As I have eluded to in previous posts, I am a sucker for Need for Speed games and for racing games in general. I think I have played every NFS game except the Underground series which was generally well received but that I disliked. I just don’t identify with the whole street racing culture, and I would much rather stick to my Porsches and Lambos, thank-you very much. Don’t get me wrong, I like to play around with colour schemes, decals, rims, and tires as much as the next guy, but let me do that with the genuine article, not some glorified Honda Civic. Let me play with the exotics and sports cars!
Thankfully then, I was glad to see that NFS Most Wanted has returned with the kind of cars and environments that I like. The world of Fairhaven is a gorgeous, expansive playground that enables you to be the bad boy (or girl) you’ve always wanted to be. But be forewarned: cops are out in full force and they are the most aggressive and tenacious that I have ever seen in a racing game world. Below is a summary of my likes/dislikes:
- Gorgeous car models and environments
- Nice selection of cars (some oldies too – Porsche Turbo 3.0 and Lambo Countach 5000QV!)
- Open world for high speed chases
- Awesome car engine sounds (especially in the tunnels!)
I don’t like:
- Can’t drive as the cops
- Relatively short Most Wanted Campaign
- No Ferraris (will they ever come back to NFS?)
- People crashing into me in multiplayer
- No cockpit view
That’s all I can think of right now. I beat the Most Wanted campaign last night in about 17 hours but now I am wondering if I will want to play it anymore. I still need to get a few more cars, but after that, will I care to play? I think it is a fun game and I especially love the sound effects, but I can’t help feeling that it just isn’t enough. I will try the multiplayer and see if it hooks me in.
I am still waiting for that ‘ultimate’ racing game. I am not sure exactly how it will look, all I know is I haven’t seen it yet. I still long for NFS Porsche Unleashed, and in many respects I still feel that 12 years on, it is still the best racing game I ever played. I think a truly great racing game has to have these things:
- Immersion (sound + graphics). In my opinion, sound ranks above graphics. This also means having a cockpit view.
- Large playground (track + road courses).
- Statistics concerning each car; also, an excellent stats tracking system to record your achievements (i.e. top speed, best times in tabular format).
- Replay function to allow you to relive your best moments.
- Staying power. Have enough of a single player to get you hooked, then follow it up with infectious multiplayer. Also, a vibrant modding community is needed to create new maps and cars.