E3 2012: Need for Speed Most Wanted hands on preview
I walked into Most Wanted not really knowing much. Was it a reboot? Was it a sequel? Was it a remake? I didn't understand how there could be another game called Need for Speed: Most Wanted. After getting a preview and some hands on time with multiplayer, it was apparent that this was a whole new experience altogether.
Criterion built their new racer from the ground up. This is no sequel to Most Wanted which came out during the Xbox 360's launch. This was a whole new game altogether, even though it shared the same name. The game still revolved around being number one on the most wanted list, but this was Criterions take on it.
They admitted that there won't be any CG scenes involving real actors rolling down their windows and professing how bad ass they were. No, instead the game will just focus on climbing the ladder of being the Most Wanted. The best part of this however, was that it not only applied to the single player story, but to the only component as well.
Truth be told, we didn't much of a glimpse into the single player portion. We were showed some high speed pursuits, some car swapping on the open world map, and some paint swapping, but other than that, this presentation was all about the inter connected multiplayer experience.
Of course Autolog makes a return, but this time better than ever. It will recommend certain challenges based on where you are in the game, and most of all, it will gauge your progress against your friends progress, as well as pitting you against them in your own Most Wanted list. That's right, the points you acquire online and offline will tally up against your friends, making you either the most wanted man on their hit list, or a striving driver to take on the best of the best.
The car handling was even more arcade than ever, but that's ok, this isn't mean to be a sim racer. Most Wanted prides itself with some crazy high speed cornering, which almost doesn't rely on any sort of breaking. That's the beauty of it however, since you can pull off some truly impressive maneuvers.
We got to get some hands on with a few multiplayer races which still took place on the open world map. The map would display a meeting area where all the cars would have to drive to and meet up. Once everyone was there, the game would display what kind of race this was, whether it was a checkpoint race to the finish, or a speed trap where you had to get the highest speed in a given amount of time. There are a bunch of modes available, and the best part is, the game selects them all on its own, so you can sit back, relax, and just let the game take over.
I don't want to brag, but I did place first in the checkpoint race, and all I have to say is that the controls are spot on as far as an arcade racer goes. The cornering is intense and can be done in fairly high speed. All around I can say that those looking for some high speed thrills in exotic cars have a lot to look forward to in Most Wanted.
Criterion seems to know what they're doing as far as the Need for Speed series goes, and Most Wanted just proves that Criterion should stay being the main developer of the Need for Speed franchise. You can look forward to playing Most Wanted later this year.