Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Need for Speed: Most Wanted Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Need for Speed: Most Wanted is yet another solid release from Criterion Games. It's full of memorable events, amazing visuals and the best online multiplayer racing action around. Unfortunately, it's also in the shadows of a much better racing game. Most Wanted is a fun game, but it never fully lives up to its potential! Rating: 71%
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Most Wanted Need for Speed: Most Wanted Need for Speed: Most Wanted Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • Review Score:

  • B
Thanks to a resume that includes the likes of Burnout Paradise and 2010's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, there's real reason to be excited about a brand new release from Criterion Games. Their games are the driving game equivalent of an action movie, full of explosions, crashes and huge jumps. And while many have tried, nobody has been able to match the intense experience of Burnout. Criterion's newest game, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, tries to relive studio's former glory, only to come up a little short.

Race fans will immediately recognize the set-up. There's a list floating around of the ten most wanted drivers in Fairhaven. Not content to let these ten drivers and their expensive rides hog all the glory, you want on that list. To do that you'll need to work your way up by competing in street races for SP points. Earn enough cash and you'll have a chance to go one-on-one against these most wanted drivers, which may just result in you winning their car.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360)

Right off the bat you're dropped into Fairhaven with no direction outside of earning points. You can use the car you're given or drive around looking for a better ride. You won't need to buy cars, as they are just waiting to be found around the city. Usually they'll be parked off to the side, marked with a large arrow featuring the maker. You'll find sporty rides from most of the top manufacturers, including Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Lamborghini, Chevrolet, Porsche, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz and many more.

Each car has its own set of five races to complete. Coming in first or second will score you valuable upgrades, while a third place finish will net you 4,000 SP. The upgrades can only be used on that specific vehicle and are always unlocked in the same order. Your first goal is to unlock the nitrous, which will give you a fighting chance to get back in the race after a devastating head-on collision. From there you'll upgrade the tires, body, chassis and transmission.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360)

This process does feel a little repetitive after a while. Even though each car's first stage is often a pushover, it's annoying that I'm forced to earn the same turbo boost over and over. It's also jarring when you discover that not all cars have their own unique races. It's easy to accidentally replay the same events multiple times with a number of new cars, which can sometimes make the game feel a little light on content. There are 61 races in all, down significantly from the 120 events in Burnout Paradise.

To its credit, Most Wanted does offer some truly amazing racing action. Even though the content has essentially been halved, the races here are more memorable. Part of this is because you are racing to a number of checkpoints, creating a much stricter path than the more laissez faire approach of Burnout Paradise. Thankfully it's not too strict, as racers will have plenty of chances to speed through shortcuts and alternate paths. Criterion does a good job of showing off how dynamic Fairhaven is in these 61 events.
comments powered by Disqus