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★★★★☆

“In Most Wanted you raced your way to the top of the...”

Written on: 27/01/2007 by Greentoastrack (11 reviews written)

Good Points
Balanced variety of cars
Large map to explore
Higher level of customization
Drift racing makes its return
Wingmen

Bad Points
Repetitive
The 'story' is pretty horrendous
Fewer bosses
Lower importance of police pursuits
Wingmen (I know, it's here twice)

General Comments
In Most Wanted you raced your way to the top of the rankings. Tuning up and taking out rivals in the process, not to mention the lovable police chases. But what now? Well, it isn't exactly clear but you end up in a place called Palmont city, a place where it is always dark and no-one has ever seen a pedestrian.



Like in the start of Most Wanted you get to choose you're first car. However, unlike the last game, this choice dictates how you progress through the game and what you unlock in the progress. The cars available to you are split into 3 different fields; Muscle, tuner and exotic. The muscle cars are great in straight lines while the tuners come up aces in the corners and the exotics, well they're pretty much great at everything. This already sets it apart from NFS:MW in which a Corvette was near identical in performance to a Murci lago and adds a new depth to racing strategies allowing each player to develop their own style of racing.



The map is much larger than it ever was before and each district of the city is distinctly different to the others. For example, Downtown Palmont is full of bright lights, tall buildings and sharp corners, just perfect for your Mitubishi Evo. But Kempton, on the other hand, is a smoggy, industrial environment with miles and miles of straights, idea for a Ford Mustang. This new level of exploration available to you as well as an area of the city that suits whatever car you're driving and this game is already head of its competitors.



It has to be said, the level of customization available to you was pretty limited, but not anymore. Not only is does it now allow you to place more than one vinyl on you're car (one of the negative points of Most Wanted) but a new feature called autosculpt is available to you. Autosculpt lets you tweak almost every physical aspect of you're car, from the grooves on the wheels to the depth of the roof scoop. The level of customization is practically limitless and guaranteed to keep you amused for quite a while.



After a short holiday drift racing has made its return. In this mode you skid round a track racking up points. You get more points for driving quickly and drifting near the barriers, if you link your drifts you can gain a multiplier catapulting you're score into the realm of the unknown. Hit the sides or spin out though, and you're combo is lost. It takes some getting used to and while it may not be a race, it is still my favorite thing in the game.



After a while though all these races become a bit of a bore. It feels like you are just driving round the same tracks again and again. It is unbelievably boring but there is nothing you can to to help it, so you just end up driving round and round and round.



The storyline is terrible. That is all that needs to be said, there are no redeeming factors. EA have obviously tried to add a plot twist at the end but have failed miserably. One of the great things Wanted were the cut-scenes with real people, they really grabbed your attention and were well worth you're time. In Carbon however they are simply a waste of time, they have no positive input to the feel of the game and I even found that after watching a few of them you will want to track down everyone you see on your screen and give them a smack. It is that bad. You have to complete races to win territories to win respect and customisation options and after winning a considerable few territories, you are challenged by the boss.



In the last Need for Speed title there were 15 bosses, from which you unlocked new engine parts, paints and cars. In this there are only 4 bosses. This means that to unlock new shiny things you just win the regular, non-challenging races, detracting from the sense of achievement used to feel when you put a great big turbo on your car on Most Wanted. And as there are only 4 bosses that means there are only 4 boss cars. And to lower the chances of getting one you only get to choose 2 'markers'. Not good.



Police pursuits can no longer activated at your will, a factor that kept me stuck to Most Wanted. And when you do get into a police pursuit you will find that there is no point anyway as all you stand to gain is perhaps a new set of wheels. And by set of wheels I mean an actual set of wheels, not a brand new car. It feels like a waste of you're time.



The 'wingmen'. I'm not sure quite what to think about them at the moment. There are 3 different types of wingmen, the blockers, the scouts and the drafters. They race alongside you in throughout career (although not in free-roam) and do serve a purpose. Blockers ram rivals off course, scouts find shortcuts and drafters race right in front of you to reduce the air resistance on your car. Blockers are no doubt the most effective of the 3 and can be a true blessing when the race is very close. The other two can be discarded. All 3 nevertheless can be very annoying. Numerous times my racing line has been blocked off by a racer present to help me out. I have found myself shouting at the television in annoyance.



Overall, it is a good game, but not as good as Most Wanted. It is a positive addition to there series and, if you willing to overlook the multiple flaws, is well worth your money.

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