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Need for Speed: Most Wanted Preview

Devin_Charles By:
GENRE Racing 
PUBLISHER Electronic Arts 
DEVELOPER Criterion Games 
E10+ Contains Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

I'm not pulling over, ever!

I can't say how much I enjoyed playing Need for Speed: The Run (read: a whole lot). So when I heard they were following that up by bringing back Most Wanted, I literally jumped for joy. Back when EA originally released Need for Speed: Most Wanted, fans ate it up. It is still one of the most popular editions of the franchise and there is no question why they decided to bring it back.

This year it's about, just like the title states, being the "most wanted". I don't know about them, but that's not a title I would actually want. But for the sake of argument, that is what I was striving for when I had a chance at the demo. The premise of it all is to wreck havoc. Smashing through billboards, zipping past speed traps, causing traffic are only some of the ways to achieve higher wanted levels. As you are breaking all kinds of laws, your wanted meter rises. The more heat you bring on, the higher chance you will gain more wanted points. This also puts more law enforcement on your tail (a good thing) who will need to be evaded in order to continue on your path of destruction.

Game objectives vary, unlike in The Run, and there isn't a true story mode. The main focus is simply to mess stuff up. Scores are posted online so you are constantly battling friends and foes to be the top badass. Different game modes include jump, drift, speed, and billboard challenges. Each one caters specifically for custom types of mayhem. The coolest part of it all is that the game takes place on an open-world map. Try shaking the police using side streets and parking lots to your advantage; exploring more and more of the city can be beneficial for discovering unlockable goodies such as new cars.

It's all non-stop action, especially when playing online against others. There's a huge free-for-all feel to it. Each race or challenge requires all racers to meet at a designated area before getting started. This preliminary rendezvous is a battle in its own right. Cars flying in from all directions. And with no true starting line, jockeying for a good start position is key. When the dust is finally settled, the race is off. No matter if it's single player or co-op, things will most certainly be destroyed.

I can't say there are too many car titles that I have gotten into as much as Need for Speed. Probably because year after year, NFS always puts its best tire first and revs out a hit. Be on the look out for a spooky release when Most Wanted drops the day before Halloween.

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