It is clear that there has been an attempt in NfS Most Wanted
, to address some of the very few criticisms that were levelled at Burnout Paradise
. The main one of which was that, as the game progressed and fewer events remained to complete, considerable amounts of time could be lost backtracking to restart an event.
addresses this by letting you "Retry last event" but the option is buried at the bottom of a menu, with the dreaded D-Pad control system, and requires a confirmation. Often, while you are struggling to access it, Police that were pursuing you during the race will catch you and Bust you while you are trying to restart. This then takes you back to the "home location" of the car you are driving.
The car handling seems to exacerbate matters too, it always seems to be just out of control - to as you approach traffic, it appears to magically and magnetically attract your vehicle into a crash.
I know this sound like whinging about my own bad driving, but Tim and Mark
felt the same way about it too. And none of us suck at Burnout
. It seems that in an attempt to make NfS Most Wanted
seem high octane and exciting, it's been made random and frustrating.
Frustrating is the word that best sums up NfS Most Wanted
. It's an opportunity missed, which is frustrating. It's confusing to play - often things were happening and I had no idea what, or why. It's frustrating to control: the D-Pad based menu system is just wrong, and even when you begin to get used to it it does annoying things like have have the wrong option pre-selected on confirmations - confirmations that are hardly required in the first place.
Need for Speed Most Wanted (the second)
is not completely without appeal; free-driving around the city is mildly amusing, in an uninspiring sort of way. Some of the cop car crashes are mildly funny, in an unassuming sort of a way.
One cannot help but think that the game is focused entirely on the SpeedWall, AutoLog ? in short, online gaming. And these certainly give it a little impetus no matter the hype about beating your friends.
The online game does not place you at the start line of the race, but requires you to drive to it, the event does not start until everyone arrives, and when the last person does, you start. This can lead to you being facing the wrong way, involved in a crash or hemmed in by other cars as the flag goes down.
The arrival of a new Burnout
game used to be a time of celebration in the SPOnG offices. This is the first Criterion driving game I have ever played that has made me perfectly happy to put the joypad down and walk away.
Huge selection of desirable cars
Humorous in places
SPOnG Score: 6/10