Release Date: November 17th
Console: Xbox 360
Xbox Live Multiplayer: 1-8
Game Rating: T (Teen)
Mild Violence[/b] Wake up to the smell of burnt asphalt as the thrill of illicit street racing permeates the air. From the makers of the hit Need for Speed Undergroundseries that has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, Need for Speed Most Wanted challenges you to become the most notorious and elusive street racer.
Combining illicit street racing and tuner customization with the intensity of strategic police pursuit that surpasses any Hollywood-style chase scene, Need for Speed Most Wanted should be on your "must-have" list. Out-race rivals, evade cops, and exploit hundreds of miles of open road as you make your way up the Blacklist.
To become the most wanted racer, build up your street cred and Rap Sheet with gripping, white-knuckle, head-to-head races against the top drivers on the streets. Pull daring, evasive moves to out-run and out-fox the cops that patrol the open road. Manage your heat or use strategic tactics to keep the cops off your tail as you leave your rivals behind to suck your exhaust fumes.
Need for Speed Most Wanted also features a variety of the hottest cars, from tuners and super cars to muscles and sports cars. You can tune your ride to race against any class of vehicles. The streets are your playground!
Open road, open world: Rule the streets as the most notorious street racer in distinct regions that include edgy industrial and upscale urban environments. The street can be a friend for a foe. Master short-cuts and use the traffic and destructible environments to your advantage.
All-new gameplay: New and exciting gameplay combines strategic cop pursuit and skill-based evasion techniques with illicit street racing.
Visual customization: Whether you're trying to lose the cops or you just want to pimp your ride, Need for Speed Most Wanted offers extensive visual customizations.
Blacklist: As you enter the world of street racing, go up against the best drivers on the scene to earn respect and rise to the top of the Blacklist.
Rap Sheet: Build up your Rap Sheet with record-breaking times, epic races, and wild headline-making stunts. Out-fox police vehicles, tactics, and technology.
Performance tuning: Can't compete against a sports car? Head to the safehouse and tune up your ride to race against any class of vehicles.
Next-gen features: Need for Speed Most Wanted for the next-generation console delivers a new level of graphical excellence in video games. Utilizing graphical techniques including normal mapping, digital scanning, and real-time lighting, the game's visual experience outpaces other racing games on the market.
Online racing: Challenge your friends or rivals in online play for Xbox Live and the PC. Drivers ED From ramming to roadblocks, sideswiping to spike strips, the police have dozens of tools they bring to bear against reckless drivers in Need for Speed Most Wanted. Your only hope of survival, let alone zooming to the top of the blacklist is relying on your wits as much abilities behind the wheel. Sure, split-second reflexes count for something, as you deftly avoid head-on collisions, screech into sudden turns and squeeze through spaces so tight you can barely fit a Porsche 911 Carrera S inside. But unless you heed the following advice, believe me ... your days of dominating the asphalt are numbered.
Quickly scope out upcoming terrain for multiple escape routes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Easy Does It It's tempting to mash the B button and let nitrous do all the hard work for you. Just remember -- your reserves build back up slowly, and persistent as enemies are, you never know when a last-minute injection could mean the difference between peeling away and the penitentiary. Be judicious about how you use your stocks; don't burn all your juice at once.
Instead, look for holes that open up in foes' formations and tap your turbo supply as needed. They attack in patterns, and constantly have to compensate for track conditions the same way you do. This creates small windows of opportunity which you can use to escape before traps close around you. Slow and Low News flash: you've been afforded a brake button for a reason, and it's not just so you can hug hairpin curves without French-kissing the wall. The next time a pair of city cruisers or undercover state patrol cars zip on ahead of you and start flanking your position, wait until they're going full bore and suddenly slow down.
Often, they overshoot, giving you the opportunity to zip around a corner or slam into a full spin, switching direction on a dime. It's a great way to show the competition who's boss without tapping into your limited supply of speedbreakers or turbo boosts. Crunch Time The speedbreaker feature isn't a gimmick -- it's an essential element of play. Activating it causes several things to happen. One, time slows, so you can make last-minute decisions and more effectively dodge barricades, weave around lines of traffic and punch through cops' attack formations. Two, maneuverability and grip improve, letting you take corkscrew turns with ease and avoid oncoming obstacles. Number three, the mass of your car actually increases, allowing you to smash through anything (like lines of parked patrol cars) that gets in your way. Utilize it frequently for maximum effect. Don't forget: the meter refills over time, but you can build it back up much faster by drifting. Watch the Road Every course is rife with shortcuts and unexpected ways to get around. But you'll have to use common sense -- not your radar -- to spot them. Scan the road as you coast along, looking for driveways, ramps, lightweight barriers (chain-link fences, cones), or out-of-the way paths. If it looks like there's an opening you can fit between and no obstacles standing between it and your car, hey -- bank for it on the double. Nine times out of ten, you have found a hidden secret. Chill Out Managed to evade the fuzz long enough to break their line of sight? Peachy ... welcome to cooldown mode. While they're out there blocking off quadrants, searching for your law-breaking behind, start scanning back alleys, parking lots, and enclosed structures for hiding spots, marked by visible icons. Find one, enter it while in cooldown mode, and end pursuits that much faster. Bob and Weave It may sound like common sense, but always remember ... it's harder to hit a moving target. Traveling in a straight line is the easiest way to keep control over your car, but bob and weave from side to side, and it's much more difficult for opponents to box you in. Think Fast As I've already alluded, brainpower is almost as important as horsepower, especially when going head-to-head with adversaries or obstacles. So always use your noggin when approaching any given situation. For example, consider stationary roadblocks: gun it right for the center, and you're screwed. Look for the sawhorse instead, and you'll find the best way to crash through.
Likewise, as in the real world, never try and slam into stationary cars on the engine side. Instead, go for the rear, where there's less resistance. Radar Love You're provided with both a radar and map from the outset. I can't stress how important it is that you use them. It's the best way to get a sense for what lies up ahead, be it SUV, patrol car, or assault helicopter. Quickly scope out upcoming terrain for multiple escape routes, educate yourself on enemies' positions, and react accordingly. The best plan of all is having one to begin with. Damage, Inc. Interactive props are everywhere -- bring them to bear against the coppers whenever possible. Destroy the supports holding up objects like roofs, sailboats, signs and water towers, and you'll annihilate rivals located directly behind you or to your sides. It's the most satisfying and direct way to clown the competition. Listen Up Finally, when it doubt, just keep your ears open. Police are constantly chattering amongst themselves. Give them just a few seconds, and they literally choreograph their entire gameplan. Doh! High-Performance Racing
Take the obsessive eye for detail of the car tuner culture and fuse it with fast and furious car chases, bumper-to-bumper takedowns, and head-on collisions with the long arm of the law. What the heck: while you're at it, also throw in a healthy dose of urban grit for good measure.
Voilà ... that's Need for Speed Most Wanted, the world's most frantic four-wheeled racer -- players sprinting through corkscrewing courses, literally running rivals and police pursuers off the road at every turn -- in a nutshell. Well, that and an ultra-addictive online multiplayer mode, sizzling story sequences and roughly 6.7 trillion ways to bite the big one or end up starring in your own COPS-style arrest scene, but I digress ...
Still, before hopping behind the wheel of a Porsche or Aston Martin, take a second to stop and consider just a few of the many surprises you'll encounter on the disc. Not only does it prepare you for what to expect from the series' newest episode, it also helps cut back on those insurance bills ...
Predecessors like Need for Speed Underground 2 offered open environments to explore, but no title from the franchise thus far has boasted settings this interactive. Speeding past waterfronts, farms, and rolling stretches of verdant hills, you don't just zoom down branching paths every few seconds -- you actually use backgrounds against opponents.
Nudge undercover cops and state patrolmen into pickups, taxis, semis, and other forms of oncoming traffic. Box rivals in, then quickly speed off, watching from a distance as they ram into support pillars or storefronts.
Cruise through construction sites, switch lanes and gun it around twisting turns, and observe in your rearview mirror as the competition instead careens towards certain death. Or just knock down the boards holding up awnings and signs and laugh heartily as they collapse right in front of your opponents.
Shortcuts are also of paramount importance: knowing when to smash in a fence and zip through the local park or shave precious seconds off your lap time by cutting through a back alley is crucial. Besides, it's worth it alone just to hear the cops rant when you suddenly disappear and reemerge half a mile past their seemingly impenetrable roadblocks.
Breakin' the Law
As diehard fans of the franchise know, this isn't the first time you've had a run-in with the police (see Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 for proof). But, man ... the po-po's never been this PO'd before.
The airwaves constantly crackle, as the officers who give chase -- and it's worth noting that dozens of cruisers can do so at any given moment -- radio tactics and updates back and forth. Some of the stunts they pull include attempting to box you in, unexpectedly veering in front of you, pulling ahead then slowing down with no warning, or forming a living wall of motor vehicles. Count on facing roadblocks and speed traps as well.
Having to avoid intelligent foes that relish slamming into you from behind and screeching in from off-screen only to ram into your side and send you fishtailing is only the beginning. All I can say is "beware of helicopters."
One word: speedbreaker. It's a new technique that lets you switch into slow-motion and gain a great deal of added weight and momentum by doing so.
Activate the feature with the X button, and it makes taking treacherous stretches of road, executing last-minute changes of direction and soaring through barricades that much easier. Best used when you find yourself in a sticky situation, it's a fun feature that lets you escape seemingly unavoidable collisions.
Screech around semis. Slide between parked cars. Avoid winding up in a head-on with the sedan that's just come soaring around the bend. Or just sit back and admire the trippy special effects that accompany the onset of the bullet time-esque antics of this ability. Just know it's an important tool in your arsenal against both Sunday drivers and the boys in blue.
Go on ... pimp your ride. You don't need Xzibit's help -- simply snag one of the many part upgrades that can be had by winning races, making fools of the police, and scoring bigger bounties. Just don't get busted. The cops aren't above confiscating your ride, and all the speed-, acceleration-, and handling-enhancing goodies you've added to it. Such penalties further make it a heck of a lot harder to take down the underground scene's top contenders. Bummer.
Show and Prove
The races you participate in aren't, shall we say, precisely on the up and up. Nor are the characters you'll encounter -- for instance Mia, played by model and actress Josie Maran -- the most savory of individuals. Earning your way up the blacklist (and thereby the scene's rankings) means having to garner certain rivals' respect by building a rap sheet.
How to do so? Clock in record-breaking times, emerge victorious from speed- or survival-based street challenges, and punk the police. Just be careful how far you go ... the angrier you make city officials, the more heat they bring to bear against you.
Whoa -- get a load of those visuals. So much for neon lighting and rain-slicked streets; grimy graphical touches abound, from blinding sunlight to washed-out color patterns and buildings that look like they could use a fresh coat of pain (or ten). Vehicles all have a funky sheen as well; thank a gritty camera filter and choice of color palette that's more at home in an underground comic book than cutting-edge videogame. Graphic novel-type movie sequences are simply an added bonus.
You can also look forward to a hard-edged soundtrack (featuring cuts by Disturbed, Juvenile, The Prodigy and Static-X) and hidden cars, including imports and exotics. Last but not least, you have at your disposal a host of collectible extras like body kits, roof scoops, painted rims, decals, and tires. Translation: Floor it for your local software retailer today, and ask for Need for Speed Most Wanted by name.