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Turns Out, It's Burnout: Need For Speed Most Wanted

Oh god, he just changed lanes without using his turn signal. MOBILIZE ALL UNITS.

When talk of racing games comes up, I’m one of those people. “I DON’T REALLY LIKE RACING GAMES BUT BURNOUT’S GREAT,” I blurt. And then some people sigh dejectedly and resume their debates about cylinders and dinosaur liquids while a precious few join me in discussing rad crashes that mangle metal into fiery explosion pretzels. And that’s how I make friends. So now we arrive at Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Normally, I wouldn’t even give this series the time of day, but apparently, someone forgot to tell Criterion it was making a Need For Speed game. So it made Burnout Paradise 2 instead. And I wept. But just a little. In a cool way. You can do the same with this video of NFSMW’s open world in action. Otherwise, we might not be able to be friends.

Yeah, I like what I’m seeing here. I like it quite a lot. The car-jacking seems a bit… uneventful (Speeding is an offense punishable by madcap police car chase, but stealing in broad daylight is totally cool? Hopefully this is an isolated thing), but the rest looks gloriously unhinged. I’m also glad that a race’s end doesn’t get you off the hook for nearly breaking the sound barrier in a crowded metropolitan area. Also, billboards! Hooray!

That said, it was difficult to judge the spectacle of crashes in this trailer. Most of them occurred off-screen, and the driver’s car stayed in pretty good shape throughout. So that’s a bit worrisome, given that car manufacturers – somewhat shockingly – actually aren’t fans of showing prospective buyers what their vehicles might look like if they went through a trash compactor or got punted around by the Iron Giant. Then again, this police car looks pretty shredded up.

So maybe there’s hope after all. Even then, though, the damage modeling doesn’t seem all that detailed. Hm. At any rate, this game, like many, has a release date, and it’s November 2. That’s kind of soon! We will, if nothing else, know more then.

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Nathan Grayson

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