Need for Speed Most Wanted - 360 - Preview
The Need for Speed series has been going for nearly a decade, with titles spanning about eleven different systems. Now, the franchise is gearing up for release on Microsoft’s new system, the Xbox 360, with its latest title Need for Speed: Most Wanted. For the most part, Most Wanted serves as a cross between the recent Underground series and the Hot Pursuit games from a few years back, where cops would chase you if they caught you racing illegally along the street. The racing in Most Wanted is fast and intense, and even at this stage in the game, does a fine job of showcasing what Microsoft’s new ubersystem can do, both graphically and in terms of gameplay.
While details are still a little slim on NFS: Most Wanted, it seems that most of the gameplay is divided into drag-racing and running from the cops in pursuit mode. While the pursuit from the cops wasn’t being shown on the demo, it was hinted that the cops will operate quite realistically in the final build of the game. They will adapt to your moves in order to catch you. For example, if you constantly run through road blocks on the one side of the screen, the cops will begin to provide more cover to that side so you can’t get through at the next roadblock. Plus, although about 15 or 29 of them will be on the screen at once, there will be about 100 cop cars chasing you throughout the stage in any given pursuit mode.
The drag-race demo was available to see, and the look was quite incredible. The developers actually went out street racing with some pros to get a real feel for it, and it really shows in the game. The game moves extremely fast and road conditions will affect your driving ability. Things like railroad tracks will cause your car to swerve just a hair, but can still have an effect on your racing. You can also enter a Bullet-Time mode, which will slow down the game, giving you more finesse and letting you navigate through tough spots with ease.
The game sports some truly incredible textures and photorealistic graphics. The Xbox 360 allows for true widescreen aspect ratios, meaning that the game will be presented in 16x9 format. The tracks are teeming with details and incredible lighting effects. One cool example of this is the glare that happens as your eyes adjust after coming out of a tunnel, which is a great touch. The framerates were a little wonky, but as the game and the system near release, this should certainly fix.
Check out Need for Speed: Most Wanted when the Xbox 360 launches.