Criterion is the most well-known developer for the Need for Speed series, and one of their best selling of the series are the Hot Pursuit titles. Being able to race around as a cop and chase other cars was a unique gameplay feature. Now Criterion is going to be coming out with a new Need for Speed game, but it’s not going to be another Hot Pursuit. Instead, they will be working on the next Most Wanted game, and I got a chance to check it out.
The previous Hot Pursuit game introduced us to the Autolog. In most wanted, Criterion will be introducing us to the the second generation of the Autolog. Here you’ll be able to see how your friends have been doing on the courses. You’ll be able to find out what cars they have been using as well as what kind of time they are getting. Everything you do in the game will give you experience and make you level up and your Autolog will show that. The more experience you have, the higher you’ll be on your Friends List. The person on the top of the list will be your Most Wanted.
Exploration is rewarded through the game. Billboards with other developer names on them are all around the map, which you can then crash through and replace with the Criterion logo. You will also find hidden shortcuts behind fences and cones, spots where you can gain big year, drift around curves, or game booths by going against the flow of traffic. Some hidden areas on the map have super cars that you can get for your garage. You’ll definitely need to drive through a lot of back alleys to find some of these cars though.
During the multiplayer session, you see all your friends on the map. However you don’t find yourself just lined up waiting for race to start. Instead, the game will choose a specific meeting place for you to go for your next release objective. You gain points for getting to the meeting place, but you don’t just sit and wait for them to get there. Instead, you can try to crash other cars. You can actually gain points for your team or yourself by crashing other cars, which will give you extra points you during the multiplayer race. This section is what the developers like to call Dancing with the Cars.
You might be saying to yourself that this sounds a lot like Burnout Paradise, and you wouldn’t be incorrect. However, I found the game to have the right amount of arcade handling to make the game fun without feeling too easy. You’re not going to find any story in Most Wanted, but with the focus on playing with your friends a story would probably drag it down. Quite frankly, I was impressed with how Most Wanted played, and I’m really looking forward to the release of this when it comes out this November.