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.


  1. Mr. Mister says:

    Pffft, this Nathan…

  2. Simon Hawthorne says:

    Not sure if I’m allowed to open NFSMW videos at work…

    • Henke says:

      Not For Safe Man Work.

      Are you doing safe man work? In that case don’t open it.

  3. Llewyn says:

    Maybe it’s the passage of time playing tricks on me, but what that looks like to me is the original Most Wanted with a decade of prettification. Pursuits didn’t stop at the end of races, AI cars drove slowly so you could catch them up and the skills demanded by the driving model were limited to say the least.

    Of course this is just a trailer and there’s a lot of scope for gameplay, and especially feel, to be changed significantly. But a prettified MW might still be something well worth having. I had a lot of fun with the original – certainly it was the last NFS game I enjoyed, and probably the last pure arcade racer of any kind.

    • Guvornator says:

      You NEED Burnout Paradise*. Criterion do this stuff like no-one else. Also, they actually made a bit of an effort with the port.

      • d34thm0nk3y says:

        Burnout’s driving feels off to me somehow

        • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

          burnout driving feels like you’re pushing metal boxes with nitrous attached to them. They don’t have any suspension and shifting of weight or grip in the tires. It’s very aloof. But ever since Burnout got famous, there have only been burnout racing games, many times under different titles and developers. It’s either that or Gran Turismo. Even in sleeping dogs, they decided to just have a burnout game inside it, but that’s a game that just bundled a lot of other games in there for you at bargain price anyway.
          What we need is a new driving game. Blur was headed in the right direction, trying to fuse karting with a slightly sim feel. Project Gotham Racing has a nice take infusing style with speed.
          The Run had a nice idea of avoiding open world confusion and track repetition with one long road trip across the country, but their “runs” turned out to be repetitive environments.
          Ridge Racer was exciting when it was new, focusing on sideways movement.
          I’d like even more new ideas to keep rolling in, but sometimes I think they could just improve AI or traffic realism and that would still make it feel fresh. Or taking open-world somewhere out of the US and into European, Chilean, or global environments.

          • Magraal says:

            If they can’t even be bothered to put in Manual transmission, then I won’t be buying it. I bought their Hot Pursuit remake without knowing that the developer had changed from the guys who had worked on the original Most Wanted, discovered that there was no way to change gears and promptly traded the game in- the first game I have ever traded in, it must be noted. Sadly, no-one seems to know if MW will be the same, though as it has not been mentioned *anywhere* it does seem quite likely.

  4. doma says:

    Look ok I guess, but I really dont like the splash message that come up when you bump into other cars.


    • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

      don’t forget the splash message for driving on the wrong side of the road for three seconds or nearly missing a car or jumping or turning or turning sharply or passing or taking a short cut or going over 100mph or trading paint or keeping the lead or hitting a checkpoint or when they simply feel like telling you “Youre Doing Great!” keep holding that one button down! We’ll do the rest!

  5. Harlander says:

    Driver: San Francisco (another “driving game for people who don’t like driving games”) has a lot of licenced cars and they all seem to get the living crap crunched out of them.

    • LXM says:

      Licensed cars are usually fine to take surface damage (cracked windshields, scratched paint, dents, missing fenders etc) but you never, as far as I know, see any real structural damage. Crashes that affect the cabin are a definite no-no. This is the case even in Driver:SF

      • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

        I really want to play a game where I can kill myself into a bloody pulp in cars. I want the windshield to shatter on my face with cuts and leave me slumping off the side of my door-less car into a growing pool of blood and oil with other cars stopped around me and the ambulance coming to photograph me.

        • belgand says:

          It’s actually a really, really good idea. Perhaps it might encourage people to start thinking a bit more about their real-life driving and realize just how dangerous it can be.

  6. Mr Shanty says:

    Why is every car in these types of games equipped with a flawlessly working police radio interceptor? Also, I swear to god, every game has the same voice actress for the police dispatcher.

  7. konrad_ha says:

    I so hoped they’d just make BP2, but this looks a lot less appealing. Gone is the happy-go-lucky feel of Paradise City, instead we get an industrial wasteland with perpetual rain.

    • Godwhacker says:

      …but they’ve also got rid of DJ Atomika. It’s not all bad. Besides, this is doubtless only a corner of the game world.

    • Guvornator says:

      That was also a part of NFS: Underground 2 if I remember correctly. So maybe it’ll be Burnout Paradise in NFSU2’s city.

      • dontnormally says:


        • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

          I second that. I miss drag racing and shifting and crashing hard and tuning cars with decals and parts and spoilers, but I’m tired of the same generic city and generic industrial and generic river bed and generic parks and generic suburban all put together quite generically. Can I have mexico city? Buenos Aires, Paris, Bangkok, Cape Town, Istanbul, Sydney, Death Valley, Kairo?

  8. Guvornator says:

    I’ll be willing to to forgive a multitude of faults if it still takes silly photos of you for your licences…

  9. DickSocrates says:

    “Crowded metropolitan area.”

    You meant “bizarrely devoid of all human life ghost town”?

    They just about got away with having literally no people at all in the city last time, how can they get away with it again? I don’t want ot run people over, they could leap magically out of the way, but having a dead city to drive around in is extremely offputting to me. It’s not a city, it’s a giant race island that looks like a city… that still has functioning police who don’t like racing.

    • Guvornator says:

      Depends of whether you want the polygons to be spent on people or smashes – those impressive crashes don’t come cheap. Personally I’d love to see folks diving out of the way, cups spilling, briefcases flying open etc but ultimately it’ll be all about the the car on car carnage.

      • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

        having people dive out of the way is so unrealistic. You need some blood on the windshield and some bumps running over humps and rumps. It’s just not gritty without it. If they jump out, it feels like they’re blueballing me. When I try to make it realistic, I just imagine it’s not a ghost town, it’s a future town where we’ve all bungled up in our gaming caves. In the near-near-near-near-future nobody walks outside anymore.

  10. Kollega says:

    I think the biggest beef i had with Burnout Paradise was that you could cross the entire map in two minutes. If this is fixed, maybe buying this game is something to be considered.

    • BargainOnly_HalfMySoul says:

      I could drive my city in 2min. too if I went that fast and didn’t worry about crashing my car into a compacted soda can.

    • belgand says:

      The real-life San Francisco is only seven miles on each side (with ocean on three of those sides), Manhattan is roughly 13 miles by 2. True, these are the most densely populated urban areas in the United States and definitely not the sprawling LA that Paradise was based on, but it’s not that unreasonable.

  11. Moni says:

    The mugshot of Peter Moore made me laugh like a loon.

    Love the sound of the throttle being feathered as the car makes a turn. It seems like it’s not actually user controlled and sort of an alternative sound to the usual skidding sound, which is pretty smart.

  12. Tom Walker says:

    I don’t really like racing games but *Trackmania* is great.

    I liked Burnout 2. Since then I think they just got ludicrously over the top with the effects and bonus points and whathaveyou. This looks to be much the same.

  13. EnglishV00doo says:

    So car manufacturers aren’t OK with you smashing up their cars, but they don’t have a problem if you steal them and race them illegally?

    It’s a long way from NFS: Porsche Unleashed, sadly in the wrong direction IMO.

    • Redkid says:

      Need For Speed: Porsche has to be the best NFS game yet. Fun tracks, excellent “campaign”, not to mention the test driver story, and realistic upgrades for your car. I actually learnt stuff about how cars work when playing it.

    • Wanoah says:

      NFS: Porsche Unleashed was the last racing game I bought. I played the hell out of it. Most of the racing games I have seen since then strike me as being, well, dumb. Too arcadey, anyway, and haven’t tempted me.

  14. Daniel Klein says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about no takedown cams. Sure they got in the way and broke up the race and got very competitive after 300 hours or so, but SLOW MOTION CRASHES!

  15. Jon Tetrino says:

    I am really looking forward to this now. Shame it’ll likely be Origin locked though =(

  16. vandinz says:

    I got a little nudger on watching that, looks quite tasty. Even if it was played from the lame ‘behind the car’ console view. WE’RE PC GAMERS, WE’RE BETTER THAN THAT, GET IN THE CAR DAG NABBIT!

    • YourMessageHere says:

      If they were to take this game and give detailed, authentic cockpit views to all the cars and then implement the thing they had in the recent sim-ish NFS game, where your view tracked the apex of the curve/racing line rather than staring fixedly ahead…that I would be all over. Origin be damned, lack of ability to put stripes on my cars be damned, I’d get it and enjoy the shit out of that.

  17. Stochastic says:

    I’m one of those people that really enjoys the Burnout series along with conventional sim and sim-lite racers. I hope they’ve improved the handling over Hot Pursuit. If you’re going to do arcade handling, you might as well go all the way rather than be stuck in quasi-real quasi arcade purgatory. Make my cars nimble and impossibly responsive and I’ll be happy.

  18. mehteh says:

    Cant wait so see how much more arcadey theyve made this one. The last 2 or 3 NFS games take over steering and/or acceleration/braking to make perfect turns. The last good NFS, imo, was NFS:U. Criterion had cops lights down perfectly in Burnout Paradise, but now they seem to have gone backwards and added an enormous amount of glare/bloom/blur like all the rest of the NFS games

    • jamesgecko says:

      Burnout Paradise had glare, bloom, and blur. I was rather frustrated that none of it could be adjusted or turned off when I was trying to run it on my decidedly-under-minimum-system-requirements laptop.

  19. wireless says:

    I really loved Burnout Paradise on PS3 (This was before I converted), enough to debate getting it again on Steam this past sale. One of the most enjoyable racing games I’ve played.

    I really like where this is going, because I’ve dreamed of a Burnout style revive of NFS Underground with car tuning and stuff. I still have yet to play Hot Pursuit though.

    I hate the look of the UI however. Hopefully the backgrounds can be turned off or the opacity can be turned down. It’s obnoxious. I don’t see why they added them, especially when they have white text floating in the environment anyway. And there’s a serious lack of color in that demo, compared to Paradise.

    Maybe racing will be done in Planetside instead?

    • dontnormally says:

      Also, this is not a duplicate comment. It’s just doubly-important.

      • YourMessageHere says:

        NFS Underground 3 is fine in principle. Just give it a proper variety of cars, rather than the contents of the nearest council estate. I mean, I played NFSU2 mostly in a Civic, a Celica and an Impreza. Not quite glamourous, considering I see them every day on the road. If you’re going to indulge a driving-really-fast fantasy, or indeed a driving-really-fast-in-a-car-you-tuned-yourself fantasy, why do it in something so ugly and ordinary?

        • grundus says:

          I can totally see why they stuck with the stereotypical rice rockets for Underground, because as you say it’s a car-you-tuned-yourself fantasy thing. You’d never tune a Ferrari yourself, you’d never tune a BMW by yourself, but you’d tune almost anything Japanese yourself so it makes sense. I just wish they’d gone the whole hog and had all kinds of Japanese metal… So far only GT5 can fill that niche.

        • wireless says:

          I remember absolutely loving my Miata in U2, and developing all kinds of relationships with cars that won me races (I was playing it fairly young too), but not caring if they were usual (as long as they weren’t the focus). I think that there is something special about making a beast out of mild mannered vehicles. Taking that to extremes, putting a crappy frame on par with a Ferrari (or whatever), could be really awesome if done right. The multiplayer would have to be less of a power fantasy though, or make it very rank based like GT.

  20. Ateius says:

    Be fair, that wasn’t just speeding, that was speeding and assault on an officer (at a hundred miles an hour). Worth a chase, I’d say.

    It looks quite good, and if I’m remembering correctly, that map looks like part of the Port Camden area of the original Most Wanted. If it’s not tied to their particular flavour of digi-store I’m looking forward to this.

  21. Wooly says:

    Did anyone else notice the picture on the billboard at 4:33?

  22. etho says:

    It doesn’t look as idiotically fast as Paradise. It looks more down to earth. And it has real cars.

    I’ll stick with Paradise, thanks.

  23. DJ Madeira says:

    If I had 8 thumbs, I’d put them all up for the Iron Giant reference.

  24. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    For all the people who keep asking for tuning: at around 1:12 when he steals the Mercedes, it mentions that all the various parts are “stock,” heavily implying that they can be tuned to something besides stock.

  25. sventoby says:

    Does everything need to be open world? I liked Burnout 3 the best and I don’t think that forcing me to look at my GPS every 5 seconds would have improved it.

  26. Alien Smithee says:

    Anyone else think it’s interesting how the quality of the graphics in the NFS series have got consistently better, while the quality of the physics get consistently worse? Granted, the physics in NFS have been like bricklaying in outer space from the beginning… but c’mon… we’re not asking for superior physics up to the standard of simulators like say, Grand Prix Legends (by Papyrus in 1998, still unmatched today?) yes we get it, we know it’s Burnout… that casual console brainwash-o-thon for the zombie children (that Jeremy Clarkson probably enjoys playing as well)… but c’mon guys… you can do better than this? It’s like a sick joke on everyone who’s driven a car for more than five minutes in real life… the joke has worn too thin and obvious to be funny anymore. Funny thing is, I’d actually buy this if the physics were up to the standards of the visuals, so I guess the joke is on you, EA…