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This is a.... remake/reboot of the original NFS Most Wanted back in 2005, sort of.
Here is my review of it after finishing the game.
You could easily be forgiven for thinking this game was infact, Burnout Paradise, it would be more accurate (in my opinion) to call this game Burnout Paradise 2, rather than Need For Speed Most Wanted. The game does feature cop chases like the original Most Wanted, but on a smaller scale, instead of the possibility of having 20+ cars chasing you at one moment, the new MW rarely features more than 4 Police vehicles chasing you. The cops are the only thing that would make this game more akin to an NFS title than a Burnout title.
Cop, Traffic and Racer AI aren't perfect, and there are some little niggles that got under my skin... for a start, in races, cops are entirely scripted, they spawn at specific points, roadblocks are ALWAYS in the same positions, the cop AI is beyond stupid on certain occasions, it's clear that Criterion have never made proper chase AI. The traffic AI does its job, but there are a few bugs... sometimes the traffic just rams into you without even braking, this seems to happen more often with cars like the Ariel Atom and BAC Mono, also they sometimes drive offroad and go insane after they have been in an accident and attempt to carry on driving.
Racer AI, it's decent.... but again, it has some flaws... for one, catchup is in the game, in multiple ways. While catchup generally isn't all that bad, pretty much every non-sim racer has it, and for good reason, it keeps the race interesting, the racers are always bunched up, making collisions and head-to-head racing frequent. But when the AI are clearly cheating, and benefit more than you do from catchup, it becomes frustrating. While AI will slowdown by about 50MPH from what they could be doing when you're behind them, the AI has some pretty nifty tricks up its sleeve to make sure it doesn't get left behind.
1. The AI can reach insane speeds, this actually does make the AI feel a bit scripted... they clearly don't work on the same physics as the players car does, at points in races, they can reach over 150MPH while taking an off-road hairpin, which is pretty much impossible unless you have a car that's exceptionally good at off-road, and I'm pretty sure Pagani's, Koenigsegg's and Bugatti's don't qualify.
2. When you wreck, you usually have to wait about 5 seconds to respawn, but for the AI, their respawn time depends on where they are in relation to you... if they're quite far behind, they'll respawn in about a second, meaning they don't really pay for the mistakes they make, if they're ahead of you, the respawn timer is about the same as what player's have to wait, regardless of where they are.
3. The race design isn't great, some races have corners in them with little warning, there can be a route that splits 3 ways, and only one of them is correct, you usually get about 2 seconds to glance down at your map, and back to the race to choose the right one, even the AI mess this one up, this especially happens in one of the races for the Audi A1 I believe, where all 7 AI racers missed the corner... and they teleported back to the track.... yep... they teleported... Thanks Criterion! Didn't really matter to them that there is NO reset button for players, so you have to drive backwards and go down the right route, whereas the AI can simply respawn on the track and carry on.
So that's my main problems with the AI, aside from that, they operate decently enough.
There are a few choices I don't really agree with, and these are yet more things that make this game a Burnout title and not an NFS title.
For one, you have no money, cars are acquired by simply finding them while you drive around the city, once you find them, they unlock, and can be instantly switched to via the in-game menu. The street-racing NFS games like this have always had money, and I'm a little disappointed that you can't really have a collection of cars... Also the tuning is dumbed-down, upgrades can be fitted on the fly, even while you're driving in a race, while this is kind of cool, because if a race suddenly changes to an off-road race, you can switch your tires, it is a shame there are no tuning shops etc., and also you can't cosmetically upgrade your car. There are about 6 different categories, each with 2-4 upgrade choices. Such as Stock, Off-Road, Track and Re-Inflatable tires.
Oh no wait... how can I spoil anything? There is no story.
Yep, this game has absolutely no story, there is a cutscene at the start of the game, and a cutscene when you finish, that simply says you are the Most Wanted, showing cars racing while some dubstep plays in the background. Considering the NFS street-racing series (Undergrounds, MW and Carbon) all had a fair amount of backstory, this is pretty poor. You don't even know who you are... there are no people in the game at all, and only 1 person speaks, and that's a narrator, and they only speak in the starting and ending cutscenes.
The world is also a bit lackluster... it doesn't seem to have the grand and epic scale of Burnout Paradise, everything seems a bit more gritty, realistic, dull. There are remarkably fewer smashgates (called security gates in this game), less than half the smashgates infact.
Despite me being pretty hard on the glaring faults that clearly makes this game a Burnout title and not an NFS title, it is a decent game... the car engine sounds are nice, there are plenty of multiplayer options (Although no cops in multiplayer whatsoever), the game is of a reasonable length (About 8 hours if you go purely for the MW races), there are cop chases, even if they are somewhat dumb and find it an impossibility to arrest you. I played for 11 hours and got busted ONCE, ONCE, and guess what? All it does is respawn you, it doesn't do ANYTHING. But err, anyway, that's another matter.
The driving also feels nicer than other racing games I've played, it's a tad more realistic than Burnout Paradise and the old Most Wanted, and the drifting mechanics work well.
Yeah, I personally wouldn't buy this if you're purely looking for a new NFS title, because this isn't an NFS title, regardless of what EA calls it in order to boost their franchise, this is Burnout Paradise 2 with some cop AI randomly thrown in and EA rebranding it NFS.
Where to start? I think the gameplay could be the most important factor affecting the choice of any gamer to buy the game. After the disappointment of the previous year entry 'The Run', criterion decided to create a makeover of ;Need For Speed Hot pursuit'. From my point of view such an open world makes you want to discover every street of that world. What i found interesting was the fact that all of the 41 available cars in Most Wanted 2012 could be found just by exploring the city. But for such an open world only few types of events can be found for single players. Its just the type of finish-first affair and some cops which complicate everything. Conquering the 10 most wanted cars of the game leaves you with barely nothing to do i offline mode. I personally would not recommend this game for gamers who don't like playing in multiplayer mode. Most Wanted 2012 is fun and interesting mostly for single players. My ratings for the gamplay wpld be 3 out of 5.
The aim of the game for single players is to accumulate points to get to the top. Points are earned by placing you behind the wheels of high performance cars in a race. Different events are available for each car and upgrades goes accordingly. Going into cops pursuits is another way to earn points. Still the ultimate goal is the same: become the most wanted racer.
The graphics of the game is quite impressive. The cops =, the roads, civilians cars, nothing was put aside. You even get blinded by the sunset. My rating for the graphics is 4.5 out of 5.
Next is the sound. Well the sound effects are just awesome. The engines sounds of those super cars, the echo of the cars passing through tunnels and even the soundtrack are just awesome. Those sound effects create a new experience of video game racing. If you plug your headphones, its only get better. But from my point of view there's something wrong about the soundtracks: its only about 3 hours long and thus you will hear, at some point, the same songs over and over again. My ratings for the sound would be a 4 out of 5.
Most Wanted 2012 is suitable for most of the gamers out there. At first you may be frustrated because you might be just seeing the taillights of your opponents, but once you find a suitable car that suits you then your abilities would be limitless.