After all, what better way to point out that the Gods of cool racing, Criterion, still have that sense of style and X-Factor that puts them leagues above, well, everyone else? But, since a one-sentence review together with the score this game is getting would immediately make people thing that I’ve had my integrity compromised or something similarly silly, here goes a very long diatribe about why I love this game.
To start with, yes, it’s impossibly cool. From the perfectly abstracted engine noises, to the glistening road, silky-smooth arcade controls and a breathtaking soundtrack, Need for Speed has more style than Miranda Kerr (now to search the Internet for a picture of Miranda and a car just so I can get another picture of her on the website). Despite lacking some of the sensation of speed of Forza Horizon, the scenery whips by beautifully and thankfully this world is far more interesting to explore and is filled with interesting things to smash through and more cars to find.
|What do you know? I found one!|
The irony here is that you’ll end up spending longer combing every inch of the environment to find the cool cars than you would grinding up virtual cash or points to unlock them in a regular racing game, but you’ll feel far better about it in Need for Speed Most Wanted. There’s a real joy to hitting the brakes hard because you just passed a Maserati, and holy crap you want to drive it. Because it’s a Maserati, see.
Each car has a different set of races to play though, so to finish this game you’ll want to master every car – another nice way to encourage people to do more than just upgrade to the fastest car they can afford. These missions range from incredibly easy to headache-inducing difficult. The latter tends to happen when police get involved.
There are some big rewards from getting away from those big chases, too. Almost any action you complete in this game (including escaping from police) earns ‘wanted’ points. These points go directly towards a leaderboard of both real (human) opponents drawn from your friends list, and virtual AI opponents – the story goal of the game is to beat each of these and become the most wanted street racer in town.
|And just because I can - this here is what you call a 'dream car'|
All these words of course just boil down to what I said at the start: Need for Speed Most Wanted is cool. It’s slick, hugely entertaining, and yes, Criterion still knows how to make crashes simultaneously painful to watch and a feast for the eyes.
If you like racing games, you should already have this.
- Matt S
Our Comments and Scoring Policy