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Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a 2012 racing video game with nonlinear gameplay, developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. Announced on 4 June 2012, during EA's E3 press conference, Most Wanted is the nineteenth title in the long-running Need for Speed series and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android, beginning in North America on 30 October 2012, with a Wii U version following on 14 March 2013 under the title Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. The game picked up on the Most Wanted intellectual property, as opposed to the Hot Pursuit reboot that Criterion developed previously.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted received positive reviews, which focused on the world map that blended the styles of previous Burnout and Need for Speed games, and the social features, while criticism fell on the single-player mode. Following its release, the game won several awards including the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards for Best Driving Game and was nominated for Best British Game and Best Online Multiplayer at the 2013 BAFTA Awards, and was repeatedly recognized as the best driving/racing game of 2012 by several outlets.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted Gameplay

Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes on the gameplay style of the first Most Wanted title in the Need for Speed franchise. Most Wanted allows players to select one car and compete against other racers in three types of events: Sprint races, which involves traveling from one point of the city to another, Circuit races, each having two or three laps total and Speed runs, which involve traversing through a course in the highest average speed possible. There is also the Ambush races, which start with the player surrounded by cops and tasked to evade their pursuit as quickly as possible.

Cops are integrated into certain racing sessions, in which the police deploy vehicles and tactics to stop the player's car and arrest the player, like the original Most Wanted. The game features a Blacklist (also known as The Most Wanted List) of 10 racers, similar to the single-player section of the original Most Wanted, which featured 15 Blacklist racers. As the Most Wanted racers are defeated, their cars are added to the player's roster. In this reiteration, the focus shifts from Rockport, the city in the original, to a new city called Fairhaven.

Most Wanted has been likened to the Burnout series. Like Burnout Paradise, races have a start and end point but players can choose their own route to the finish line, a departure from the original Most Wanted, but similar to "crew challenges" from the sequel, Carbon. Destructible billboards and fences; and drive-through repair garages, all of which originated from Paradise, are also featured.

The game uses Autolog, the competition-between-friends system developed by Criterion for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and since used in other titles in the Need for Speed series. Autolog in Most Wanted plays a larger role and gives more information to players. Activities in-game allow players to earn Speed Points which can boost players up on the Most Wanted list. Autolog recommendations have now been integrated into the game world, rather than sit externally on the menu system. Most Wanted features a new social system called Cloudcompete, which strings together Most Wanted across all platforms in an inspired example of cross-compatibility. One profile is used for all versions of the game, allowing the player to rank up on one format and continue progress on another.

The driving model of the game has been described as "deep, physical and fun", not as arcade-styled as the Burnout series and Hot Pursuit, but far from a simulator. Most Wanted has a range of real-world vehicles, a mix of muscle cars, street racers and exotics, described as "the wildest selection of cars yet". The cars can be altered with performance upgrades, such as reinflatable tyres, transmission, engine, nitrous oxide, and body work that enables players to crash through roadblocks, have a higher top speed, and accelerate faster. A feature called EasyDrive enables players to customise their vehicles while in action. Almost all the cars are available from the start, hidden in different locations throughout Fairhaven; the player has to discover them in order to unlock them.

Pre-release

Need For Speed: Most Wanted was well received by critics at E3 2012 and was awarded with "Best Racing Game" as well as a nomination for "Best Online Multiplayer Game" from Game Critics Awards. Previewers who had access to Need For Speed: Most Wanted called the game a spiritual successor to Criterion's Burnout Paradise, rather than the original Most Wanted from 2005, citing similar gameplay mechanics.

Post-release

Need For Speed: Most Wanted was met with generally positive reviews, though it was not as acclaimed as Criterion Games' first entry in the franchise. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii U version 86.46% and 86/100, the PlayStation 3 version 85.09% and 84/100, the PlayStation Vita version 83.44% and 79/100, the Xbox 360 version 83.05% and 84/100 and the PC version 81.50% and 78/100

In the 22 October 2012 edition of Edge, the first review score was given as 9/10. The reviewer praised the Criterion racer's "perfectly" pitched handling, "essential" Autolog social features and its "flowing, coherent" world map, which it says blends the styles of previous Burnout and Need for Speed games. The review said of the game, "Once again, Criterion still manages to stand out and offer something fresh, setting a new standard in open-world driving games with that word again a seamless feast of quality."

IGN gave the game 9/10, calling "It's undoubtedly one of the year's most exhilarating experiences." Eurogamer gave it a 8/10, and stated "Its sense of character may be not be as forceful as Criterion's other games - but the sense of competition that informs it, the joy of discovery and the plain pleasure of driving haven't been dimmed in the slightest. This isn't quite paradise, but it comes very close."

PlayStation Official Magazine UK gave the game an 8/10, and stated "It's achieved a vicious racing experience that thrills so much more than it frustrates, and it's pushed vehicular multiplayer forward significantly, setting the bar so high it's hard to imagine who can better it." Official Xbox Magazine gave it a 8.5/10, stating "Most Wanted delivers raucous entertainment in spades, whether you're battling Fairhaven City's finest in the campaign or dueling network competition in serious races and silly trick competitions. After years of revisiting Burnout Paradise's recurring playground, we finally have a fresh racing addiction to keep us hooked until Criterion's next seemingly inevitable open-road opus."

The Guardian gave the game a perfect score, stating "Criterion has done it again, setting a new standard for arcade-style racing games which won't be surpassed until the next generation of consoles has been on sale for a while. It actually leaves one feeling a bit sorry for Forza Horizon, which is a very good game, and infinitely superior to its predecessors. But Need For Speed: Most Wanted is, by whatever criteria you may see fit to apply, a great game."

Joystiq gave it a 4/5, stating "Need for Speed: Most Wanted is the next Burnout game fans have clamoring for it may not say so on the box, but everything about it screams Burnout. The feel of the cars, the physics and the eclectic mix of multiplayer modes are all undeniably Criterion qualities, the things old fans love and the properties that convert new fans with every studio release."

The game was criticised for some negative issues, such as the single-player. GamesRadar, who gave it a 8/10, stated "If you're not big on multiplayer, there's little reason to pick up Most Wanted over, say, heading to the bargain bin for a copy of Burnout Paradise. If you're willing to invest a few hours to learning the game's quirks, however, and are at all interested in racing against your friends online, this suddenly becomes one of the most recommendable arcade racers to come along in the past few years." Destructoid, who gave the game a 8.5/10, stated "There are some scrapes with single-player and a lack of polish here and there, but the multiplayer delivers in such a big way that all of this hardly matters. Need for Speed Most Wanted is that big, crazy, crash-y open-world racer you've been asking for."

The PlayStation Vita version was praised for how close it is to the console versions. GamesRadar stated "Most Wanted on PS Vita uses the same city layout and element placement as the 'big' console versions. Obviously there have to be some graphical concessions to make the game run on the Vita."

The Wii U version was praised for its high-end PC textures and improved night-time lighting. Eurogamer stated "Many ports have failed to impress in the transition to Wii U, but Criterion's tech credentials are second to none and there's a strong argument that Most Wanted U is the best-looking version yet."


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