Review of Need for Speed: Most Wanted - NFS in the Burnout Paradise fashion

Author: Przemysław Zamęcki
Date: 2012-11-02 11:22:00
The review was based on the PC version. Also applies to X360, PS3 versions

Need for Speed: Most Wanted, released in 2005, is considered by a large number of fans of the series to be the best installment of this series on current-gen consoles. No wonder - the game was released right after the premiere of the Xbox 360 and at that time it amazed with the technological level of execution, freshness in the way the plot is conducted and a large city bathed in the rays of the setting sun. It was the title that redefined the brand, becoming a benchmark for comparisons for the next games in the series. Year after year, subsequent editions of the NFS lost some of their quality (except for Shifts ), so it had to be remedied somehow. The idea of reviving old works in a new form was born, and the implementation of this idea was to be the British studio Criterion Games, seasoned in racing battles. This is how the controversial Hot Pursuit and the new incarnation of Most Wanted were created .

It might come as a surprise to some, but the new Most Wanted has nothing to do with the Most Wanted you once loved . The only thing that combines both of these titles is the presence of the city and police chases. In almost every other respect, the game is much more like another Criterion hit, Burnout Paradise . Or maybe it does not even resemble, but for the most part of the presented solutions it is its ordinary clone. After a few hours of fun, you can't help but get the impression that Criterion has simply done self-plagiarism . Need for Speed: Most Wanted to Burnout Paradise with a differently "painted" city and real car brands.

After this terrible finding, it becomes clear that Electronic Arts has clearly run out of ideas for the development of the series. Reaching for tricks, and it is so obvious, in every other game I treat as a suicide or even a forfeit defeat. However, there are two ways to look at the new Most Wanted . The first of them leads to the conclusion that a greedy publisher is trying to sell players a product with a perfectly associated and well-mentioned name, which is in fact a scrap from a completely different production. The second, much less aggressive and closer to what I think after spending a lot of time with this production is: "Hey, it's Criterion Games, they don't make bad games."

Unlike its older namesake, EA's new proposal has no storyline . There are no acting performances here, and there are no models parading in front of the hoods of cars. This is a car sandbox, in which the player has 100% freedom in making decisions, limited only by the need to collect the so-called speed points , used to unlock the option of facing ten different cars from the Most Wanted list. Where we will go, what car we will sit in and which race we will play, depends entirely on us.

In the city, there are cars at various points, you just need to drive to them and press a button to change to them. In total, this way you can find a little over 40 cars that successively appear on the list in the quick menu. This solution eliminates the need to travel to a specific model again. Just select it from the menu and the substitution takes place immediately. This is a complete novelty in the series, not necessarily to the taste of every fan, but in fact a convenient and above all quick solution.

Five races are scheduled for each car model . One on easy, two on medium and two on difficult. It seems to be not much, but multiplied by the number of available cars, it gives quite a satisfactory result, and above all, it encourages you to use everything that the authors have prepared, and not to choose one or two favorite vehicles. The aim of the struggle is, of course, the aforementioned speed points, but also the possibility of getting car improvements, which can then be used or changed at any time. Even during the race itself, as long as someone has a third hand and monkey dexterity. Not everyone will like this solution, but there is nothing to cheat - the Need for Speed cycle, with the exception of Shifts , never had the ambition to be a realistic simulator. From time to time, these are just, or maybe as many as, good "arcades" and the solutions used in this part should not reject any reasonable person a priori. The possibility of changing tires from factory to off-road or road tires, installing two types of nitro or increasing the strength of the body and several other elements is a very modest help in relation to the competition's offer . However, when you think about the essence of the game, which most often turns into a veritable destruction derby, the fact of treating tuning a bit negligently becomes understandable.

Because Most Wanted , just like Burnout Paradise , is largely a game focused on total destruction , emphasized by slowdowns of animation and special camera shots in the event of crashes. During the race, it is not only who will reach the finish line faster, but also pushing the opponents and ramming them, for which we also receive points. What used to be a subtle addition in Hot Pursuit now has its full force. Not only do we face the police cars chasing us, but we take it out on everything that comes up in front of the hood. Of course, while trying to avoid collisions with neutral vehicles. The body sheet deforms, the windows fall out - the authors have prepared a pretty good model of visual damage - we can even lose tires, which affects, for example, the speed and maneuverability achieved. In such a case, workshops located by the road come to the rescue. It is enough to drive through it to immediately repair all damage and, in addition, change the color of the body. Remember where it was resolved the same way. Exactly: in Burnout Paradise .

Following the example of Burnout, apart from racing, it is also worth visiting the city and looking for various attractions . Just like in Paradise , well over a hundred billboards and at least as many entrance gates await destruction here. It is also worth rushing at breakneck speed, because our speed is recorded here and there by speed cameras, so you can show off to your friends thanks to the Autolog progress made in the game. It's nice that the creators give players extra work, but the malcontents will say that it was already there. And they will be right . I remember that in Burnout looking for these "finds" gave me great fun. But I completely didn't feel like doing the same thing the second time in NFS . If something new was invented ...

Brawling in regular races is one thing, but battling the bosses on the Most Wanted list is a slightly different experience . First of all - with each repetition, the opponent behaves exactly the same, and as if that were not enough, the artificial intelligence simply cheats. Since we're dealing with an arcade game, let's turn a blind eye to it for the sake of even greater emotions, but the rocket speed of the bosses at our slightest stumble can be frustrating. In addition, the police chasing us (which, incidentally, appear almost every time in any race) do not pay attention to the boss at all and only "disturb" the player.

Winning a race with one of the ten bosses does not automatically win his car. Identical to Burnout, we still have to ram such a friend somewhere at the earliest opportunity. The cars on the Most Wanted list are then subject to exactly the same rules as the regular ones: five races and the possibility of tuning.