Ryu’s Musings – Need for Speed Most Wanted 2012 Review

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So, EA kindly gave me this game for free since they botched up SimCity at launch, so I’ve spent the past day playing it. The real question here is, how does it compare with the game called Most Wanted that came out in 2005?

Sadly this game fails to live up to it’s heritage, which i was sort of expecting. NFS has fallen short of the mark ever since Most Wanted, the games since then have been substantially worse each release. The Run being the worst of the games ever made, however because it shared the name of Most Wanted i had some hopes.

I installed the game, which is seamless due to it’s integration with Origin, and launched the game. The way the game runs is essentially an open world racer, much like how The Run was. Unlike other games you have access to all the cars right from the start, you just have to go find them. They’re placed at certain points throughout the city, you drive up to them and press the button to swap over cars; from that point they’re accessible from the Easy Drive menu.

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First thing i noticed in the PC version is that there are no options, no real graphic options, but more importantly no real control options. You can’t swap over to say hood position when you’re driving, your always hovering over the rear of the car. I guess they wanted you to enjoy looking the cars as you drive. For me this is frustrating since i hate this position, i prefer the hood view.

Controlling the car is a nightmare on controller, for some reason the steering stick has no dead zone, so you touch it lightly and you spin all over the place. The way the throttle and breaking are handled are the same, they’re hyper touch sensitive making them hard to control.

They used to handle this by allowing you to change the difficulty setting of the game. These settings changed how much the A.I. assisted you in your driving, these have been missing from the past few games which is annoying as hell for people like myself who are casual players. Truth be told NFS and Drift 2 are the only racing games I’ve played and enjoy. So the additional support the old setting used to have allowed me to play and enjoy the game, without it rubbing how bad I suck in my face.

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When you get past the controls, which has taken me near 6 hours of continuous playing to do. The races are annoying. Since you’ve no control over the difficulty settings, casual players get shafted and just can’t win a race properly. What’s more is the way the game handles the races.

In the original Most Wanted we had a fun story to explain the races and what you were doing. I actually liked the characters and had a lot of fun playing it. Sadly in this new iteration of the game there is no story. At the beginning of the game we get a voice over telling us we’re looking to be the Most Wanted and have to beat 10 other drivers to do it, this is down from 15 in the original. However after that all you do is drive, you get points for completing stuff, and when your point level is high enough you race the next guy on the list. There’s no bounty or targets in this game, which is a great shame as they added a lot of fun the races and game in general.

What’s more the races in this iteration are limited to 5 per car. What this means is that each car has five races tied to it, and then after that you have to pick another car. This pretty much makes trying to win the races for upgrades pointless, since you’re going to have to do it again on your next car. The game suffers badly from having no real story as there’s no real targets in it.

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I was hoping that the cop chase elements could have saved the game, sadly these fail BIG time. The A.I. driving the police cars is brain dead. They’re supposed to chase you if you speed past them, or are racing. However I’ve gone past a few, and been clocked by the speed camera at 170mph only to have the cops ignore me. Hell I’ve winged one and it’s just ignored me. However once they do start following you they escalate through the ‘heat’ levels at an insane rate. I’ve hit maximum heat level after only a few minutes of driving. At this level we get SWAT teams coming for you.

Also I’ve noticed the game has a lot of rubber banding on the cops, I’ve given them the slip only to have a new car appear right beside me. They’re also stupidly armoured, the way they take you down has been tweaked a lot, so if they hit you you’re going to spin out; roadblocks are frustrating as well, even if you aim for the gaps you end up crashing.

If you can get past all of this, you get slapped in the face with DLC. Several times I’ve pulled up to a car only to be confronted with the a ‘buy the DLC to drive this’, and there’s a LOT of DLC for this game.

Overall I’m disappointed with this game, and I’m glad i got it for free. I would have regretted buying this game so much

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