Have a look! At the end of the day does it really matter? Not really, but come on. Couldn't EA's marketing team come up with another highly creative title? Like "Most Wanted 2". I know everyone's doing it these days, with movies like Total Recall and stuff. Oh well, it's just the creative person in me speaking at this point. Who is Criterion? Unless you've been living under a rock, they're the fine folks behind the incredible Burnout series, Need for Speed Paradise, and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. They were bought up by EA back in 2004. Let me tell you that they have engineered some of the best crash physics in racing games to date, period. On with the review! The city of Fairhaven (who comes up with these names?), is one without pedestrians. Lucky for them, otherwise it would be a complete bloody disaster! The city itself is roughly the size of what Burnout Paradise was, plus it's a complete wide open driving sandbox. I was really excited when I found out they were going in this direction as I personally didn't like the linear vibe of Hot Pursuit, I felt it was more of a step backwards. I remember having loads of fun with Paradise. Again, you'll talk to just about everyone comparing this title to it. Is this a bad thing? Nope, because it represented hours of fun!" />

STAFF REVIEW of Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) (Xbox 360)


Sunday, November 11, 2012.
by Stephen Cameron

Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) Box art Do you have the need, the need for speed? Well, I do! Electronic Arts and Criterion Games graces us with yet another "Most Wanted" title. Wait a minute... another one? Yes folks, there's old name recycling going on here. Have a look! At the end of the day does it really matter? Not really, but come on. Couldn't EA's marketing team come up with another highly creative title? Like "Most Wanted 2". I know everyone's doing it these days, with movies like Total Recall and stuff. Oh well, it's just the creative person in me speaking at this point.

Who is Criterion? Unless you've been living under a rock, they're the fine folks behind the incredible Burnout series, Need for Speed Paradise, and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. They were bought up by EA back in 2004. Let me tell you that they have engineered some of the best crash physics in racing games to date, period.

On with the review!

The city of Fairhaven (who comes up with these names?), is one without pedestrians. Lucky for them, otherwise it would be a complete bloody disaster! The city itself is roughly the size of what Burnout Paradise was, plus it's a complete wide open driving sandbox. I was really excited when I found out they were going in this direction as I personally didn't like the linear vibe of Hot Pursuit, I felt it was more of a step backwards. I remember having loads of fun with Paradise. Again, you'll talk to just about everyone comparing this title to it. Is this a bad thing? Nope, because it represented hours of fun!


The single player is not really a campaign. It's a series of various races to acquire the faster and faster cars, with cop chases thrown into the mix. As you progress, you accumulate what they call "Speed Points", it's basically a measuring stick to unlock more races like the "Most Wanted" ones. What are these Most Wanted races? As you progress thru the cookie cutout races, you unlock races where you can potentially unlock really fast cars like the Alfa Romero. Overall, short and sweet fun. The coolest part of this version of Need for Speed Most Wanted is that you don't have to unlock any cars, you one with a logo swirling above it, then you can simply drive up to it and it's yours, it's that simple. You just have to find them all. Like a treasure hunt.

The multiplayer is the main reason you should run out and buy this game. Why? It's simple, it's the best part. However, the multiplayer events lack good explanations. You'll have everyone running around trying to figure out the main objective. If you are playing with a younger crowd with the attention span of a gerbil, things will go south and trash talking will fill the air quite quickly. But, if you are playing with a crew of good friends, you will have the time of your life whipping thru the bottomless pit of events. Which should keep everyone entertained for a while.

Here comes the good, the bad and the ugly. The good first. This game looks incredible! The cars look great, reflections, shadows, etc... It's beautiful, and enjoyable. The bad, I had the odd frame rate stutter during races and that's very annoying, even with the game installed on the hard disk. The ugly, the cops...these police chases in Need for Speed Most Wanted are ruthless! They are like rabid dogs. Now is this a bad thing? Yes, and no. Sometimes, you don't want to be chased by cops, and sometimes you do. It's mood thing really. But, when you are trying to just play, they butt in. Uggh.


I've only tested the game with one piece of driving hardware, which was the Microsoft wireless steering wheel. Functioned quite well actually. But, the violent action of whipping the thing left and right, your arms are all over the place. Why? Because the cops are always on ya! I ended up going back to the standard Xbox 360 controller. However, I did not try the full sized Microsoft steering wheel. I just don't have the space, and time.

Unfortunately, the reality that the game faces is it becomes repetitive quite quickly. I honestly think these guys need to re-think this franchise. And on the flipside there's not a whole lot you can do with this type of racing game.


Think of Need for Speed Most Wanted like this... it's a pick up and play game, which you easily walk away from and resume later without many repercussions. Most racing titles have this advantage.

Overall, Need for Speed Most Wanted is a welcomed title, however if you are looking for a deeper racing title, you'll have to look elsewhere. But, seriously how deep can a driving go? If you want that crazy depth, Forza might be a better choice. But, this is NOT Forza. It has a lot more of an arcade appeal to it. This isn't good or bad, it just is. It all depends on the mood you're in, sometimes you'll want a deeper racing game, and sometimes I just want to blast around with your friends online for an hour and Need for Speed Most Wanted will give you just that; The fix, the Need for Speed.




Overall: 8.6 / 10
Gameplay: 8.4 / 10
Visuals: 9.2 / 10
Sound: 8.6 / 10

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