Thursday, June 7, 2012

"NFS: Most Wanted is Burnout Paradise 2"

 "At this point, it’s safe to assume EA’s given Criterion full control over whatever Burnout game it wants to make, so long as it’s called Need for Speed. Most Wanted, which reimagines the 2005 title of the same name, is the spiritual successor to Burnout Paradise, and it’s anything but shy about it.

Come on. The license plates of two multiplayer cars read "Burnout" and "Paradise," for crying out loud.

You’ll get props for smashing signs and fences. Events occur naturally as you explore the open world. Drifting and drafting around the open world earns you points. Sweet jumps are everywhere.

Bombing down the road at 100mph and leaping over the freeway naturally attracts the law, and giving cops the slip is half the fun of Most Wanted. The other half is, of course, smashing their cars into walls, off bridges, and into oblivion. Vehicles in Most Wanted feel heavy, sound powerful, and hit like wrecking balls. Most Wanted encourages some serious car-on-car violence, even beyond the stuff Hot Pursuit enabled.

 The larger spaces and exploration lets you line up devastating takedowns, whether you’re mid-race, sabotaging a jump competition, or just griefing pals rolling around your world. Players can explore the city on their own, group up for events, or smash each other’s Autolog records on the fly. Notoriety is the focus rather than fastest laps, although wins and accomplishments contribute to your Speed Points. As is the modern standard, seemingly everything adds to your total.

This is the logical step for both Criterion and Need for Speed. After all, Most Wanted as a concept was originally a twist on the classic Hot Pursuit formula. Criterion following its Hot Pursuit reimagining with another reinvention The Autolog enables passive competition by presenting others’ achievements all the time, which feeds directly into Most Wanted’s main theme: becoming the most wanted, of course.

No matter what the Need for Speed name means to you, Most Wanted is Burnout Paradise with police. It's about the chase, from police and against friends. It makes you want to break the law by becoming the most notorious driver on your friends' list. It's familiar, looks good, moves fast, and feels fantastic. Basically, Most Wanted is exactly what you want from an arcade racing game, crafted by one of the best developers on the planet, and it's building on one of the best foundations in the franchise's history."-by Mitch Dyer (IGN)


Chronic said...

Does EA hate money or something? It seems like a no-brainer to double dip and make two arcade racing franchises, Burnout and NFS, and just alternate releasing them every other year. That would give them 2 years development time, which would make for better games, and also allow some differentiation among the franchises.

Personally, I dont want Burnout to be an open world racing game. I understand thats where the series went with Paradise, but its roots for the first 4 games is with closed tracks (some with branching paths). Having closed tracks means tighter, more intense racing, and a lot more close quarters battling. Racing - at each and every professional level, F1, Indy, Rally, Nascar, etc etc etc - is done with laps on a closed circuit. Making it open world doesnt necessarily make it better.

I liked Paradise and I like racing in GTA amd Midnight Club games, open world racing is fun and it certainly has its place. But there is no question, you see a hell of a lot less of the other cars when you race in an open world setting. Not only are the other drivers taking alternate routes, sometimes they miss a turn and end up way behind you. Giving someone infinite boost to catch up only helps if they take the fastest possible route, which isnt always easy to determine in the midst of battling other cars, traffic, cops, and twisty sidestreets with jumps and obstacles all over the place.

Im not saying that Criterion has to halt all new ideas and just remake Burnout 3 over and over with each game. But the progress needs to be incremental. If you look at what games like Halo and Trials Evolution and many many PC games do - they give the user control over how they want to play the game. What the rules are, what the course looks like, and how the controls respond.

If you wont give us closed circuit racing as the default game, and give us a huge open world instead, fine. But Criterion MUST let us tailor it to how we want to play it. Allow custom tracks with barriers wherever we want, allow us to set the sensitivity for the takedowns, allow us to create custom games modes, allow us to set our own traffic patterns and pick which vehicles will be in each course. I mean, there werent even trucks and busses in Paradise for heaven sake.

Once you play a game like Trials Evolution, and you see how powerful the user tools can be in adding value and infinite replayability to a game, its hard to forgive developers for not allowing them in other games. Imagine how fucking incredible a Burnout game would be with an editor as powerful as that seen in Trials Evolution. Think about it. Just fucking think about it.

md said...

I agree 100%, but at this point, I'll take another Burnout Paradise over no burnout. I've always had a dislike for open-world racers. HOPEFULLY we can make closed tracks, but i'm not getting my hopes up.

umo said...

There's a potential for major griefing if there really are going to be a max of 12 people in a race room/world.

The way the automated playlist event dictator works is it sets up a location you need to get to, then when everyone is there the challenge/race starts. Some of these will be fairly quick ones, like you'll remember from Paradise. But unless EVERYONE is partaking and travelling to the start-up points none of them will ever start.

I remember people leaving/joinging a lot in Paradise would reset the challenges. Trying to get 12 people all doing the same thing in a public room is near impossible. Even in private ones it can be a challenge.

I wonder if the 'host' will be able to override the dictator. Trials has set a new standard, the comparison with Ridge Racer Unbounded is stark. That game seemed to offer some promise of a track designer you could get deep into, but they scaled it down a lot from their early details.