Need for Speed Most Wanted Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Need for Speed Most Wanted Box Art
System: PC, PS3*, Xbox 360, PS Vita, Wii U
Dev: Criterion Games
Pub: EA
Release: October 30, 2012
Players: 1-8
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Violence

And it sounds pretty great as well. Each engine rumbles with its own signature sound, and the soundtrack features a wide array of energetic hit songs. My one complaint about the audio is that, in a game that includes so much police activity, it would have been nice to hear more variety in the police scanner chatter. During even short chases, you’ll hear a lot of the same dialogue repeated over and over.

As long as I’m on the topic of complaints, there was one particularly nasty glitch that made my game freeze for a couple seconds every time I neared a particular guard rail. This would have been a bit more forgivable if this didn’t happen during a Most Wanted race. Let me tell you, there are few things more annoying than ramming into a guard rail at 120 MPH because your game froze up in the middle of a drift.

Need for Speed Most Wanted Screenshot

I did find a couple other minor bugs as well. For example, I found a missing texture in an out-of-the-way corner of the map, though it’s quite possible most players won’t ever know it’s there. More noticeable, though, were some places where the checkpoints didn’t stretch all the way across a wide section of road, so I could miss a checkpoint even when my car was fully on the road.

All in all, though, these nitpicks are fairly minor, especially considering just how massive this game world is. You basically have free reign over an entire city.

Need for Speed Most Wanted is a highly refined open world street racing experience that offers a little bit for everyone. Collectors will have fun trying to steal every car in the game, while more explorative types will enjoy scouting the lesser-travelled areas to find speed cameras and smashable billboards. Those with a penchant for law-breaking will be tearing past cops at sick speeds, and those who prefer strictly objective-based gameplay will obsess over the Most Wanted races. And competitive types will adore proving themselves superior to their friends while doing all of the above. I think it’s safe to say that no matter which type of gamer you are, you’ll find at least some aspect of Need for Speed Most Wanted to completely lose yourself in.

Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
Date: October 30, 2012

Fairhaven City looks fantastic, as do the cars you’ll explore it in.
Tight and responsive, though every car handles differently enough to have a unique personality.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Nice engine sounds and a well-rounded soundtrack, though the police scanner audio will get repetitive.
Play Value
Fairhaven City comes stuffed to the gills with things to do, and with Autolog, all of those things become competitions between you and your friends.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Connected Open World – Blaze a high score trail through the city for your friends. The next generation of Autolog displays your record speeds, times, pursuits and jump distances throughout Fairhaven City. Cruise past any speed camera, road junction, Jack Spot, or jump to view its unique leaderboard, and then take a run up, hit the gas and see if you can top it. Hit the biggest air off any billboard jump, and we’ll even display your face on the billboard in their game! – a constant reminder to your friends that you are Most Wanted.
  • Find it Drive it – Pick a Car. Make it Your Own. Earn the right to be Most Wanted. For too long you’ve had to wait to drive the cars you love. Not anymore. In Most Wanted, “Open” means more than just open world. Practically every car’s available from the start. Explore the world. If you can find it, you can drive it. Each car has a series of events, designed to showcase its unique qualities. Master each car in your own time, in any order to earn Speed Points and rank up. Score enough and you’ll earn the right to take on 10 of the hottest cars in the game - the Most Wanted Racers. Beat them all one-on-one to become Fairhaven’s Most Wanted. Swing the odds in your favor by modifying your car with such pursuit-busting delights as: Reinforced Chassis, Reinflating Tires, Impact Protection, Powershot Nitrous, or Track Tires. Customization in Most Wanted is about gameplay. Every mod changes what you can do with the car. Get the drop on your friends, your rivals, and The Law by experimenting with different cars and combinations.
  • Make Trouble – For the cops. For your friends. For fun. Buckle up, hit the gas and hold on tight; you’re in for the ride of your life. In Most Wanted, you’ll experience dream cars, the way you always wanted them. No tracks, no circuits, and no simulation. It’s about taking your ride to the limit and beyond, nailing perfect 200 mile-an-hour drifts, slamming your friends off the road, outsmarting the cops, and getting away with it in style.
  • Non-Stop Multiplayer —No menus. No lobbies. Just competition. Our online play is about intense competition, rank and vehicle modification. We’re into team games, variety, persistent scoring, and endless rewards. Pick a car, meet up with your friends, and enjoy a nonstop Playlist of competitive events. Fight for position on the start line or turn around to take out oncoming rivals at the finish. It’s online driving, as you’ve never seen it.

  • Screenshots / Images
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