After 2 great hits Underground and Underground 2, Most Wanted comes in as another great offering from the Need For Speed game series.
You came to Rockport city and got involved in more than just a few races. Besides being framed, your ride was used by the gang leader of Rockport to reach blacklist #1 – now you’re given a chance to climb you way to the top of the list and get your ride back.
This has got to be the most exciting NFS game I’ve ever played.
I’ll start by yabbering about the Career Mode. You start off with a brief introduction of the game, nicely filmed scenes and a bit of race to get you into the mood and then finally you reach the game menu, along with a memorable soundtrack. The cast was great too, with people like Josie Maran playing Mia and Dean McKenzie playing Sgt Cross.
Even the game menu itself is a breath of fresh air with fast moving motion and great accompanying soundtrack.
In Most Wanted, your goal is simple. You have 15 blacklist racers to beat and before you get to go head on any blacklist racer, you have a few criterias to fulfil. A few races, acquire a few offences and meet the bounty quota and the blacklist racer will contact you for a challenge.
The races are similar to all the other Need For Speed games. Beat the time, run in laps or a single route and finish as #1 – you know, the usual. I decline to elaborate.
As for offences collection, the offences that you have to make are like breaking speed limit and get caught on speedtrap cameras,
Meeting bounty quota is the most interesting part of the game, you need to engage in a pursuit with the cops and gain bounty by offending the law as much as you can. You also have various criterias to meet, for example some requires you to have chases that last 8 minutes while others may need you to avoid at least 5 road blocks and so on so forth.
The pursuits may seem easy at first, Level 1 cops are peanuts. Level 5 onwards, man the cops are really good and it’s a chaos on the streets. You run around from University campus, stadiums, docks, shipyards, city, towns and even golf courses and camp sites!!
And what do you do when the heat is on you? Change car of course!! You can acquire new cars, drive around in them so the cops won’t know it’s you while waiting for the heat on the other car to lower. And by the way you also get to acquire cars by beating blacklist racers. Beating a blacklist racer allows you to choose 2 out of a few available choices, if your choice happens to be a pink slip – you’ll get your opponent’s souped-up car!! You could end up unlocking stuff like specialty parts, impound release and many other things.
Now unlike Underground and Underground 2, the modifications available on bodykits aren’t that extensive. It just comes with a few body kits, even the wide ones. 😀 Great!! At least I don’t have to wait till nearly the final race before getting it, unlike Underground 2.
Anyway back to topic, Most Wanted allows you to not only modify the looks of your car but even how the car behaves to the surrounding a.k.a. TUNING!! And what I like about the tuning features is that you don’t have to bring it to a shop or whatever place for tuning, the game allows you to tune even as you drive. Unrealistic but I didn’t care, it’s so much more convenient this way.
Free roaming around the city on the other hand wasn’t as FREE as it was in Underground 2. Just going around for a while and you might end up in another chase. This is probably the only part that I wasn’t that particularly pleased because in Underground 2 I could go around as fast as I can, anywhere I want and do any thing I want without the cops homing in on me.
Besides Career Mode, there’s also the Challenge Mode where you are presented with a series of challenges to test your skill. This part is very straight forward, finish some, unlock more, and try to finish the rest.
Graphics & Sound
This game excels in both departments. The graphics are beyond words, the first time I tried it I was shocked that the sun actually moves and there will be situations where the sun actually shines right at you, making it difficult to look at the surroundings.
The sky changes color, rains come and go. Every single thing in there changes color accordingly, even down to the shadow of buildings and other objects around move according to the sun’s movement.
The game also has slow-motion camera view on events, I disable this though because it sometimes disrupts by driving but nevertheless it’s a very nice feature to have.
The car and its surroundings are reflective too. You’ll get to see the roads reflect the sunlight, even cars reflect the surrounding buildings.
This game just oozes with a lot of eye candy, the cutscenes were nicely done too with a great combo of live action and CG. Some cutscenes were done via the game’s 3D engine and it was superb, loved the camera angles, the settings and everything about it.
I couldn’t bother much about the sound effect, I mean it’s another NFS game. Its car engine, banging, screeching, sirens. No big deal here, of course the police chatters were great – something lacking in the previous 2 NFS releases.
The soundtrack on the other hand was superb, great rock music featured here. I found that the soundtrack really suits the racing mood. In pursuit mode, the soundtrack will automatically play that one and only soundtrack made for pursuits and it’s a good thing that it was nicely done.
Online gaming for Most Wanted isn’t something special, it’s just like how it was in Underground and Underground 2 – you meet the rest of the players on the server and race. That’s it.
The connection was straight forward and the races are as it was in Career / Challenge mode, just that you’re now up against people.
Buy it!!! If you like arcade style racing and adrenaline rush, this Need For Speed is for you!!!
The game was so good, I actually played and finished it 3 times. Not only that, there were times when I would just play the game for fun!!
In Underground 2, I didn’t know what else I could do after I finish the game. I could run around the town but that’s it, I’m bored with the races. In Most Wanted, you could always come back for more wild chases.
Yes, it’s THAT playable. Sometimes after a hard day’s work or just to kill time, I’ll just load any one of my profiles (each profile may have different cars, as in my case) and start off a police chase.
You could set a personal record for yourself, for example see how long you could go on in a pursuit or how fast you could evade a pursuit or even how many police cars you can disable. My personal record was a bit over 30 minutes of wild car-chase.
PC Specifications Used
Processor : AMD Athlon64 2800+ @ 2.3ghz
RAM : 512MB DDR 400
Graphic Card : PowerColor X800GT 256MB
Monitor : 15″ Samsung 151S LCD