Advantages Fun. Fast. Furious. Adictive. Great value for money. Bit more to do than normal racing games.
Disadvantages Rap music would be annoying if you don't like rap.
|Value for Money|
|Difficulty & Complexity|
|Longevity||Very good longevity|
Upgraded for the Xbox 360 in 2006. Mobile phone variations of the game have also been introduced.
Released by Electronic Arts in it's original form in 2005 on Xbox, Nintendo Game Cube, PC and Playstation 2. Developed by EA Black Box.
I tried a quick race to see what it was like. It seemed Ok and the handling felt good. I then decided to go straight into the ‘Career Mode’ section of the game. Yes a career and I use the term loosely, of a street racer.
It comes in the form of a blacklist of most wanted drivers. The blacklist has fifteen drivers on it and your aim is to work your way to the top of the list by beating each driver in turn starting at the bottom of the list. As you would expect, each driver is harder to beat than the next.
The career mode is quite well put together and can be really exhilarating and so much fun to play.
To earn the right to a drive off against a blacklist member you must complete a number of tasks. These tasks come in the form of races, milestones, which are like mini-achievements, and a bounty, which is the price on your head for damaging public property, speeding, evading the police and all manner of car related crimes.
As example; to beat a driver you might first need to win five races, gain three milestones and get a bounty of one hundred thousand. Then you earn the right to take on that driver. If you beat him you move up to the next driver on the list and take the place of the driver you beat. You can also gain a chance to obtain a pink slip to take the driver’s car into your possession.
While you are racing you can raise attention from the police and as the race finished you can get involved in a chase and gain milestones in this way. This in turn helps raise your bounty, provided you escape the police. Police chases can be extremely hair-raising. You start off at level one which is, basically, local police searching you out. The more damage you cause or the more time you spend evading them the higher the wanted level becomes. At level three it starts to get more difficult as the police send in more reinforcements. Level four and police helicopters join in the chase, making it more difficult to escape. Level five is the top wanted level and sees the big boys get involved in customized police cruiser built for chasing racers.There is also a really great 'game moment' camera that you can use in police chases. If you see a road block coming up ahead on the map you can ready yourself and as you approach press the ‘X’ button to enable the game moment camera, which sends everything into slow motion. This gives you a chance to see where the police have laid stingers across the road or for you to find the weak spot in the roadblock. You can also turn quite quickly or change position in game moment mode, even though everything else is slowed to the max.
Get caught three times in any one car and the car is impounded by the police. You can buy it out but will have to wait a while or sometimes you get to use a free card that enables you to get the car out instantly.When you have won the five races, completed the three milestones and earned the specific amount of bounty the rival racer becomes available to take on. To begin with, the earlier drivers on the blacklist are raced against in two races outright. Beat one and he gets scratched off the list and you go after your next rival, starting over with fresh races, milestones and bounty.
Within the career mode game you can also opt to choose ‘free roam’ and travel around at your leisure. Here you can still find race options and visit the garage or safe house or take on milestone challenges. You can still incur the wrath of the local police in free roam and gain some milestones from the impending chases that occur.
As I mentioned earlier when describing milestones, the challenges races also come in the form of tasks. It could be an all out race, damaging police cars, lap races, sprint races, circuit races or a ‘Speed trap’ or ‘Tollbooth’ race.
The ‘Challenge Series’ is exactly what it states, a series of challenges for you to try and complete. You get no achievements by doing this as all the achievements are earned by beating the drivers on the blacklist in ‘Career Mode’.
A speed trap race is a more a race of keeping your head than putting the proverbial foot down. In these races is doesn’t matter if your first or last across the line, as long as you accumulate the highest speed overall when passing through the designated speed cameras along the race course.Toll booth races are like timed races or time trials. You start from tollbooth one and have to reach a series of them before the time runs out on each one. You could have ten seconds, twenty, fifty or two minutes to the next toll booth, but if you don’t make it then its game over.
The police chases can be really fun and exciting and some of the milestones can be hard to achieve, giving you that real sense of victory when you do finally get them.
You can buy different cars and then take them to the work shop and spend the money you earn from winning races to customize them. There are some great add-ons for cars, including new engines, suspension, nitro boosters, wheels, trims, spoilers and a whole lot more. You can also give you vehicles custom paint jobs in an endless variety of colours. Decals can be added, such as tribal designs and the like. You can add numbers to the bonnet, doors or roof and sponsors virtually all over the car.
The roads are realistic as are the towns. The buildings are really well drawn and the damage looks realistic.Even at tremendous speed the graphics manage to maintain a certain degree of skill. When the sun comes up or goes down it really does look great shining off the roads and vehicles.
At random points throughout the game, it rains and the graphics stand up pretty well. It gets slippy and the overall look and feel make you feel like it is raining.You can go to an on screen map to navigate your way around and the map is drawn quite well and easy to follow.
The option menus are all set up nicely too and are pleasing to the eye.
The sound is realistic in the fact that the revs and engine sounds are believable. The in-game music is mostly hip hop and rap but even if you don’t like that sort of music it fits in well with the game and somehow makes the racing and chasing more exciting.
The crashing scaffolding, boats or bus shelters coming down or being smashed also sound like the real thing as do the collisions.
The achievements are quite unique to this game as there are only fifteen in all. There is an achievement for beating each of the drivers on the blacklist. They start out at 10 and move to 25, 85, 100, 200 and the last driver is worth a staggering 350 points. It gives that little edge to trying to beat each driver. Hearing that satisfying chime for the achievement is superb after a hard fought win.
Autosave – on or off
There are a number of different options on the dashboard which include the following:
Credits – Game credits from the makersAlias Manager – To load, delete, create and save new character profiles.
You get to drive the 67 Camaro and the BMW M3 GTR Street Machine. The eight customized cars have their own signature in the way of decals and body kits.
The special police chases contain higher profile police cruisers and stronger police tactics and present a tougher challenge than normal.
This special edition includes a DVD with behind the scenes and making of documentaries, detailing the graphics and how they built the game. This includes no fewer than ten special Need For Speed movies and a gallery showing the brilliant artwork on the cars from the artists who contributed to the game. All this is presented by Josie Moran who appears in the original game. She also gives a warning against street racing at the start of the game and advises wearing a seat belt at all times, which is a nice touch.
The game looks good, feels good to play and is as exciting as I imagine any race game could be. I think race games can become a little boring after a while but Need For Speed Most Wanted has something different. There are other goals instead of just winning a race.
I must admit that I had never even contemplated buying any of the Need For Speed games but having seen this one cheap and giving it a go, I am really glad that I did. Playing it has made me think about trying the sequels and other versions.
I had a lot of fun playing this game. At times it can become frustrating with the later drivers as some of the milestones can be hard to get and some of the races hard to win but that is what makes it even better because it is challenging and you definitely get value for your money.I would recommend this game to anyone who likes a thrilling, action-packed, fast-paced game with a good longevity.
Need For Speed Most Wanted is definitely a game to check out if you haven’t already.
Since I initialy wrote this review I have completed the game, and what a game it is!
The last two levels were hard to get to but then not as hard as I thought to complete. When you defeat the final driver and get the three hundred and fifty achievement points on offer to complete the one thousand points overall, you get an immense feeling of....well achievement and great satisfaction.
This game now proudly sits in the completed section of my Xbox live profile. I have completed another game for one thousand points but it doesn´t show as completed because its add ons make it more than one thousand, but this game sits proudly, locked in position, as completed. Well worth the money.
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Wake up to the smell of burnt asphalt as the thrill of illicit street racing permeates the air. From the makers of the hit Need for Speed...
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compatible with gamepad compatible with joystick format pal uk standard genre racing mpn 15143 online playability yes platform microsoft xbox 360...