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Need For Speed : Most Wanted


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#1 m_hael

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:33 PM

TITLE: Need for Speed : Most Wanted
PUBLISHER: EA
DEVELOPER: EA Canada
DATE RELEASED: November 15, 2005
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1-2
XBOX SYSTEM LINK: No
XBOX LIVE COMPATABLE: Yes
HDTV Support: 480p/720p/1080i
In-Game Dolby Digital: Yes
GENRE: Racing
PLATFORM: XBOX360, XBOX, PS2, PSP, GC, DS, PC, GBA
ESRB: T (Teen)
Retail Price: $59.99
Achievement level reached: 1000/1000



The Perspective

I'm a developer with 8 years experience, the first 5 being on racing games (tho not exclusively). I love them and I play them a LOT. In the NFS series I played them ALL except NFSU2 which I have but Burnout 3 eclipsed it at the time and never lost its draw.


The Good

It looks and sounds amazing, I played in 1080i on a big screen with an AC3 setup and its definitely worth it. The cars look as you'd expect, very nicely rendered with nice normal mapping, environment mapping and lighting that doesn't look out of place or superfluous to the rest of the scene.. The scenery, while not as high poly or detailed texture wise as the cars, also looks brilliantly rendered. The post effects and environmental effects such as sun glare & bloom add a lot to the overall look and gel in nicely if a little overused.

The world is huge, some of the races are 15+ game miles long and take 6/7minutes for a lap. This pleased me no end as many previous games have shirked on the circuit length in order to fit things in memory. NFS:MW gets around this by streaming the world in on the fly (we'll get back to this later). The effect is a vast world to explore with seemingly no dead ends due to invisible boundaries (there might be some; I didn't find any).

The cars handle brilliantly, obviously I don't know how they handle in real life but I can tell you they feel solid and very different. By the end of the game I had 8 cars with stats in the top 95% of the allowed range and all felt very different to race with. The Gallardo stuck out as a winner for my style of driving but I've spoken to many people who disagree and love the C6. The effect of speed is fantastic and is brought home with a bang the first time you use the NO2. Like the previous games in the series they got it right here.

The UI & movies have a very clean and stylized art style which remains solid throughout; there’s never a point when a menu looks tacked on for 360 which highlights the fact that. More specifically the movies are posterised live action overlaid into game engine to great effect, it works for me and definitely offers more of a gel between cut scenes and game whilst successfully avoiding the uncanny valley look that game engine movies often create.

The police chases added enormously to the game play to the point where I spent several hours in the beginning simply racing around as fast as possible inciting a chase whenever possible - ah naivety is so cute (we'll get back to this later). I felt that making police chases an integral part of the game was a decision well made and adds a plethora of replay ability simply from a hindsight point of view - how much bounty will you get early on if you play a second time?


The Bad

The racing itself, while good, never offered much of a challenge to me, I am a veteran of racing games and this seemed dummed down somewhat to the point where over the entire game I didn't restart more than 5 races and those I did restart were down to driver error not AI dominance. I would have liked more of a challenge in this area. Of course there is a balancing act here in that the milestones you have to hit before you may progress in the game definitely were a challenge to the point where I hated them later in the game. The fight (and it was a fight) to get from 3rd place to challenging the final guy was long and arduous. On several occasions I simply gave up only to return with new steele later and still fail... getting from 15th to 3rd too about 10 hours. Getting from 3rd to finishing the game took about 20hours and a LOT of blood and sweat. This would have to be my chief complaint about the game. The latter milestones were simply too hard, too long and required an element of luck unbecoming to a game of skill. The feeling of relief once I completed the final milestone was enormous but I'm pretty sure it was infinitely small compared to the exasperation felt during the attempts. In this I know I was not alone.

The frame rate in general during the first few hours of play stuck out as inconsistent to the point of distraction. The issues seem both GPU related AND streaming related with a general fluctuation based on view direction (GPU side) and a regular noticeable delay every 10/15 seconds whilst racing around (streaming related). I should stress however that after 2/3 hours of play I no longer noticed it at all. It does not detrimentally affect the game from my point of view.

I should note that on several occasions the collision in the game seemed to lose cohesion resulting in some craziness in roadblocks where I would essentially drive straight through the cars... it does correct itself soon after however so again the game wasn't affected as such it simply made it easier at times. There were however some other collision issues that did affect the game play. Notably edge issues when sliding down a wall or fence that seemed smooth until a random point along its edge when it appeared to become a brick wall throwing the car off into the air often at REALLY bad times (10 cops behind you, 2 in front... ouch my bounty). I had this occur on maybe 20 occasions during normal play and about 5 times during online play.

Online Play

All the usual bells and whistles, it has a slightly annoying but understandable timeout sequence when setting up the matches but the experience itself was as expected. This will be where this game really shows its worth for me, now I have the cars I will use them. This section is short simply because I only played online twice so far.

The Verdict

I love the game yet hate its idiosyncrasies and sadly while I will play online the single player experience for me is over. I would rate it an 8.5 out of ten. Improve the frame rate and reduce the milestone requirements and it would have hit 9.5+...


#2 tonloc79

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 08:24 AM

Nice review! I too had an overall positive experience with the game. My biggest gripe was with the way the computer controlled cars would catch up with me so easily. It seemed like i would put a good distance between myself and the others and then out of nowhere they were right back on my butt, with little to no errors on my part. All in all the game is pretty easy other than the bounties which can definately cause a controller or two to go flying, but there are some ways to trick the cops(bus station).I felt a good sence of accomplishment when becomeing #1 on the blacklist but still havent escaped at the end, 5 minutes at level 7, uhhhhh OK! Thats where my patients end. Anyways thanks for the review, its nice to see some posts in this section. beerchug.gif

#3 spinr34

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:40 PM

the bounty and milestones are horrible!!! i'd be done with this game last week if it wasn't for these stupid things. one thing i'm disappointed about that you sort of mentioned is the AI difficulty. when i challenge rivals they are ridcuously easy compared to the races up to being able to challenege them. i was thinking this was the developers way of rewarding the gamer after completing some ridiculous milestones. i was able to get from the bottom of the blacklist to #3 in not too long. getting the bounty to challenge #2 was a pain in the ass and luckily i got enough in one chase so i'm already cleared on bounty to challenge razor. still gotta do those stupid milestones though but it looks easy. 3 speed ones, 1 for evading the chase in under 2 minutes and 1 for a chase lasting longer than 13 mins or something like that. i have some tactics for the 13 mins one, and that's 5 milestones. the races will be easy, just incredibly long, like 8 - 10 mins/race. but nonetheless, good game, and everything else is accurate you wrote in the review.

#4 Steelersfan7roe

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:49 AM

QUOTE(spinr34 @ Dec 28 2005, 03:47 PM) View Post

the bounty and milestones are horrible!!! i'd be done with this game last week if it wasn't for these stupid things. one thing i'm disappointed about that you sort of mentioned is the AI difficulty. when i challenge rivals they are ridcuously easy compared to the races up to being able to challenege them. i was thinking this was the developers way of rewarding the gamer after completing some ridiculous milestones. i was able to get from the bottom of the blacklist to #3 in not too long. getting the bounty to challenge #2 was a pain in the ass and luckily i got enough in one chase so i'm already cleared on bounty to challenge razor. still gotta do those stupid milestones though but it looks easy. 3 speed ones, 1 for evading the chase in under 2 minutes and 1 for a chase lasting longer than 13 mins or something like that. i have some tactics for the 13 mins one, and that's 5 milestones. the races will be easy, just incredibly long, like 8 - 10 mins/race. but nonetheless, good game, and everything else is accurate you wrote in the review.


The game isn't about races, it's about the chases.

It's so much fun to see how long you can last with your heat on level 5. Try it, and then see how long it takes you to get away (if you can).




#5 Mars10

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:03 AM

QUOTE(Steelersfan7roe @ Jan 3 2006, 02:56 AM) View Post

The game isn't about races, it's about the chases.

It's so much fun to see how long you can last with your heat on level 5. Try it, and then see how long it takes you to get away (if you can).


It starts to get crazy at 3 at 5 its just insane. But yah the chases are fun biggrin.gif


#6 lostboyz

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:16 PM

granted i havent gotten this on 360 yet, but have it for xbox

just hover around the stadium theres two breakers on either end and one end has a hiding spot, the cops never come in.

#7 Steelersfan7roe

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:17 PM

LOL. I actually did get to 5, twice. The 1st time I didn't survive.

#8 LowProfileWurm

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:58 PM

The game is very fun, despite the sync issues.

I didn't dig the races as much as I LOVED the chases. I would go out of my way to get 5x heat just to bash the shite out of some C6 cops. muhaha.gif There were even times when I chased down cops in cooldown just to get back into the chase. No joke; my bounty at the end of the game was in the $14M range. I seriously had Razor's bounty milestone while I was still on Blacklist #13. Too bad their weren't more milestones to get. I really enjoyed it.

Nice Review. beerchug.gif

Edited by LowProfileWurm, 05 January 2006 - 11:58 PM.


#9 RaGe

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 10:37 PM

I thought the game was great. Had alot of fun playing it and it is all about the chases. The last chase is the best where you have to jump the bridge.

#10 metalhead212

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:41 PM

When it came down to playing NFSU:2 I really couldn't get into it. I played it four about 8 hrs and it really didn't stick. It was seriously lacking something. With MW I found what I was looking for. I think the main appeal with MW is the fact that it isn't as "pretty" as NFSU:2. In NFSU:2 all the lighting and brightcolors and blur and glitz and what not takes away from the focus of the game. In MW I think it gets back to what players want, a fun "back to basics" game. By "back to basics" I mean MW is what street racing is all about. Racing and getting into tangles with the law. Street racers don't go flying down the street and not worry about cops. On top of that I think NFSU:2 tailored way to much to the "candy whores" who want that quick sugar rush of intense pleasure (In this case the fact that everything is shiney and glittery), and don't care about the after taste (the story and feel of the game). MW gives a good, not solid, story, but makes up for it with a solid game. Yes it has it's faults, but what game doesn't? I would both love and hate to see a sequal of this game made.

#11 Inprogress

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:25 PM

I thought the game offered lots of detail, specifically the IS300, you can see the interior exactly how it is through the rear windshield while racing and alot of the other little details that I picked up on really made it more enjoyable. I played it nonstop for quite some time!

#12 Mrcon

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 06:54 PM

is this game worth getting, i loved underground on ps2 so would i like this? also is there any racing games that drive like need for speed underground. i like that style of game. shall i buy this????

#13 Reaper527

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE(Mrcon @ Aug 18 2006, 02:01 PM) View Post

is this game worth getting, i loved underground on ps2 so would i like this? also is there any racing games that drive like need for speed underground. i like that style of game. shall i buy this????


did you read m_hael's review? just check out the first post in this topic and decide if its the game for you. if your unsure, maybe rent the game first. i personally enjoyed the game, but thought it was pretty short.

#14 StigmataDiaboli

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 04:36 AM

The chases alone kep tme hooked on this for a while. Level 5 pursuits are insane.

#15 Mrcon

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 12:25 PM

well i got the game, a few days ago, its fun but its getting annoying now, im going for 8# on the blacklist and the damm SUV's annoy me soo bad, its not that hard but i feel it will get harder as i go on. thanks for the tips

oh and i aint got to level 5 yet just about over level 4 whats the best roads to get away, the side streets or the motorway?

Edited by Mrcon, 29 August 2006 - 12:26 PM.





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