The Need For Speed series has undergone various technical advancements since its conception almost 2 millenia ago, if gaming historians are to be believed? The deeply immersive back-stories that seamlessly integrated you into the provocative world of illegal street racing, and the profound dialogue expressed by the cast in Most Wanted, that fused witty repertoire between the perfectly articulated cast of highly experienced thespians, while a flattering accompaniment of naturally conveyed facial contortions delivered added emotional resonance, to the highly formulated and concise plot developments. Ok, let’s be honest, Need For Speed embodies non of the above characteristics stated; formulaic characters, devoid of any real threat, initiating moments of uncontrollable hilarity and anguish, rather than fear. Yeah, that’s much more accurate.
But the predictability of a racing game such as Need For Speed, should never be questioned, because the narrative plays such a minute part, it’s all about whats under the hood (awful pun intentional). My highlight of the franchise is undoubtedly Most Wanted, not because of the range of exotic vehicles at your disposal, and certainly not because of the incessant tale of betrayal and redemption. But because of the sentiment of becoming the most notorious racer on the streets, the explosive soundtrack, the fun the determined mission of shunting almost every car that’s unfortunate enough to be travelling to my desired destination. The often relentless police pursuits you accidentally initiated, only for you in a masochistic fashion, reframe from losing pursuit of the authorities, just so you could enjoy a prolonged period of police brutality. So imagine my utter bewilderment, that promptly transformed into pronounced terror, when I discovered that the next impending installment would be imaginatively titled, “Need For Speed: Most Wanted”.
Not a Sequel, nor an entirely original concept. The developers would have you believe that’s it’s a reinvention, but I’d refer to it as slanderous. All the elements are there; fast cars, police interceptors, dodgy story telling (probably), but with an emphasis on wireless sociality. But with no solo mission I feel suitably disgruntled, a nullifying feeling of rejection. I’ll admit that the ambitious nature of an online notoriety contest, is an intriguing proposition, escalating the competitive nature of many skilled individuals, all vying to become the most wanted racer. But such an earnest notion is a complicated to execute efficiently. Lets be honest, you know the industry is lacking original ideas, when you have to begin referring to a game that was released in 2005 as the “original”, but considering the similarities between these 2 titles, there’s little to hinderance from a recycled name.
One of the more obscure intentions is that it’s essentially an online competition, the best of the best as it were. Deriding the meek and inexperienced, and bestowing notoriety to the proficient racers. But by creating such extensive world, with high emphasis on social interactivity, your treating the more casual enthusiast who possess limited internet access, to life of confined servitude. It seems odd that EA would willfully sequester so many of their audience, keen on purchasing their titles, particularly when no company is boasting sustained profits, surely a merging of both wireless sociality, coupled with an engaging one player story, would be far more complimentary? Such a seemingly discriminative proposition, seems a wasteful and rash decision by EA.
But perhaps I’m just emitting an unfair measure of cynicism, particularly when very few details and gameplay has been announced. Come the end of the year I maybe humming a very different, more accepting tune, perhaps one sounding distinctively similar to a Bugatti Veyron. Though I do have to once again embrace the healthy, familiar sense of cynicism I’ve become accustomed to, and pose one final probing, examination. How is it remotely possible to become the most wanted racer, when conceivably, as a wise immortal once stated “Their can be only one”. Why participate when the astronomical odds are, you won’t achieve the titles persuasive target?
Are you looking forward to Need For Speed: Most Wanted? And will the heavily online focus a good idea? Let me know what you think.