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    Need for Speed: Most Wanted

    Game » consists of 16 releases. Released Oct 30, 2012

    Players cruise the streets of the city Fairhaven, evading the cops while working their way to the top of the most wanted street racers list in this open-street racing game from Criterion Games.

    grilledcheez's Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360) review

    Avatar image for grilledcheez

    Superb multiplayer!

    Need for Speed: Most Wanted was one of my most anticipated titles going into 2012. I was looking forward to Criterion developing another game in the series, and was interested in what direction they would take after their last endeavor, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Hot Pursuit followed the format of most arcade racers at the time with a shallow and focused single player, and a multiplayer that relied upon short bursts of competition (5 minute races). All in all, it was one of my favorite racing games of all time and featured some of the most entertaining multiplayer found in a video game.

    The newest game in the Most Wanted line of Need for Speed games continues this trend of exciting multiplayer, but has a single player that could simply not exist, and the game would probably be better for it.

    I began my experience with the game in the single player mode to familiarize myself with the game play and to see what kind of offering they had come up with this time around. You are dropped into an open world and given instructions to race to a particular spot where you soon enter into your first car. From there you have a choice of five races to enter into with that car...and that's it. The races are tied to each car (some of them overlapping) and the only purpose they serve is to unlock parts (mods) for your cars. Natural thought processes led me to think that doing this would get me better cars to use online (complete with maxed out mods). Unfortunately, that is not the case. And even worse, this is not made apparent to the player anywhere within the game, at least that I could see. I'm not sure if they thought their open world was so cool that players would simply want to drive around in it? I guess I am trying to say that the single player is very poorly done and is meaningless to anything other than itself. There is no storyline, no progression, and no fun. I didn't even mention how the cops simply serve as an annoyance and there is no great benefit to escaping them (as Jeff mentioned in his review). The game also somehow managed to look significantly worse (maybe it is my imagination) than I remembered Hot Pursuit looking. But if there is one saving grace to this game (and it is a big one), it is the fast paced multiplayer that can't be found in any other racing game out there.

    The multiplayer takes place in the same world and area as the single player with up to eight players in a single match. It revolves around "speed lists" that are compiled automatically in player matches, and can be completely customized in private matches. These lists are a series of five events that can vary from races to team races to challenges. Once an event is queued up, the players must race to the "meet up point" and wait for everybody to arrive before the match can start (players that don't show up are teleported, or kicked if inactive). Once it does start, all hell breaks loose. Depending on the types of competitors one is up against, they might try to take each other down thereby eliminating part of the competition (in races it simply serves as an inconvenience, whereas in challenges a player can be prevented from scoring). Challenges can range from drifting, remaining parked (still) on platforms, and jumping the farthest distance. Some challenges are group challenges where the collective score is what matters, but people will still try to mess their competitors up (even in group challenges there are bonuses for the highest scoring player). Basically, the multiplayer is a test to see who can be the biggest jerk, and it is absolutely as fantastic as it sounds.

    Even the multiplayer is subject to problems including glitched patches, glitched events, and a distinct lack of thought put into the track layouts (there are problem spots on certain tracks that affect everybody). I also would have liked to have seen clearer indications of where the track is headed, as often times the player will end up flying by the turn only to realize it seconds later. Ultimately, the weaknesses of the game are outweighed by the over-the-top fun of the online experience.

    Although the game has glaring problems, a lack of focus, and seems to be technically broken in some ways, it is still one of my favorite games to come out in 2012 and I would recommend it to anybody looking for a unique multiplayer experience.

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