Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Date: Friday, November 25 @ 10:21:07 EST
Topic: Racing Game Reviews
A culmination of average ideas and dismal execution makes for a good game to bring to a luddite CD-burning convention.
I've been an off-and-on follower of the Need For Speed series for quite a while; NFS 1 and High Stakes being my favourites. While generally each version brings some sort of innovation, I've started getting pretty tired of the lame re-hashes that were Hot Pursuit 2, Underground and Underground 2 (although the customisation options in UG were decent).
Most wanted is the most recent game in the series, and ideally it's supposed to combine the good points of all previous games together to create a composite ubergame. However, as I will explain in this review, it just doesn't freakin' work.
The first scratches in MW's shiny but shallow paintjob can be found very fast into the game: The customisation options which made Underground and Underground 2 so popular have been cut-down horribly. You can no longer have multiple layers of vinyls; the number of riceburner-tastic bodykits and spoilers and intakes is a quarter of what it used to be; and even the paintjobs aren't as nice anymore
This is nothing, however, compared to the AI; NFS:MW's AI is arguably the worst in the whole series. It is common to see AI drive right into oncoming cars, smash into walls, hit obstructions for no reason, and more.
But this turns out to be neccesary to win - for some reason, EA decided to make up for it's neanderthalic AI, they should just make the AI about twice as fast as you. So yay - you can have a fully upgraded GT40 and an opponent in a corolla will be able to go faster than you.
Lastly, while the added 'pursuit' modes are enjoyable, there's no longer Drag, Drifting (even though drifting is lame), or other races of that sort - every race is either circuit, sprint, or knockout. Way to kill the gameplay.
Perhaps the only good point of this game is the engine sounds, which, since they're no longer 4-block imports, sound more like an engine than an air conditioner. The music, however, is god-awful rap music for the most part, with occasional intersplicing of crappy rock tracks by overrated bands like Disturbed.
Terrible. Just terrible, that's the only way they can be summed up. The MW engine is the same as the 5-or-so-year-old Underground engine with slight DX9 improvments such as reflectionmapping and lightblooms and FSAA. Why am I complaining, then?
The DirectX9 features cause the game to fucking crash.
Yes, that's right - your reward for buying a decent graphics card is that you can't play the fucking game. Enabling reflection mapping (one of the only things that can make this game look graphically decent) causes an instant crash. Good work, EA.
I'd give this about a 2/10. Incredibly unoriginal, basically a re-hash of Underground with LESS features.