I am a big fan of the Need for Speed
series of games, from the humble 3DO
console incarnation to the first ever Hot Pursuit
and the later sequel, but for me NFS was always about the fast sports cars, racing through traffic and looking good while you did it.
The replays were exciting and the racing was good fun, it was a challenge without being overly hard or nearly impossible. So what happened to the series, it evolved, but the evolution hasn’t really done much to recapture the glory days.Story
Told through a mix of live action over-acting and a pretty smooth integration with in-game engine footage, this incarnation for the Xbox 360 pulls out some impressive graphical stops but the story is as typical as you might find. Enter you, the player that has a fast car and dreams of being number one on the Blacklist. Enter the obligatory race against the cheesy in-your face bad-guy and you know where this is going.
If you like this kind of thing then you’ll probably love the story to the game, things go wrong and the bad-guy uses your car to get to number one on the Blacklist himself – its up to you, with the help of generic Hot-Girl 356 to race like a maniac and do what it takes to take down Razor.Gameplay
There’s racing galore, an open city and various challenges to go through in this version of the NFS series. The controls and gameplay are pretty standard this time around, if you’ve played Underground
and Underground II
then there’s going to be no problem leaping behind the wheel of some high performance sports cars as you try and climb the Blacklist and become the Most Wanted racer out there.
The Blacklist is the place to be, once you’ve collected a certain number of Milestones by performing various challenges (race types) and upsetting the local Law Enforcement you’ll be invited to go auto-to-auto with the Blacklist racer who you have to take down next.
The Police are the star of the show and they’re just as aggressive as you might expect, rolling out in larger and larger numbers the more notorious you become. As you drive around and cause trouble, the heat level on your car rises. If it gets too high then you’re going to be dealing with more than just a couple of patrol cars. There are shops of course, these offer parts and visual upgrades to your car ala the last two games, essentially making this NFS: UG II plus cops.
Upgrade the look of your car and the heat level drops.
There’s a decent level of customisation, but not as much as UG II – the chance to win the opponent car and their unique upgrades is new, and there’s also a slow-mo bullet-time like ability that allows you to avoid serious crashes once you work out how to handle a car when you drop into it.