Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) Review [Xbox 360]

Back in 2005, when EA released Need For Speed: Most Wanted, I was hooked to it. I had a pretty decently powerful PC back then, and loved playing the game at Full HD resolution with all the settings to max. Not only did the game look absolutely fabulous, it was insanely fun to play as well. I even went ahead and got an Xbox 360 controller for PC so that I could enjoy playing the game more.

After Most Wanted, the next racing game that I got hooked to was   Burnout Revenge when EA finally released it for PC. I had heard a lot about Burnout on consoles and from my hardcore gamer friends that how much better the series is compared to NFS.

Once I started playing Burnout Revenge, I could not agree less with my friends. The game was really well done, and had more than just ‘racing’ to it. In between, I never tried any of the NFS games that were released including Shift, Run and more. They all got horrible reviews, and I really did not want to spoil all the good memories I had of playing NFS: MW in my mind.

So, when EA and Criterion released Need For Speed: Most Wanted again this year, I was more than excited. So, here is my review of Need For Speed: Most Wanted after playing the game for the last couple of weeks.

The Story/Gameplay

In nearly all the racing games, the gamer needs to win races, or earn bonus/XP/points to unlock better and powerful cars. Most Wanted bucks this trend. You can roam around in the city – Fairhaven – aimlessly and find all the cars you want to. It’s an open-world out there, and it is up to you to explore it!

The game does have a pretty loose narrative though. Winning races will earn you speed points, which will allow you to challenge the top 10 Most Wanted drivers in the city. These top 10 most wanted racers drive the most desirable cards including many concept cars. Keep in mind that only beating a most wanted driver in a race is not enough to earn his car; you need to takedown his car as well.

Winning races also have another incentive apart from earning speed points, you get to unlock mods for your car, including shorter gears, lighter chassis etc. Every new car that you get is completely stock, so you need to win races to not only earn speed points, but also mods for your car. Every car has five different races allotted to it ranging from easy to hard.

One thing, which Most Wanted absolutely nails, is the handling of the cars. All the cars handle differently at varying speeds, with different mods, at different corners.

The Criterion/Burnout effect in Most Wanted is also clearly visible with billboards that can be smashed, hidden corners/shortcuts. The ‘Burnout’ effect is definitely there, and I mean it in a positive way.

Most Wanted also has a very different approach to races. There is no starting line here. Instead, players are greeted with a stunning track intro video, which is different for different tracks, before they are put in control of their car right in the middle of the race.

If it is a city based racing game, cops have to be there, and Most Wanted is no exception. There are 6 different heat levels, and according to the heat level, the cops get tougher by bringing in SUVs or by deploying spike stripes. Evading cops in Most Wanted is no easy task. I actually spent more than an hour trying to evade cops once, before giving up. You can evade cops by either aiming for the horizon and flat-out outpacing them or by taking some quick corners and hiding somewhere underground.

The Good

The open-world, the graphics, the ability to drive a Lamborghini Gallardo right from the start without the need to win a race, the Burnout effect, the EasyDrive navigation system to select mods or races for your car are easily the strengths of the game. The tracks of the game are really well executed as well. They are not only limited to the city roads but include a bit of off-roading and hidden shortcuts as well.

The attention-to-detail in Most Wanted is amazing as well — watching the debris flying from another car and then sending it into oblivion by knocking it with your car — all while driving your car at insane speeds. Each and every car in Most Wanted has been given the treatment they deserve, right from the Ford Focus ST to the Lamborghini Countach.

Don’t expect to win races easily in Most Wanted. The competing cars can sometimes be clearly much more faster than you, and if you miss those barely visible shortcuts, there is a fat chance of you winning the game. In some races, you will be on your toes and will have to make full use of the nitrous boost to rank among the top 3. You may win the ‘Easy’ races on stock cars, but beyond that, if you are not gonna modify your car, the chances of you winning are going to get extremely slim.

The Bad

As much as I like Most Wanted, I am not hooked to it. Blame my lack of gaming experience or the game itself, but there are no indicators or barriers in the racetracks so as to prevent the player from going off-road. Imagine driving an Aston Marin at nearly 200MPH on a flat road in a race, which you are leading, only to realize that you missed a turn. While there is an on-screen map that highlights the racing path, it is simply not possible to take your eyes off the road when you are driving at such high speeds. Do so, and you end up crashing your car.

The baffling part? There are actually virtual barriers present in certain points in some tracks. Why not everywhere? Or a virtual indicator like in Forza? I am fine with a game being very tough to play, but the lack of any kind of indicator makes me absolutely want smash my console or TV out of frustration. Nothing can be more frustrating that losing a race because you took a wrong turn.

This is perhaps the sole reason why I won’t recommend Most Wanted to anyone. The game does have some other oddities as well. If cops chasing you take you down, you will not be busted. Instead, the game resumes from the same place where you crashed. You can wreck you car into pieces, but it will not affect the performance of the car.


If you are a racing game freak, you are going to love Most Wanted. Nearly every aspect of the game has been executed very well, and the several oddities in the game are nothing too much to be bothered about. However, if you are new to racing games or a casual gamer, I will recommend you to not to spend your money on Most Wanted. ‘The Bad’ part of my review clearly sums up my lone frustration with the game and why I won’t play the game and recommend it to anyone.

P.S. – What’s up with the need for an Origin account? Is not an Xbox Live Account enough? I really don’t see the point of creating any kind of accounts for Xbox games, especially when I am already paying for an Xbox Live account.

Preload Need For Speed Most Wanted on Downloads4u

Game4u’s digital downloads service, downloads4u was launched few days ago(read my thoughts on the service here). Close on the heels of the launch, Electronic Arts’ newest game in the Need For Speed franchise, the rebooted Need For Speed Most Wanted is available for preload on downloads4u.

Preloading allows you to download the game before the game’s released. Once released, you’ll get the activation code, allowing you to start playing the game immediately, without having to wait for the physical media to ship over.

I’m a huge proponent of digital downloads & preloading, and it’s good to see more vendors are jumping on to the digital distribution bandwagon. You can buy preload Need For Speed Most Wanted by heading over here and purchasing the game using your credit/debit cards or netbanking. The game’s scheduled for November 2nd release and is priced at Rs 1499. While you wait for the download to complete, here’s live action TV ad and a gameplay video of what you can expect from Need For Speed Most Wanted.

New Need For Speed Most Wanted Gets Demoed at E3 2012; Release Date Announced

Few days ago, I had written about a new Need For Speed: Most Wanted coming soon. At this year’s E3, EA gave a demo of Need For Speed: Most Wanted and showed us what can be expected from it.

Being developed by Criterion, the sequel to Most Wanted looks like a Burnout Game in Need For Speed clothing. Each race will have a start and finish line; how you reach the line is completely up to you. You can take the tarmac roads, go hunting for shortcuts or even go offroad. Autolog will be available as well and you and your Autolog friends should be able to jump into the race at any point of time. Need for Speed Most Wanted will be released on October 30th in North America and November 1st in Europe for all major consoles (PS3, Xbox 360), PC and portable and mobile devices.

Till then, there’s a short gameplay video of what you can expect

New Need For Speed: Most Wanted Is Coming Soon

Ask any gamer who likes Racing genre of games what their favorite game is and you’re bound to hear about Need For Speed: Most Wanted a lot of times. Need For Speed: Most Wanted was an absolute blast of a game, combining what most people crave – open world racing, car customization, street racing and cop chases.

IGN reports that a new New Need For Speed: Most Wanted is coming soon, and this was outed by TwitchTV’s E3 gaming schedule.  Whether the new Most Wanted will be a reboot of the series or a sequel remains to be seen; there’s no news on what the new game’s going to be like. Come E3 2012, however, this should be clear.

E3 2012 begins June 5th, 2012. And in case you don’t know what Most Wanted is all about, here’s Most Wanted’s trailer to bring you up to speed.

EA To Bring Need for Speed Hot Pursuit To Windows Phone 7

Towards the end of 2011, I went on a rant against EA and their support for Windows Phone 7. It was around the time when Microsoft and their partners announced a new range of Windows Phone 7 handsets. A year ago with the first wave of devices, EA announced 4 titles for the platform. I continue to be a fan of the Need for Speed series and while I may not be as hardcore today as I was, I enjoy the game a lot more than any other racing game I’ve tried. Need for Speed Undercover was among my first purchases when I got my Samsung Focus and I still play it from time to time. Today, on the official Windows Phone blog, Microsoft shared details about 4 new games headed to Windows Phone 7 in February, the first title in their list?—Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.

Tim McDowd, writing for Microsoft says the game will have 24 tracks (day & night) and 48 career events, doesn’t sound like a lot but I am not complaining. I expect the game to be priced at around $6 ($5.99 or $6.99) like most popular Xbox LIVE titles. McDowd shared just one teaser screenshot from the game:

Along with NFS HP, first person shooter fans should be excited about Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell availability on the platform. Toy Soliders: Boot Camp and BulletAsylum are the other two games.

Don’t Blink: Physicists Break Data Network Speed Record at 186Gbps

High-energy physicists have pushed the limits of network data transfer to mind boggling speeds. Researchers attending the Super Computing 2011 conference, held in Seattle Convention Center, transferred data in opposite directions to eventually reach a combined rate of 186Gbps over a Wide Area Network. For those of you not quite familiar with the terminology, a Wide Area Network is typically defined as a network that is separated by long geographic distances such as, between a main office and a branch office in another state. The typical Wide Area Network usually ranges from 1.54Mbps T1 or DSL connections to 10Mbps fiber or cable. As you can see, 186Gbps speeds blows the standard network speeds away.

The small team of researchers consisted of members from Caltech and University of Victoria. In  the first demonstration the team transferred data from hard disks located at University of Victoria down to the show room floor at more than 60Gbps. This is thought to be a record all its own, but then they transferred data from memory to memory at 98Gbps. They were able to sustain this transfer reaching bidirectional speeds of 186Gbps.  University of Victoria Professor and LHC physicist Randall Sobie said:

The 100Gb/s demo at SC11 is pushing the limits of network technology by  showing that it is possible to transfer peta-scale particle physics data sample in a  matter of hours to anywhere around the world.

Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE) and BCNET, a non-profit, shared IT services organization constructed the production grade network to transmit the data. The data transfer was done using an open source application developed by Caltech called FDT. One of the amazing accomplishments in this was that all of the data transmitted was received on only 4 pieces of equipment on the show room floor. This type of data transfer would have required dozens of servers just a few years ago. The video below describes the type of technology used to make this landmark data transfer happen.

One of the factors driving the need for this kind of speed is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The amount of data being collected at the LHC is growing rapidly so it is becoming increasingly important to find avenues of transporting this data worldwide at faster speeds. “Enabling scientists anywhere in the world to work on the LHC data is a key objective, bringing the best minds together to work on the mysteries of the universe,” says David Foster, the deputy IT department head at CERN.  Hopefully this new technology will lead to innovations to make data sharing in the scientific community a little easier.

According to the Caltech press release, “the key to discovery, the researchers say, is in picking out the rare signals that may indicate new physics discoveries from a sea of potentially overwhelming background noise caused by already understood particle interactions. To do this, individual physicists and small groups located around the world must repeatedly access—and sometimes extract and transport—multiterabyte data sets on demand from petabyte data stores.” In case you’re wondering, that amount of data is  equivalent to hundreds of Blu-ray movies.

More information can be found at You may also want to read more about CERN’s research at the following:

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Now Available On The Android Market

Electronic Arts, popularly known as E.A, is one of the biggest gaming publishers for all the  popular  gaming platforms including iOS, PS3, PC and Xbox. However, the company has not really been kind to the Android gamers and Android Market. The company only has a handful of games available on the Android Market, and none of them do justice to E.A’s name.

The company did release a few gaming titles including their popular Fifa series, but they  remain  limited to Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play. Today, E.A has finally released one of their popular racing titles – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – on the Android Market. The game was already available for Xperia Play owners, and now is available for all other Droid racers to enjoy on their phone as well. While the game might not be as graphically pleasing as its iOS counterpart, it still looks better than most other Android games out there.

Unlike Gameloft’s games, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit supports all the ‘latest’ Android phones with a 1GHz processor and a GPU.  The iOS version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has been available for nearly 6 months now. Hopefully, in the future E.A and other gaming publishers will simultaneously release games for both iOS and Android platforms.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available for $4.99 on the Android Market. Here is the market link of the game.

Need For Speed The Run Announced

Need for Speed is easily the most recognized racing game franchise in the entire world. That is because mostly all games in the franchise fulfill the insane craving of adrenaline junkies the need for speed, per se with great visuals, astounding locations, thumping audio tracks ,and of course, the super fast cars that you take out for races.


Need for Speed The Run will take players on yet another action-filled joyride through different locales where players flirt with danger at 200 miles per hour. While there are no substantial screenshots or details of the game as yet, it looks like the game will deliver what it usually delivers fast cars.

Executive Producer at Electronic Arts, the publisher of The Run, Jason DeLong commented that we think that Need for Speed The Run is going to surprise people with its intense, thrilling story and big action feel. But the game would be nothing without hot cars and crazy-fast chases.

The game is being developed under the cutting edge new engine from DICE (the developers of Battlefield 2, Mirror’s Edge and other fantastic games) called Frostbite 2. The visuals and feel of the game is bound to be more immersive and gorgeous than any of the previous Need for Speed games. Not only that, apparently the game will also take immersive storytelling to a new level with cutting edge performances that will draw the player into a world with no speed limits, rules or allies.

Well, you are excited, are you not?

Need for Speed Shift Coming to Android Market on June 4

Android Market has been growing at an impressive pace and as more and more manufacturers begin embracing Android, the growth curve will only get steeper. However, one area where the Android Market falls short is the availability of high quality games.


The good news is that things may be about to change for Android users. EA Games has announced that it will be bringing its popular racing franchise Need for Speed to the Android platform soon. The newest game in the series – Need for Speed: Shift, will be launched on June 4, which also happens to be HTC EVO’s launch date.

Very little else is known about the game. In fact, EA hasn’t even released any screenshot of the game. However, let’s hope that this time around EA has paid attention to detail. Their previous releases including The Sims 3 and Spore Origins were bug ridden and prone to force closes.

If you are a racing game fan and the wait seems too long for you, then don’t worry. Storm 8’s Racing Live should keep for hooked for the weeks to come. Racing Live is a free Massively Multiplayer Online Racing game that allows you to challenge racers from around the world.

Need For Speed: World Enters Beta, Here’s How To Apply For It

If you dig racing games, and are a fan of the Need For Speed series, then here’s some good news. EA has started the closed beta testing of their upcoming massively multiplayer Need For Speed game, Need For Speed: World.

EA mentions that there would be multiple closed beta sessions, with most sessions occuring every other week. To participate in the beta, just head over to this page and click on Apply for Beta.
Need For Speed will be oriented towards arcade gamers, and is said to incorporate best features from Need For Speed:   Most Wanted and Need For Speed: Carbon – including extensive tuning, customizing, cop chases (yay!), adds in some MMO features like a power up system,deep RPG style progressionand puts it in a persistent online world. Here’s hoping that I can get an invite soon!