For no particular reason I put in Need for Speed: Most Wanted and played it a bit last night. I bought it quite some time ago and never really played it much but I heard it was entertaining so I decided to give it a chance. Right at the start two things came to mind.
One, the gameplay is just like Burnout: Paradise rather than the original NFS: Most Wanted. Jumping through billboards, really arcade-ish effects, etc. I’m actually a car enthusiast so I don’t like it as much. I prefer things to be a bit more realistic which leads me to the second thing I noticed immediately which is controls. I’ve been playing a lot of GTA: 7 which has great driving controlsconsidering it’s not the focus, but I find the camera and the controls in Most Wanted sooo sluggish compared to each other. Doesn’t seem to matter what car, from the Dodge Charger to the Veyron they all feel slow. Drive a car in real life and crank the wheel all the way to the left or right, you will spin out. Not in Most Wanted, there you slowly turn. Also there are so many unnecessary camera shakes when the car accelerates or hits something. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it also feels like the camera dips to the corners if you hit something or turn a corner which for me really throws off my feeling of control. I find myself steering to compensate for the bouncing camera rather than the car. This often gets me into a weird back and forth of over compensating one way then the other. AND WHY IT THE ROAD ALWAYS WET???!? Worst driving conditions EVAR!
The biggest disappointment for me though is the story or lack of it. Whether EA realizes it or not they were onto something with the original Most Wanted. They added a story, a bad guy, a love interest, all in a racing game which is something nobody does and it worked. Having been a real street racer I can say that there is definitely real stories and rivalries happening out on the streets and it was so awesome to have that addressed. I thought it could have delved much more deeply. Although the Fast & Furious movies got way out of hand I think they are a good example of what can be done with racing beyond just the cars. It could really expand the sales base beyond hardcore racers. The opportunity is still out there if someone has the brains to pick it up.
OVERALL RATING: BLAH