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WiiU

North America

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

by Tyler Ohlew - March 12, 2013, 8:00 am PDT
Total comments: 20

The city of Fairhaven welcomes U.

It's been nearly 10 years since the efforts of Criterion Games last graced Nintendo hardware. Burnout 2: Point of Impact released on the GameCube in 2003, and despite a slew of great racers reaching it and successive consoles in the years that followed, few were as technically daring as Criterion’s work. Thankfully, the streak ends later this month when EA and Criterion bring Need for Speed Most Wanted to the Wii U.

Unlike most games, Most Wanted’s races don’t run along linear, independent tracks. Instead, its events take place across the fictional city of Fairhaven. Every road, alley, and bridge is just another path to the finish line. Of course, what’s the benefit of having the keys to the city if you can’t tool around at your own leisure? In Most Wanted, there’s no need to enter race after race—exploring the city is just as encouraged. The game includes 41 vehicles you can commandeer, the majority of which are strewn about the fair city, hidden in plain sight. Each car carries its own set of optional challenges and races. By completing these, you unlock modifications for the vehicle, allowing you to build a car suitable for each situation. Criterion doesn’t care for pulling players out of the world it’s created. With that in mind, Most Wanted lets you go online, find races, and make modifications in real time with the GamePad’s D-pad with a feature deemed EasyDrive. You can access each feature with a few taps, never slowing down the onscreen action.

When players enter Fairhaven, their objective is clear: to become the most notorious driver in the city. Unfortunately, much like No More Heroes’ Travis Touchdown, they encounter a few “obstacles” along the way. 10 elite racers compose the Blacklist, and after earning enough experience (known as Speed Points) from the game’s various races and challenges, the option to take on these drivers opens up. By defeating those on the Blacklist, players unlock some of the game’s best vehicles for their own use.

Online, Most Wanted becomes another beast altogether. Players can go up against up to seven other players, and take part in the challenges and races thrown your way. Meeting points are arranged by the host, and players tear their way across the city to get there first. Only when the drivers arrive do they learn the objective, which can run the gamut from catching the most airtime off a ramp, to a King of the Hill-style event where one must hold his ground while others attempt to turn his car into scrap metal.

The Wii U’s iteration of Need for Speed Most Wanted includes a variety of additions and improvements over other console versions. Criterion has noted that following the original release of Most Wanted last October, it focused its attention on making the game the best it can be on Wii U. Criterion's Alex Ward told GamesRadar that simply porting the title over would “be a crime."

Due to the Wii U's extra memory, Most Wanted makes use of the improved textures used in the PC, and also provides a better draw distance.

Most Wanted supports Off-TV Play, but Criterion is also making use of the GamePad in the title's Co-Driver mode, internally referred to as "Father and Son" mode. Here, the player with the GamePad can provide a helping hand to a second player (who can play with the Wii Remote, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, or Pro Controller). Criterion likens the GamePad to a driver's ed car, as it can serve as a second set of brakes, gas, etc. However, the GamePad can also provide boost, spin-out or remove pursuing police cars, change the time of day, alter the appearance of the car, provide the vehicle the other player wants to drive, manipulate traffic, and display a map of Fairhaven and its various collectables.

Ward says the studio’s aim with Most Wanted on the Wii U was "bringing people together and sharing the game experience."

Miiverse is implemented as well, and works hand in hand with Criterion's Autolog, a service created by Criterion to share details among the Most Wanted community. After completing a race or achieving a noteworthy goal, the game suggests posting the info to the Miiverse, and displays any related comments from your friends. Autolog also tracks your best times, recommends new friends to race with, and provides the records of your friends’ races and challenges. Miiverse and Autolog seem to complement each other well, and should help create a stronger sense of community among Most Wanted owners.

Need for Speed Most Wanted is expected to release March 19 in North America and March 21 in Europe.

Talkback

I'm definitely interested in this game once the price drops. I thought Criterion made that Burnout game on DS, but apparently it was farmed out to another developer. Burnout and Burnout 2 were AWESOME on GameCube, and I was really disappointed that the third game (my favorite, by a mile) was stuck on PS2. Though it looked ridiculously good for a PS2 game...

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorMarch 12, 2013

I'm excited for this as well. I spent tons of time playing Burnout Paradise online with friends. I will probably wait for a price drop as well as there are just too many good looking games out this month (specifically Bioshock Infinite and Lego City Undercover).


I only wish that this game incorporated the "crash shots" that Burnout Paradise did. In that game, when you crashed the game would snap a photo of you with the Xbox camera and send a photo of your face to everybody else. It was hilarious. Every time a shot came up, my entire play group would crack up. Since the Wii U GamePad has a camera built in, this would be perfect. Oh well.

WiiUIVLifeMarch 12, 2013

I don't care if the price drops or not... I'm STILL buying Need for Speed: Most Wanted U at (or during) launch.  Not only that I've own the Wii U for a month, but also truly support Criterion Games in making this the most definitive version of its title.  Using PC assets with better lighting textures and exclusive features, this is truly a MUST OWN funtastic driving experience.  Next Tuesday is the time I feel the Need once more... this time, on the U.

CericMarch 12, 2013

With Heart of the Swarm out and Monster Hunter I'll have to wait.  Which means I'll probably never get it.

ResettisCousinMarch 12, 2013

I liked the campy live action scenes in the original Most Wanted. That game had a feeling of its time and a personality.  But I can live with the attitude shift in the new version.


And I did try the new version with a PS3 1 hour timed trial. Why is it, that while in Gran Turismo I feel like I'm in a game by car nuts, for car nuts, but in the new Most Wanted it feels like I'm in a car dealership? Sure, I don't really think Ferrari plans on selling many new cars based on peoples' MW experience, but this game feels like marketing while GT feels like "car nerding". The other aspect I didn't like was, unless I'm grossly mistaken, I drove up to a couple cars in the city that had to be purchased with money (real-life Human money!) to unlock. I HATE ingame upsells like that and I AM stubborn enough to not buy a game because of it.


Yet if this will _finally_ usher in a multiplat full retail game where the Wii U version is _clearly_ the definitive console experience, I would consider a purchase to support those that bring the best out of the WiiU.

ShyGuyMarch 12, 2013

I'm picking this up next week!

NeifirstMarch 12, 2013

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

TJ SpykeMarch 12, 2013

Quote from: Neifirst

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

Minor, but it would be $40 each on average. Monster Hunter and Need for Speed are both $60 at Target, LEGO City is $50. That means LEGO City would be the free game, leaving the total at $120 (before taxes). $120/3 = $40 average.

ShyGuyMarch 12, 2013

But Monster Hunter confuses me. :(

BlackNMild2k1March 12, 2013

Quote from: Neifirst

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

What else comes out next week?
I have no interest in MH3, but I'm down for the other 2.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMarch 12, 2013

Quote from: Neifirst

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

Crap! I'm glad and upset you told me this. I want to support these companies but dont feel like paying $120 at once... Hmmm what to do? Guess I'll just bite the bullet.

PS(what does that mean)
My Wii U gamepad loads faster and is more responsive than my darn near brand new Ipad 3 or 4. Nintendo did good with this thing.

In that content, it means "Postscript".

OblivionMarch 13, 2013

I'm sorry, but I highly doubt the Wii U loads faster than the iPad. That's a big draw of the iOS devices: solidly built, and fast as hell.

ShyGuyMarch 13, 2013

Stop being ambitious in all the wrong ways

OblivionMarch 13, 2013

Too bad I'm right in this case. A Wii U is not faster than as an iPad. Sorry.

LouieturkeyMarch 15, 2013

Quote from: Oblivion

Too bad I'm right in this case. A Wii U is not faster than as an iPad. Sorry.

Pretty sure Caterkiller is not lying and you are also correct.  It all depends on what is being attempted I think.

ShyGuyMarch 16, 2013

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Quote from: Neifirst

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

What else comes out next week?
I have no interest in MH3, but I'm down for the other 2.

We've also got The Walking Dead on the 19th.

Why did everyone wait till next Tuesday? Why not space these things out?

BlackNMild2k1March 16, 2013

Quote from: ShyGuy

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Quote from: Neifirst

You all need to start visiting cheapassgamer.com.  Target is offering buy 2 get 1 free on ALL games beginning Sunday the 17th.  That means Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Lego City Undercover, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for roughly $33 each.  Not a bad deal, IMO.

What else comes out next week?
I have no interest in MH3, but I'm down for the other 2.

We've also got The Walking Dead on the 19th.

Why did everyone wait till next Tuesday? Why not space these things out?

Hmmm... is there anything else that I may have missed that is good?

ShyGuyMarch 19, 2013

Holy Mackerel! EA is selling this in their Origin store for $29.99! Free shipping!

http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/pd/productID.251734800/

ResettisCousinMarch 20, 2013

Yup. Eating my hat. The sale is still up. Most Wanted U is on the way to me for half off.  The early reviews are stellar; thank you Criterion for giving Nintendo nuts at least one title that's the clearly definitive console version.

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Need For Speed: Most Wanted Box Art

Genre
Developer

Worldwide Releases

na: Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Release Mar 19, 2013
PublisherElectronic Arts
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Need For Speed: Most Wanted U
Release Mar 20, 2013
PublisherElectronic Arts
Rating12+
eu: Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Release Mar 21, 2013
PublisherElectronic Arts
Rating7+
aus: Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Release Mar 21, 2013
PublisherElectronic Arts
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