Creative ideas, but terrible gameplay graphics.
I jumped into the Need For Speed series with Underground. The game simply blew me away, as it did for the other 7 million people who purchased the game. The graphics were simply amazing, and what couldn't you like about pimping out a car that you'll probably never be able to dump that much money into! Underground 2 was a valient attempt to match and/or beat the original, but everybody who's played that knows it was good, but not even close. The cutscenes were TERRIBLE!
In Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the people from EA have a great idea going for them. From what I've heard, it's a mix of the two older games before Underground, which is a great idea. The idea of cop chases (and earning points based on how destructive/evasive you are) is very fun, as are the conversations you hear on your "police scanner". Police don't necessarily need to spot you breaking the law, as sometimes just running into other cars will cause a "call" to be put into the P.D. and they'll send a unit or two out.
The cutscenes and storyline are good as well. Since there's no swearing or abusive language allowed, it's hard to replicate a "true" bad boy image and confrontations between "blacklist" characters. It's hard to imagine someone on a "blacklist" calling you a "jerk" :) Unlike the last titles comic-strip-like cutscenes that made me want to chuck the game out the window, this one has real movie-like scenes that seem to be caught in between real full motion video and animation, but are a perfect way of portraying it! The mouths move perfectly to the words, and not to mention the ladies of the game! The storyline will suck you in, as the opening few acts lay out the story and get you kind of mad! Mad enough to keep playing and get your ride back!
Loading times are FAST, and restarts are instant. The controller can be configured for you to use either the control stick or pad for your preference...and if I remember correctly the previous N.F.S. game forced you to use the control stick which I despised (I believe....don't hold it against me if I'm wrong!).
There are a lot of other little things that I will let you discover on your own as you play the game, but I do have to leave with one con of the game. The graphics during driving are TERRIBLE. I play the game on a 42" plasma HDTV and I must say I thought I was playing this game on Playstation 1. The edges of the cars, surroundings, roads are EXTREMEMLY choppy. So far, I cannot figure out a way to change camera angles, as you are stuck with ONE VIEW and ONE VIEW ONLY. No inside the car angle, or far-away shot, just ONE behind the car angle. The car also seems to be too close to you, and there is no way to change it. You can put it on widescreen to give you more viewing area, and it helps with the distance but in my opinion it makes the graphics even worse. I started with a Lexus IS300, but it looks more like a Mini-Cooper in widescreen mode. N.F.S Underground 1/2 was VERY smooth while driving and made you really feel like you were driving fast down the street in the nighttime, with the street lights just a blur as you zip past. Not this time...as the surroundings are VERY choppy and aren't smooth at all. Maybe other areas of the game are better, as I'm only on the first area? I hope...
The driving graphics are my only gripe, but it's a big one. It takes away from a LOT of the game in my opinion as EA might have spent too much disc space on the cutscenes and profiles (which are awesome). Rent it first!Read full review