Need for Speed: Most Wanted Hands-on Preview from E3 2012 -- Burning Up the Open RoadBy Jason Wishnov - Posted Jun 06, 2012
Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the latest entry in the seminal Need for Speed franchise is an evolution, rather than a revolution, but it’s likely that fans of the series won’t much care. They’re getting improvements on essentially every major feature of the series, and let’s face it…you can’t fix much when there isn’t much broken. The game draws closer to resembling another Criterion game, Burnout Paradise, but this certainly isn’t a negative.
The biggest draw of Most Wanted is certainly the new Open World structure, which allows a single player or several to roam around an open city, scoring “Speed Points” with tricks, jumps, and stunts. These speed points are used in ranking a player on a Most Wanted list, which, while ultimately ending up as nothing more than a social feature, is still an enjoyable way to compete.
There are no lobbies in Most Wanted; instead, friends jump into the open world immediately, ready to begin racing and performing challenges with any players already in the game world. It’s a quicker, more immediate method of multiplayer racing, and its ease of use ranks as one of Most Wanted’s best new features. Matchmaking features are still being implemented, to ensure a good match and fair level of play.
In single-player, racers will need to take out 10 members of a “Black List”, which will require clever use of a particular area’s environmental quirks. The cops and criminals chase mode is still there, and as exciting as ever, as well as the prototypical time trials and challenges.
The game is graphically astounding, and there’s a remarkable number of actual, licensed cars in-game. Need for Speed: Most Wanted might not be an astounding new IP, but it gives fans of the genre something to look forward to: a polished, highly optimized title made by an experienced team.