainly not sim-like. In Paradise for example, I could drift around corners while avoiding traffic in such a fluid manner that it felt effortless and made you feel like a badass when you and a bunch of friends are just drifting up a huge hill only to barrel roll off it 10 seconds later. In Most Wanted though, the tap-the-breaks-to-drift seems to just not register at the worst times and the handbreak is only useful if you're going 150mph and need to make a turn of 45 degrees or more instantly. Otherwise it just kills all your momentum.

Even without a game like Horizon, I think Most Wanted would feel like some kind of terrible hybrid of Criterion's last two games, but the excellence of Horizon just makes the warts of MW just that much more visible and frustrating. Hopefully after this EA lets Criterion get back to making true Burnout games because I have zero interest in another NFS game, even if God himself is the dev on it.

Avatar image for wickedcobra03
Posted By WickedCobra03

Eh, I really don't have much of a PC anymore, and I have hated the idea of Origin from the get go, but if it is actively trying new things without pushing their garbage policies on their userbase, I guess I am for that. I think I might see how this game goes on Black Friday... if its like $30 or something, I might pick it up, otherwise, I will wait until it hits $20. I have seen from the past that most of my time is spent in Single-Player with only a bit of online here and there, and if the online is the main draw, I will just sit this one out for a few weeks or possibly 18 months until it dips in price.

Avatar image for flappybat
Edited By Flappybat

I'm disappointed. This is Burnout Paradise with less content but with police chases and some bad ideas added in. Why does it exist? I could play Hot Pursuit for better police driving with both sides playable, Burnout Paradise for more or less the same game without real world cars or Forza Horizon for slightly more realistic racing.

I expect a Need For Speed "street" game to have cars you can modify in ridiculous ways and deeper progression. Give me a cheese ridden story with Razor Callahan over a ten second monologue and lots of artsy camera spins.

Avatar image for stahlbrand
Posted By Stahlbrand

Hmmm, I feel like Hot Pursuit was more what I was looking for, as far as police-interaction goes, and particularly playing both roles. Looks like a good game, but I'm glad I spent my 'buy a racing game in 2012' budget on Forza Horizons.

Avatar image for nutta27
Posted By nutta27

I changed my pre order from PC to Xbox. I'm starting to think that was a mistake but I really don't want to arse around with Origin

Avatar image for geirr
Posted By geirr

Dammit, I'm too stuck up to touch Origin and I don't want to dust off the 360 and my PS3 is too noisy.

So troubled.

Avatar image for andy_117
Posted By Andy_117

I would be more excited about this, but Forza Horizon just seems so much cooler. I fell in love with Criterion's Hot Pursuit, though, as well as Burnout Paradise; I just don't play enough racing games to justify not choosing between Horizon and Most Wanted, and given that it is a choice, I'd choose Horizon.

I just don't play multiplayer enough for this. Horizon at least has meaty single-player content to back-up the multiplayer hi-jinks. It's kind of a shame these games released so close to each other actually, but I guess they both had to pick a release window before the Assassin's Creed/Halo 4/Black Ops II one-two-three punch.

Avatar image for honkyjesus
Posted By honkyjesus

Plays more fun than Horizon imo. The audio in the game is amazing. That being said, I wouldn't buy this at more than thirty bucks right now.

Seems like everything I play is just making me yearn for BioShock Infinite more.

Avatar image for deltan
Posted By Deltan

I played the shit out of Hot Pursuit (S-Ranked in fact including DLC). One thing I miss from these games that the PS2 had, is local couch multiplayer, split screen action. Appears this is lacking such functionality as well. Lately as I get older, spend more time gaming only in the company of friends, I am missing the couch multiplayer games of yore.

Avatar image for max21
Posted By Max21

Nice review Jeff, definitely picking this up.

Avatar image for vrmn
Posted By VRMN

Well, I just got the game and one thing stood out to me in the review:

"You can't start race events or warp to other cars while a pursuit is in progress."

I just finished a race where you end in pursuit and, with zero issues whatsoever, pulled the menu down, pulled the race, and restarted, without getting out of pursuit. Maybe you can't start race events on the map while a pursuit is happening, which is still an issue, but restarting -- an issue expressly identified by Jeff in the quick look -- is not part of it.

Avatar image for mikeinsc
Posted By MikeinSC

I'm getting a strong Forza Horizon vibe off of this. Looks amazing, however.

Avatar image for swiller
Posted By swiller

As a multi-console owner it's pretty sad that journalists never play the PS3 version of multiconsole game (let alone now not even mentioning it).

I always go for the best version and I know the Ctiteron's other games like Burnout Paradise was better on the PS3 vs 360. Guess I will have to find this info elsewhere?

Avatar image for mcshank
Posted By McShank

@Flubagalub said:

@Begilerath said:

So which is better? Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Need for Speed: Most Wanted?

Well Need for Speed: Most Wanted is almost as good as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, whereas Need for Speed: Most Wanted is only about as good as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted may refer to:


There are now 3 of the same games.. lets see someone else do this!

Avatar image for beard_of_zeus
Posted By beard_of_zeus

So, after some thought, I ended up buying both this and Forza today (and got Prof. Layton for free! Yay "buy 2, get 1 free"!). Haven't played Forza yet, but I'm enjoying Most Wanted more than I thought. The MP is still super fun, even if you just join public matches with random folks.

My only big complaints are a) The cops are extremely difficult to evade once you get up a couple heat levels and b) having to unlock mods for each individual car is a bummer.

Avatar image for flubagalub
Posted By Flubagalub

@Begilerath said:

So which is better? Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Need for Speed: Most Wanted?

Well Need for Speed: Most Wanted is almost as good as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, whereas Need for Speed: Most Wanted is only about as good as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

Avatar image for artisanbreads
Posted By ArtisanBreads

Disappointing. I may now wait a while on this game. I'm totally a single player guy and the single player sounds really boring. A true shame because I am a huge Criterion fan.

Avatar image for jahbu
Posted By Jahbu

Man I'm loving this game! Check out my gameplay vid if you get a chance!

Loading Video...
Avatar image for aneternalenigma
Posted By AnEternalEnigma

I endorse any game that has "jack spots".

Avatar image for meteor_vii
Posted By Meteor_VII

Glad to know I don't have to buy this. I wanted a new Most Wanted game not burnout paradise redux.

Avatar image for hardtarget
Posted By Hardtarget

reaaaaaaally glad I decided to jump on Forza Horizon instead. Multiplayer is fun and all but I'm always looking for a great SP experience first and this does not appear to have it (and I LOVE the single player experience of Horizon)

Avatar image for jjor64
Posted By JJOR64

I'm sad that the single player isn't great. Might end up waiting for a price drop for this game now.

Avatar image for mbdoeden
Posted By mbdoeden


- Bad car handling

Subjective, I find the handling to be fantastic. It's straight up Burnout.

- Poor PC optimization

From what I've seen on many forums this is probably true.

- No sense of progression

Not true. Every car in multiplayer and singleplayer has progression tied to it via upgrades (car mods) and races. Although, the races are not specific to every single car.

- The cops and most wanted list seems pointless

I agree, but as Jeff said, this game is multiplayer first and when the cops are involved in random races it adds another element of strategy/tension that makes the game better (when used properly). In singleplayer the cops do feel forced and kinda dumb.

- No cutscenes or characterization of most wanted list like in previous game

Eh, whatever. Do we really need poorly designed characters in this arcade style racing game?

- No visual upgrades for cars

True. That does kinda suck. Your only way of visually (as far as I know) distinguishing yourself from others online is with your license plates, and those are on the same unlock/progression path as everyone else.

I am really suprised its getting high scores all around. I guess people felt sorry for EA after bashing MoH Warfighter to the ground and gave this game good score to make up for it...

Oh come the fuck on dude.

Avatar image for dbrim
Posted By DBrim

I played about 200 hours of Burnout: Paradise's multiplayer. I'm pretty stoked for this game. The hurricane delayed shipment, but I can't wait to tear into this tomorrow.

Avatar image for goronmon
Posted By Goronmon

The fact that it's literally the same title as an earlier and a very similar game overall annoys me enough to want to avoid this game entirely.

Avatar image for jstaunton
Posted By JStaunton

@Winternet said:

Well, guess I won't be playing any driving games this year.


Avatar image for homegabomb
Posted By bwooduhs

Would love to be playing this but there's just not enough time. Oh well at least it will be cheap when i get around to it...

Avatar image for oldmanlight
Edited By OldManLight

biggest bummers for me, are that the cars don't crumble up the way they did in burnout paradise and that the game seems to have a knack for placing slow moving vehicles directly into your path when you're drifting at high speeds around blind corners. I call BS on the "randomness" of the latter here.

Avatar image for radioactivez0r
Posted By radioactivez0r

I'm running an i7-3750K and a 560Ti and I didn't have any performance problems last night, and I haven't updated my drivers since...Guild Wars 2? I did find that having to win the same mods for every car you get seems really overkill (the second car I got bummed me out), and losing the cops is a real pain. They are pretty good drivers, and if you manage to escape and start driving normally during your cooldown period, which can take a while if you are at Heat Level 5+, any cop that comes within 500 yards lights you up and you start running again. After 10 minutes of that I gave up and let them bust me. The MP was actually really fun, though.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
Posted By ripelivejam

also sad that this is very close to burnout paradise, least favorite after Takedown :(

RIP classic Burnout gameplay

Avatar image for namesonkel
Posted By namesonkel

Weird. Cops were the best part of the previous Most Wanted. Good that they're there in any case.

Avatar image for xshinobi
Posted By Xshinobi

After playing for a little over 2h. This game is nothing but a lesson in frustration,

Avatar image for iamnotbatman
Edited By IAmNotBatman

@radion_null said:

Here I was hoping Jeff would review the PS3 version as it "crossplays" with the Vita version. I actually wanted to see if that was a good selling point. But oh well!

Pretty much all early review copies that are sent early to reviewers are the 360 version and have been for a few years now. If they wanna get their reviews out while people are still looking for them, they play what they're given, although it would be cool to see that feature looked at as a little add-on to the review!

Avatar image for phantomgardener
Posted By PhantomGardener

What if I'm not "looking for a multiplayer driving game that's about way more than simple races"?

Avatar image for pyide
Posted By pyide

Is it true the PC version supports 12 players online compared to console's 8? I've only seen it mentioned in a few places prior to launch.

Avatar image for magusmaleficus
Posted By MagusMaleficus

I'm glad I pulled the trigger on Forza Horizon instead of waiting for this. I'll still get this one but probably not until the price drops a good bit.

Avatar image for stewy
Posted By stewy

Criterion's last big open-world game was Hot Pursuit, not Paradise...right?

Avatar image for sixpin
Posted By sixpin

@graboids: Same here. I'll be canceling my pre-order when I go in to pick up Assassin's Creed 3. Might pick up Forza Horizon when it gets cheaper.

Avatar image for bigsmoke77
Posted By bigsmoke77

@graboids: Yeah Im in the same boat. First world problems are the worst!!!

Avatar image for ripelivejam
Posted By ripelivejam

@Begilerath said:

So which is better? Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Need for Speed: Most Wanted?

with no hesitation i would say Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Avatar image for graboids
Posted By graboids

Man, I have been so excited for this game, and skipped Horizon for this because I loved Paradise and NFS HP, and really dont have time for 2 racing games at once. But this review has me second guessing now, not because Forza scored better but because a lot of the issues he had with it were exactly what I didn't want to hear. SP is what I would spend most of my time doing... another example of why I should stop preordering games I guess... but they keep sucking me back in with preorder bonuses.

Avatar image for vextroid
Edited By Vextroid
@rbanke said:

I7 860 @ 3.8ghz, 8gb ram, SSD, gtx 680 and even with reflections and AO turned to medium, I can't even maitain 30fps most of the time. And many others are having issues also. So I'd say 'predictably the PC version has none of these issues' isn't accurate for many or maybe even most.

Man it's a bummer to hear the issues of the PC version. Considering how good Paradise was on the PC. My crappy laptop could run it 60+ everything high (except SSAO) at 720p. (Albiet that game wasn't very demanding as it ditched flashier effects for stability but still) EDIT: Also Hot Pursuit was good too (not on my laptop though :P)
That coupled with the Burnout Paradise-Lite SP (meaning it's not enough like BP) I think I'm going to rescind my day 1 purchase.
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