Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 10/30/2012
Having loved and played many of the previous Need for Speed games throughout my childhood. I have always been so adamant about getting the newest and greatest games from EA to be released to the market from the NFS series. I can’t imagine the magnitude of hours spent racing, fleeing, chasing, and even just crashing into other cars in my entire NFS career. However, after purchasing the Need for Speed: Most Wanted “2012 edition”, I find myself missing the same enjoyment of previous games played in which I so long for from this Need for Speed game.
In this game, just as the previous 2005 version, you are racing computer opponents and fleeing from police to rack up “street cred” to become the most wanted bad ass in this open world racing game. Except in this game your friends will be on the most wanted list, in which you can compete against to become not only the ultimate racing machine against computers; but taking down your friends as well. As far as any true story implemented into the game, there is not one. Something I didn’t expect because the objective is straight forward enough to know the goal at hand and how winning races and running from police are really the only ways to reach that goal.
Looking at the gameplay, what really hit it off for me was the autolog updates of friend challenges and timed races that can be contested by yourself and others. The mutiplayer experience is not to die for but can be fun in certain instances. I really enjoyed the speed cameras that can monitor you and your friends speed, on different jumps, and cop pursuit records. I like the physics of car movements such the mechanics as well as drifting and different affects of your speed based upon the ability to change your tires for off-road and asphalt surfaces. Also the music tracks and SFX effects are fantastic, like echoing in tunnels and clarity that really just drew me into the gameplay. However, much to my surprise I found the game in its entirety to be extremely dumbed down and very easy to win. Having won almost every single race on my first try I do not know whether to call it luck or some sort of skill, but when I start off the game with a $100,000+ Porsche 911 Carrera S I can not call that a challenge. I would much rather earn my car with races and hard work then be able to switch to any luxurious car I come across driving around the NFS world. I crushed every single most wanted opponent on my first or second try with the “vast” amount of customization you can add to your car. Come on, I can change five things on every single car I get which doesn’t come close to the selection like in the first Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I want costume rims, windows, paint, body kits, stickers, designs and more options for the hardware. Your practically just beating a dead horse when every single car you find or unlock, you have the same five things to add or choose from. This game was a step back in the much needed effort to keep me into the NFS series. It is almost 2013! This game would have been fun in 2009. How can you beat the campaign in less than 6 hours of casual gameplay, and say that was fun.
Now when it comes to presentation, this game knocks it out of the park. From the epic details of each and every car to the minor details on roads and highways. Presentation is really what this game has going for it. This game has better graphics and details than what I have seen in previous games. Also the introductions for each an every race are just superb. Especially the short clips to introduce the car at the beginning of each most wanted race just seemed to blow my mind. After beating the game and unlocking almost everything on all of my cars, I found it very annoying after awhile to watch a three second cut away of myself crashing. Having decked out my cars for maximum speed I found that the toughness and weight would drop. Thus making my car “crash” on any little thing it came in contact with over 60mph. This can be very frustrating, especially in the heat of the moment on races and cop cases having to watch my car in a delayed camera cut away.
While the game had its majority of fun moments, I also found it to be nothing special or anything to be remembered. This game didn’t separate itself from previous games played, except for the games overall presentation. I paid $59.99 USD for a game that would have been much more satisfying in 2009. Overall I wanted more out of the game and really after beating it 6 hours I did not get that. I expect a game to conform with the standard of expectations set by other game competitors. When you release a game at the end of 2012 with a slide by mentality implementing the minimum to “have a good time” does not interest me in the slightest bit. I expect the most out of a game to always add and push the envelope from its previous games, especially when this its the 19th title game of a 18 year long franchise! The game should have the minimum of everything from the previous game as far as car customization and a broader car selection, making the game more difficult. I would have liked to start the game off with a clunker car and worked my way up the the best car. This game gives me the Bugatti Super Sport, fastest commercial brand car in the world, as my 3rd most wanted opponent. How does that make sense? After unlocking the car I crushed the 2nd and 1st most wanted opponents. I would recommend popping in any other previous NFS game in which I guarantee you would have the same, if not much more, amount of enjoyment saving yourself $65 and not buying this game.