Singleplayer all about the Endgame

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I did not like Most Wanted's singleplayer campaign at first - too much red tape keeping me from doing what I love about recent Need for Speed games - Asymmetric Multiplayer aka Autolog. At first it's all about unlocking the game, and it's locked away in a house made of shit-bricks. I could write a long essay on why and how I hate getting started in Most Wanted. Suffice it to say, I did not like the process at all.

The closer I get to 100% completion of the singleplayer content and unlocking everything, the more Most Wanted comes together. It's the endgame where it's at. All the red tape unravelled. All the options square on the table. Autolog Alerts coming in. Nowhere I need to go, but loads of places I want to be. I've reached the point where I've literally played the night away, and am still not tired of it. I'd rather keep on playing than go to sleep - but alas - priorities...

Conversely - I've gone from loving to hating its proper multiplayer. I first loved it, and thought its seamless design is amazing - but in its current form it's just not for me. Too many quirks are grating on my nerves. Especially the glacial pacing drives me nuts. I'm just not the kind of guy who gets anything worthwhile out of the chaos at meet-ups and such. I'm just annoyed that I'm not racing full-speed through Fairhaven. So very annoyed.

Anyways - how far are you guys into singleplayer? And did your feelings towards it develop similarly? From hatred to love relative to how much of it you've completed?

Asymmetric Multiplayer in Need for Speed is better than ever. Just a friendly heads-up. You might want to wade through all the shit to get there - it's the flippin' promised land.

#2 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

I dislike how shallow the recent Criterion games can be if you don't have friends that play them with you, there's the exact same unlocks per car and that's really all there is as far as progression. The rest is doing races which repeat over and over, only to get those same unlocks you already have, to get more points to take down things you don't give a shit about. I feel like I'd enjoy these games if there was vastly more story and progression for your cars and driver, without it I just feel like I'm only playing the first 10% of the game.. like an endless trial mode that never can be broken out of.

That and the really annoying way the AI reacts to your racing, taking any 'skill' out of things. No matter how much better I get I seem to be placing lower and lower in some races because the AI rubbers itself ahead, actually glitching sometimes to be literal miles in front (usually if I crash once early on...). So fucking frustrating, that and when you tap a civ car's side mirror and get completely wrecked... I get ALL of the reasons for almost all of these shitty things, it just seems like it would have been worth it to try and come up with better ways around those problems cause the solutions are really massive reasons I don't think I'll ever be excited for a criterion game again. :( Do these guys know why their games can be really rad sometimes?

#3 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@DJJoeJoe:

Some races can be quite hard, if you don't go for the right unlocks first. Customizing your loadout for each event is key. It's quite satisfying to alter your loadout or even your car to beat a fellow player's autolog posting. I tinker with it all the time. For on the fly customizaiton Easy Drive is amazing. It's too cluttered with useless shit outside of events, still it's quite great to do these things right then and there, without stopping the action. Don't get why I can't do these things during 'crash time', surely that'd be the perfect time to be in Easy Drive - oh well...

Agreed on the civilian trafffic, it's indeed too punitive. Crashing feels like it costs too much time. That said, not crashing into civilian traffic is one of my greatest strengths in such games - so the more I grow accustomed to how Most Wanted handles, the less it's an issue that phases me. It kinda makes it more rewarding for me to being good at that aspect of the game. Of course, I hate it all the same, when a slight collision fucks me over.

Pacing is the weakest aspect. It takes too many buttonpushes to retry/restart an event. There's lots of flashy in-your-face menues. While the surreal car porn before races is absolutely awesome, all of them delay taking up racing again. The aftermath of crashes linger just a bit too long. Most Wanted often feels sticky, rather than slick - but I can deal with that. Usually by mock spitting at the screen...

As for friends. Just fill up your friendslist with players from GiantBomb or whatever. It adds a tons of motivation, if there's ample asymmetric competition for events, billboards and speed traps. Love plastering my avatar all over fairhaven. It's worth the effort.

#4 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

Yeah. Not with you on this.

My feelings went from boredom to, well, more boredom.

#5 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

Yeah. Not with you on this.

My feelings went from boredom to, well, more boredom.

What's your completion percentage? And do you care about Autolog? Topping lists in events and on billboards and speed traps?

In other words, do or did you even engage in the game's endgame?

#6 Posted by Chaser324 (6429 posts) -

The only time I touch the single player is after I finish an online session. At that point, I go ahead and just knock out any Most Wanted races that were unlocked by increasing my speed level online, and I do so using the one and only car I've unlocked all of the mods for in single player, the Ford GT (the only other car I have any mods for is the Porsche you start with).

Moderator
#7 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Chaser324:

While that's a fine way of playing the game, I think you're missing out on a great experience on the tail end of it all. There's like 60+ unique events spread across 41 cars. That's a ton of quality content you're missing out on. Especially if you like asymmetric multiplayer. It just takes a while to get to a place, where the game accommodates you more.

And the whole billboards and speedtraps thing is a lot fun too, akin to how a Tony Hawk's game is fun. Every billboard is a flippin' stunt jump, every speed trap a drag race. Put some thought into it, and make it a competition - that's endless compulsive fun right there.

#8 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@HistoryInRust said:

Yeah. Not with you on this.

My feelings went from boredom to, well, more boredom.

What's your completion percentage? And do you care about Autolog? Topping lists in events and on billboards and speed traps?

In other words, do or did you even engage in the game's endgame?

I cared about the Autolog a lot more in Hot Pursuit, where the part where you play it was more interesting.

It's kind of like that Final Fantasy argument a year or so ago. Some kernel of fun at the end of the road doesn't justify slogging through a game that doesn't interest me the way it should. I don't find the base mechanics pleasurable enough to hone my skills at them, which makes the Autolog sort of irrelevant.

So, no. Because why.

#9 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

@Seppli said:

@HistoryInRust said:

Yeah. Not with you on this.

My feelings went from boredom to, well, more boredom.

What's your completion percentage? And do you care about Autolog? Topping lists in events and on billboards and speed traps?

In other words, do or did you even engage in the game's endgame?

I cared about the Autolog a lot more in Hot Pursuit, where the part where you play it was more interesting.

It's kind of like that Final Fantasy argument a year or so ago. Some kernel of fun at the end of the road doesn't justify slogging through a game that doesn't interest me the way it should. I don't find the base mechanics pleasurable enough to hone my skills at them, which makes the Autolog sort of irrelevant.

So, no. Because why.

Well - I'd argue that 10-15 hours ain't that much effort to unlock the game to a degree that makes compulsive Autolog competition fun. Now that I'm there, I do find Most Wanted's asymmetric multiplayer just as good, if not better, than Hot Pursuit's Autolog functionality.

The driving physics themselves are very versatile, and only fully come into their own, once you get the hang of proper unlock progression and application. Unlocking them is a matter of minutes for me. I usually beat all events at my first go at them. It's about knowing what to unlock first, and what to equip for what type of event. As soon as that's transparent, the unlocking process becomes much more enjoyable - especially since each and every ride handles uniquely - adding lots of gameplay value.

Where I've previously muttered endless tirades of anger rage and frustration into my proverbial beard - now that I've reached a fun place by progressing in the game's campaign - my throat is sore from all the cheering laughter and hollerin', instead of the ceaseless hatred I harbored against it beforehand. My cheeks now ache from smiling. I love Most Wanted's singleplayer portion to bits.

If you love Hot Pursuit, you absolutely must wade through the initial shitness of Most Wanted. I implore you. It's heaven.

#10 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

Honestly, I try to play singleplayer, but end up in multiplayer no matter what. It's just too fun.

#11 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

@Seppli said:

If you love Hot Pursuit, you absolutely must wade through the initial shitness of Most Wanted. I implore you. It's heaven.

Thing is, I have. And it ain't.

#12 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

@Seppli said:

If you love Hot Pursuit, you absolutely must wade through the initial shitness of Most Wanted. I implore you. It's heaven.

Thing is, I have. And it ain't.

It's of course your prerogative to see it that way. I'm quite sure you'd change your mind, if you'd open up to it again, and go after highscores in event types you enjoy, with cars that you enjoy driving. The better you get at it, the more fun you'll have - until it is pure racing bliss like Hot Pursuit was.

#13 Posted by Ezakael (935 posts) -

Forgive me for asking a stupid question but I'm a little confused, is this game a remake of the original Most Wanted or is it a sequel? I didn't really follow this game but I'm slightly interested in it.

#14 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@HistoryInRust said:

@Seppli said:

If you love Hot Pursuit, you absolutely must wade through the initial shitness of Most Wanted. I implore you. It's heaven.

Thing is, I have. And it ain't.

It's of course your prerogative to see it that way. I'm quite sure you'd change your mind, if you'd open up to it again, and go after highscores in event types you enjoy, with cars that you enjoy driving. The better you get at it, the more fun you'll have - until it is pure racing bliss like Hot Pursuit was.

Perhaps the guy simply has a different opinion about the game than you.

#15 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Grissefar said:

@Seppli said:

@HistoryInRust said:

@Seppli said:

If you love Hot Pursuit, you absolutely must wade through the initial shitness of Most Wanted. I implore you. It's heaven.

Thing is, I have. And it ain't.

It's of course your prerogative to see it that way. I'm quite sure you'd change your mind, if you'd open up to it again, and go after highscores in event types you enjoy, with cars that you enjoy driving. The better you get at it, the more fun you'll have - until it is pure racing bliss like Hot Pursuit was.

Perhaps the guy simply has a different opinion about the game than you.

Forgive me if I don't believe opinions are meant to be set in stone and go unquestioned. I'm a romantic, and still have a smidgeon of hope for humanity. Discourse and persistency can change somebody's mind. Forgive my insistence and insolence.

#16 Posted by JacDG (2119 posts) -

I loved it at first, and I still love it. There is always something I want to do, a billboard I want to crash, a speedtrap and anytime I find a new car I want to ditch my old ride and get upgrades for the shiny new toy, which is why I'm always 2 Most Wanted races behind. I've played a handful of hours, and I'm having way too much fun to play other games at the moment, I really feared not having any real progression would kill the game for me, since all cars are available from the start but I really like it. I do wish there were more event types tough, more than just racing, and I wish the "escape the cops" Ambush stuff wasn't there either, but other than that I think this game is fantastic.

#17 Posted by mcmax3000 (277 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@DJJoeJoe:

Customizing your loadout for each event is key.

That right there is the biggest reason I don't like this game as much as their previous efforts. The biggest thing I've always loved about Criterion's games is their simplicity. It's about getting in a fast car, and seeing who can be the fastest person around the track. That's it. It wasn't about having to go through a menu to pick parts for your car, it was simply about having fun driving.

I HATE the mod system. I thought for years that such a thing would ruin a Criterion game, and it has. I hope they drop it from whatever they do next. It's great in some games, but not Criterion's games.

#18 Posted by j3ffro919 (243 posts) -

My major issue with the game is the driving dynamics - they are awful. While doing multiplayer challenges and messing around I can look past that pretty quickly, but racing against the computer puts the worst part of the game in the spotlight and simply adding more isnt likely to make me enjoy it. I liked driving in Saints Row 3 more than this game, but the MP aspect is a blast.

#19 Edited by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

@Seppli said:

with cars that you enjoy driving.

And there's our hang-up. There's the chief difference between Most Wanted and Hot Pursuit.

Hot Pursuit had them.

Most Wanted doesn't.

Going in for high scores isn't exactly a held-hand, picnic-in-the-park experience when the driving isn't enjoyable.

EDIT: I am being sort of an asshole about this. Haha. I'll pump the brakes.

EDIT 2: Pump the brakes. The fuck. I didn't mean to say that.

#20 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@mcmax3000 said:

@Seppli said:

@DJJoeJoe:

Customizing your loadout for each event is key.

That right there is the biggest reason I don't like this game as much as their previous efforts. The biggest thing I've always loved about Criterion's games is their simplicity. It's about getting in a fast car, and seeing who can be the fastest person around the track. That's it. It wasn't about having to go through a menu to pick parts for your car, it was simply about having fun driving.

I HATE the mod system. I thought for years that such a thing would ruin a Criterion game, and it has. I hope they drop it from whatever they do next. It's great in some games, but not Criterion's games.

I'm a bit torn on the mods mechanic myself. On the one hand, I'd much prefer cars to handle 'just right' to begin with, resulting in the kind of pick up and play fun I've come to expect from Criterion's games - on the other hand, it is kinda nifty tuning my car to fit the occasion.

It feels a bit like a concession to the Underground-era playerbase, that's clamoring for in-depth tuning to return to the franchise. I don't think they are really happy with what they got either. I've learned to get some enjoyment from it, though it definitely was not happening organically. I like it well enough, and it's not to the detriment of my enjoyment anymore, as it was at first.

I agree though - I could do without - and the game would likely be much more approachable and instantly fun if it wasn't built around mods.

#21 Posted by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

Thought I'd chime in here instead of starting a new thread with one thing I really like in MW. The Kinect integration is SUPERB. Using voice commands to navigate the Easydrive menus while you're using your hands to actually drive is an awesome addition. Of course, using the d-pad to navigate them is fine too, but not having to take my thumb off the analogue stick to do it is great. They're really responsive and much faster than using the d-pad. You can say the names of sub menus and it'll take you straight there instead of clicking through all of them. "Races" or "Multiplayer" for example. Obviously not a deal breaker, but something that I think they got really right.

#22 Posted by ShaggE (6421 posts) -

Single player is all about Copwheel.

Online
#23 Posted by Chaser324 (6429 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@Chaser324:

While that's a fine way of playing the game, I think you're missing out on a great experience on the tail end of it all. There's like 60+ unique events spread across 41 cars. That's a ton of quality content you're missing out on. Especially if you like asymmetric multiplayer. It just takes a while to get to a place, where the game accommodates you more.

And the whole billboards and speedtraps thing is a lot fun too, akin to how a Tony Hawk's game is fun. Every billboard is a flippin' stunt jump, every speed trap a drag race. Put some thought into it, and make it a competition - that's endless compulsive fun right there.

Two problems with your argument though. One, all of the billboards and speedtraps are still there in multiplayer, and that's where I'd rather mess around with that stuff.

I am definitely a fan of asymmetric multiplayer when it's done right. Hot Pursuit and SSX were both fantastic at delivering on the promise of "autolog". Most Wanted just doesn't work as well. The events aren't organized as well, getting into them takes longer, and you have to take the time to unlock most of the mods for a car first before you're able to be competitive.

Moderator
#24 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

@Seppli said:

@Chaser324:

While that's a fine way of playing the game, I think you're missing out on a great experience on the tail end of it all. There's like 60+ unique events spread across 41 cars. That's a ton of quality content you're missing out on. Especially if you like asymmetric multiplayer. It just takes a while to get to a place, where the game accommodates you more.

And the whole billboards and speedtraps thing is a lot fun too, akin to how a Tony Hawk's game is fun. Every billboard is a flippin' stunt jump, every speed trap a drag race. Put some thought into it, and make it a competition - that's endless compulsive fun right there.

Two problems with your argument though. One, all of the billboards and speedtraps are still there in multiplayer, and that's where I'd rather mess around with that stuff.

I am definitely a fan of asymmetric multiplayer when it's done right. Hot Pursuit and SSX were both fantastic at delivering on the promise of "autolog". Most Wanted just doesn't work as well. The events aren't organized as well, getting into them takes longer, and you have to take the time to unlock most of the mods for a car first before you're able to be competitive.

Isn't that exactly what I'm saying though? That it's totally shit getting there, but when you're there, it's just as awesome as in Hot Pursuit and SSX in terms of asymmetric multiplayer?

#25 Posted by Chaser324 (6429 posts) -

@Seppli: Sure, I guess that is what you're saying, I just disagree about it being worth the effort. Also, the majority of people probably aren't going to get to that point, so is that asymmetric multiplayer even going to be all that lively when you get there?

The other thing Most Wanted has going against it is that it's not the only marquee driving game out right now. Forza Horizon is really hot right now, and a lot of the people that would've been competing through autolog in MW, are instead just spending that time in Forza.

Moderator
#26 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Autolog competition is excellent - sadly bearly anybody from these forums competes seriously at all. Don't disregard it as readily as you seem to do. If you had a great time with Hot Pursuit's autolog competition, you will have just as good a time with Most Wanted's asymmetric offerings. I've sent invites to the entire list of names on GB's NfS:MW Origin gamertag exchange thread - yet regardless of having lots of Most Wanted players on my Origin friendslist, my autolog recommendations are currently empty. I own every event high score in the game.

Hook me up with some competition!

#27 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

@Seppli: Sure, I guess that is what you're saying, I just disagree about it being worth the effort. Also, the majority of people probably aren't going to get to that point, so is that asymmetric multiplayer even going to be all that lively when you get there?

The other thing Most Wanted has going against it is that it's not the only marquee driving game out right now. Forza Horizon is really hot right now, and a lot of the people that would've been competing through autolog in MW, are instead just spending that time in Forza.

Just watch a gameplay montage of both games. I know what game I'll want to play after I've done that. Most players would love Most Wanted's asymmetric autolog competition, if they'd be willing to get past the lose campaign structure, that's generally badly set-up to accommodate autolog competition - chasing high scores is bred into our bones, and it's still as good as ever!

The asymmetric competition aspect of Most Wanted does come together however, but not until you're pretty much done with regular 'completionist' singleplayer. As far as I'm concerned, Most Wanted's asymmetric multiplayer blows its regular multiplayer out of the water. And really, Forza Horizon isn't even legitimate competition - it's a completely different sub-genre of racing games.

Just compare this past week's top montages for each game. No flippin' competition as far as I'm concerned. Objectively - these two games do not compete. Most Wanted gets me all hot and bothered, whilst Forza Horizon is much more somber - it doesn't really scratch my itch - my Need for Speed.

#28 Posted by cabbagewater (11 posts) -

Did you purposely pick the crappiest Forza vid on the net for this comparison? I have played Shift 1 and 2, Hot Pursuit and The Run on this gen of consoles. Fool me 4 times, shame on me.. Burnout Paradise is an excellent game tho.

#29 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@cabbagewater said:

Did you purposely pick the crappiest Forza vid on the net for this comparison? I have played Shift 1 and 2, Hot Pursuit and The Run on this gen of consoles. Fool me 4 times, shame on me.. Burnout Paradise is an excellent game tho.

Nah - both are youtube's first pick for a *Gamename & Montage* query in HD for the last week. I find these picks pretty fitting to each game's tone and flavour really. One's Cannonball with Smokey and the Bandit, the other one's a semi-realistic joyride with the Top Gear crew.

Regardless - what was wrong with Shift 1 & 2 & especially Hot Pursuit? To me Hot Pursuit is the most enjoyable game of this generation. No game has me made smile, giggle, laugh, holler, yodle, grin, cheer - you name it - more than Hot Pursuit - with pretty much zero frustration and anger along the way. A simply delightful game that's closer to carving with skis, rather than driving cars.

Both - Most Wanted and Horizon - are excellent in their own way, but neither does what the other one offers particularly well, or at all. Guess your taste just doesn't align with Criterion anymore.

#30 Posted by cabbagewater (11 posts) -

I won't lie, I gave Shift 1 a decent try. The cars sound great but feel too floaty/boaty to be an immersive experience for me. Really didn't enjoy Hot Pursuit/ The Run at all, again mainly due to the handling, the games look great tho. Honestly, I wanted to like these games. I spent my hard-earned sheckles on 'em. I prefer sim-style racers. Not against the concept of arcade racers but there has to be rewarding and relatable handling (to a point). Played a lot of NFS Porsche 2000 on PC back in the day. Now that was a fun game..

#31 Edited by andr3wpr (5 posts) -

I have just finished the SP game by becoming Most Wanted. I had been annoyed by the inability to escape the police, however the SP game turned around for me when I unlocked the Veyron, finally you get a car that can outrun the cops and the game gets enjoyable again. I haven't played much of the MP game yet, so can't make a good enough judgement on that yet, although there is definitely too much time waiting around.

#32 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@andr3wpr said:

I have just finished the SP game by becoming Most Wanted. I had been annoyed by the inability to escape the police, however the SP game turned around for me when I unlocked the Veyron, finally you get a car that can outrun the cops and the game gets enjoyable again. I haven't played much of the MP game yet, so can't make a good enough judgement on that yet, although there is definitely too much time waiting around.

That's kind of what the internet at large seems to be thinking, when it's talking about 'beating Most Wanted'. I'd argue, unless you've played all 5 races available to each car (like 60-80 unique events total), you have not 'finished' the game at all. You can literally not have played any other events than the 10 Most Wanted races, and still get the credits screen.

There's so much more to Most Wanted than that. Each and every of the 41 cars handles uniquely. Pretty much every event is well designed and fun to compete in. Past that, the depth of the game's mechanics only becomes apparent, once one delves into actual highscore hunting, and proper player competition.

Most Wanted's campaign structure is super-lose, which is to its detriment - at the beginning. I find it super troubling how shallowly a majority of players seems to play their games. Like saying Most Wanted is a 10 hours game, because that's when the credits roll. Hell - most professionals came to that conclusion - like Jeff. Worrisome.

Not to single you out or anything, this has just been on my mind for awhile, and your comment just reminded me, that I wanted to put that out there - to vent.

#33 Posted by MightyDuck (1521 posts) -

I like the game, but I'm getting very frustrated with the single player difficulty. Might end up sticking with the online component instead.

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