Need for Speed Most Wanted Review: Intense, Addictive Racing with No Regard for the Law
The iOS racing experience has evolved quite a bit over the years, and now it’s possible to find whatever you’re looking for in the App Store—from a super-realistic title like Real Racing to something wacky like Reckless Racing… While there might never be one racing game that’s perfectly suited to everyone out there, some will find broader appeal than others. I believe that Need For Speed Most Wanted from EA is one of the most well-rounded packages currently available. You get all the vehicles, speed, nitrous, drifting, and gorgeous tracks you’d expect from a serious racing game, and then you get to rub fenders with the cops in a manner that utterly disregards the law.
Need For Speed Most Wanted might be missing a few key features that hold it back from perfection, but we’ll get to those later… The most striking element of Most Wanted has to be the visuals, and this is noticeable from the moment you’re dropped into the in-game tutorial at first launch of the app. Hopefully you’re playing the game on one of Apple’s newer devices, because if so, we think you’re jaw is going to drop… EA has created a city called Fairhaven, and it’s here in this intriguing landscape where you’ll unlock tracks and race vehicles like the SRT Viper GTS, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Hummer H1 Alpha, and more—so much more… Each track in Fairhaven sports a highway feel, but they’re made to contain a ton of variety by the backdrops, which are anything from high-rise buildings to industrial dumps, and even forests.
So, while there is plenty of detail and complexity in Most Wanted’s tracks and vehicles, the developer did a wonderful job of avoiding the same in the game’s controls… If you leave the default’s in place, prepare to tilt your way to victory while hardly ever touching the screen. EA has refined tilt steering to the point where it feels completely natural. But if you just can’t warm up to the idea of only touching the screen when it’s time to activate nitrous, perform a drift, or hit the brakes, touch steering is available in the settings (though I had a lot less success in the races when testing this option).
Let’s talk about the feral police officers populating Most Wanted… These guys aren’t just idle obstacles; instead, the cops in NFS set up roadblocks, lay spike strips, and generally drive like real ***holes when they’re chasing you down. It’s okay though, because return the favor and you’ll be rewarded with a nitrous recharge. “Takedowns” are usually accomplished be hitting the side of another vehicle hard enough to make it overturn, though you can also get fancy and force a cop into a head on collision with oncoming traffic.
There’s no question that all the pieces are in place for Most Wanted to become one of our go-to racing games… But for that to happen, we’re going to have to wait on some key features that will hopefully be packaged in coming updates. Multiplayer is one, and the other is iCloud sync across devices. Each race is kept to 2 minutes or less, which is very convenient for the typical iOS gamer, but this also means there are lots of situations where it would be advantageous to pick up and finish a session on a different device, and as it stands that’s not an option.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that EA has more coming to Most Wanted, because in the meantime I’m not going to be able to stop myself from entering races and accumulating money toward one of the many dream cars… The action of Fairhaven utilizes the capabilities of our devices in a way that can’t be missed—so, whether you’re a gear head or just someone who wants to flee from cops without any consequences, be sure to pick this one up.
Our Score: 4 Out of 5