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By Daniel Krupa
Two years ago acclaimed British developer Criterion took a stab at one of Need for Speed’s most established imprints: Hot Pursuit. The results were fantastic; it was a game that pushed the arcade racer forward in new, exciting directions, providing unprecedented levels of connectivity, and was a major shot in the arm for the series.

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Thankfully, following on from the disappointment of last year’s entry The Run, Criterion is baông xã in the driving seat, turning its perfectionist’s gaze towards another title from the franchise’s past. This time it’s Most Wanted receiving the makeover and the results occasionally approach the sublime.The first thing that impresses you about Most Wanted - và there are many highlights lớn choose from - is the sheer quality & craftsmanship of the game. It’s evident in most aspects of the game. It’s been constructed with a fastidious attention to detail. You’ll emerge from winding tunnels inkhổng lồ blinding light; flecks of dirt và blades of grass will cling khổng lồ the screen should you choose khổng lồ go off-road; the music quality will dip và static will accumulate on your Sat Nav when you venture underground; the warm sunlight skims off rainwater that has pooled on the uneven, cracked tarmac. They’re all little touches – testament to time and energy – but when they all combine, as they frequently bởi vì, the result approaches something quite sublime. And you’ll still be able khổng lồ appreciate it all tearing down the highway at 150 miles per hour.

You get the impression that Criterion is rather proud of its achievement. Each race is prefaced by an introductory Clip, which showcases the city it has built from the ground up. Some are surreal vgamedanhnhau.infoettes in which police cars fall from the sky or perch on the ceiling of car parks like flies; others are snapshots of the đô thị itself, showcasing its urban beauty.Things in the distance don’t bear up lớn the same scrutiny but it’s a more than acceptable tradeoff, since every side of Fairhaven – every sewer và flood drain, bridge và road – is accessible lớn you right from the beginning, without a single intrusive loading time. This is open-world gaming at it’s most seamless. Different sections aren’t crudely welded together with lengthy loading times. You’ll only be pulled out of it when you change cars, enter a race or switch to lớn multiplayer và it never takes more than a few seconds.But this is a driving game of course, so inevitably it comes down lớn the cars. And in keeping with its sandbox aspirations, you're able khổng lồ drive nearly every one of its 41 vehicles right from the start, from the mundane Lancia Delta to lớn the most desirable Aston Martin V12 Vantage. To drive sầu them you don’t have to lớn win races or accumulate points or buy tokens; you just have sầu khổng lồ find them. Some are hidden on rooftops or down baông chồng alleys; some are hiding in plain sight.When you find a new oto it’s equipped with stoông chồng components: basic tyres, a basic chassis và transmission, và no nitrous exhaust. You nâng cấp your car by accumulating Speed Points, which you earn by transgressing the law, setting off speed cameras, bursting through billboards, evading the police. But the fasdemo way to net some serious Speed Points is by entering street races.Each oto has five sầu races open khổng lồ it, ranging from easy lớn hard. The races themselves are fairly varied: there are straightforward circuit races, sprint races & Speed Runs, in which you’ll have to lớn maintain an absurdly-fast average time while weaving in & out of traffic. Place well in the races and you’ll receive sầu perks such as off-road tyres, a reinforced chassis (so you can burst through roadblocks), or different gear sets, depending on whether you want a higher top speed or faster acceleration.Modding is easily done via Easy Drive, the game’s persistent on-screen menu. It lets you upgrade your car using the D-pad, change your oto & phối a route to new race. It again furthers that open-world feel. Criterion is smart enough khổng lồ know that nothing is more antithetical to lớn the open-world experience that it’s trying lớn create than drilling down through a series of static menus.

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In addition lớn straightforward races, there are also Ambush events in which you’ll have sầu khổng lồ evade the boys in xanh. Part of the fun of Most Wanted is antagonising the authorities. Initially you’ll feel restricted lớn the roads & highways of Fairhaven, but the races show you different sides lớn the city. There are two ways in which you can thảm bại the fuzz: keep on running for the horizon and hope they can’t chase you or break the line of sight & hide under a bridge, lượt thích Ryan Gosling in Drive.But police interference isn’t limited to Ambush events. They’ll get involved in most races, attempting lớn ram you off the road or inlớn oncoming traffic; dropping stingers right in front of you; or blocking entire intersections. As your ‘Heat’ màn chơi increases they’ll employ faster cars to lớn chase you down & even Điện thoại tư vấn in SWAT teams. And this is where your mods can give sầu you a slight advantage – if you need to lớn plough through parked SWAT vans or SUVs you must equip a reinforced chassis & the powershot exhaust, otherwise your oto will crumple on impact. However, modding on the move sầu isn’t all that easy and the risk of crashing inlớn an obstacle while trying khổng lồ change to re-inflatable tyres isn’t really worth it. And while Kinect allows you lớn access Easy Drive sầu more easily, during the fast-paced races of Most Wanted it’s still a bit of liability khổng lồ thủ thuật mid-race.The spectacular is well within reach of even the novice in Most Wanted. Cars handle brilliantly. Once you master drifting & how lớn use nitrous bursts effectively, you’ll be competitive in most races. Harder races aren’t intimidating with practice and a range of mods unlocked. Slow và steady won’t win you races in Most Wanted; only insanely fast and audacious will.Races in Most Wanted begin not from a static racing line, with you patiently waiting lớn hit the gas, but from a rolling start – you’re furiously thrown inkhổng lồ the middle of the race and that’s pretty much emblematic for the game itself. The opening credits end with an invitation – a robotic-sounding woman’s voice says, “What happens next is up lớn you.” And that’s part of the game’s central weakness. It provides so much freedom that some will find it rather aimless. When you can drive và nâng cấp a Lamborghini Gallarvì right from the beginning, the motivation to lớn do it all again with a hatchbachồng quickly evaporates. Some many of its pleasures are immediate, not rationed nor deferred.
Saying that, there is a very loose narrative of sorts: you’re tasked with becoming the city’s most notorious racer. When you earn sufficient Speed Points you’ll be able to lớn challenge one of Fairhaven’s ten most wanted racers. They drive the most desirable cars in the game – from the real-world Bugatti Veyron khổng lồ fantastical concept cars – và the races are akin to lớn boss fights, periodically testing your skills and knowledge of the city’s streets. (Incidentally, each race is preceded by the most stunning introduction.) Beat them by successfully take down their vehicle và you’ll take their oto as a prize. It’s the main incentive to keep on racking up those Speed Points.That incentive sầu is bolstered by the game’s approach to lớn multiplayer. You’ll be able lớn drive around a private version of the đô thị with friends, smashing inlớn each other with Ballardian glee, or run through ‘setlists’, which comprise of races as well as challenges – who can make the biggest jump or exexinh đẹp the longest drift, and so on. It’s a lot fun and, as with the main game, it’s all seamless & flowing. Events are linked by mini-races as players attempt to get lớn the starting point before the rest. But if multiplayer isn’t your sort of thing Criterion has subtly woven competition inkhổng lồ the very fabric of Fairhaven. Billboards will carry the face of your friend who burst through it at a higher speed, for instance. It’s subtle but very effective.
As with all sandbox games the narrative sầu is of your own making but this is even more true of Most Wanted. The side-effect is that it can feel aimless at times. If you desire structure, if you wanted a game lớn be meted out khổng lồ you, you might find its instant freedom somewhat overwhelming. But Most Wanted is all about deviation and deviance. It’s the racing game for people who don’t tover khổng lồ lượt thích racing games. You’re not punished for missing that apex or abandoning that nagging racing line. It’s undoubtedly one of the year’s most exhilarating experiences.