As you grip the wheel tighter, the red and blue lights come closer. The sirens, fueling your adrenaline rush, become louder. A lone drop of sweat rolls down your already soaked forehead to the tip of your nose. Looking back into your rearview mirror, you press the nitrous oxide button. As you’re pushed back into your seat, the lights and sirens dim away… for now! On November 15, 2005 this became possible without being put away for several years to get to know Bubba. The game, Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0.
NFS MW 5-1-0 is the special PSP version. If you played the other recent NFS games like Underground, then you’ll be right at home…almost. Obviously one big aspect of this game is that now the police are coming after you while you’re illegally racing on the streets, something that was left out of the previously mentioned NFS Underground. This would sound extremely fun at first but when you go out and encounter them for the first time this becomes increasingly annoying, giving you all the more reason to show them what your taillights look like as they’re disappearing in the distance. The general idea of the game is to race while having cops come after you; the idea behind the career mode is to make your way up the ranks of the “most wanted” street racers. The “black list” is your guide to who you have to beat in order to take their position. Think you’re just going to go and challenge the number one person on the list? Don’t think so. Each and every event you participate in gives you both money and respect points. We know why you need the money, but the respect points is what lets you unlock the “chapters” that the black list is arranged in. Let me elaborate, each person has a place on the list DUH! But its not just going to be one race, beat them, you get there space on the list. Every person is a chapter. Each chapter has four different events in which you must complete in order to challenge them. So in order to take someone’s place, you need to complete the events in their chapter, this will let you challenge them, and then if you beat them you will gain their position on the “black list.” A little weird at first, but it becomes very simple as you learn it. As you complete the events you will be rewarded by unlocking new visual upgrades, which let you trick out your ride. You are also rewarded with unlocking performance upgrades, obviously making your ride faster and harder to catch. These upgrades aren’t just unlocked and available to use, once you unlock them you have to buy them. Shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s played these kinds of games. Another object in the game you will have to unlock is the cars. You’ll have three cars available to buy from the beginning, but you have to unlock the other, sweeter, ones. You accomplish this by challenging someone for their spot on the list. If you beat them, you unlock the car they we’re driving.
The police, they’ve been striking fear in the hearts of street racers for as long as street racers have been around. Yet in NFS MW, fear isn’t the word. Annoying is more like it. I know this is the whole basis in the game, but those little buggers don’t get the hint even if you make them slam into a wall. In almost all events you will have a little something on the corner of your screen called a heat meter. It ranges from zero to ten. Zero is basically as if you were driving miss daisy, ten being the all out high speed pursuit you’re looking for. You’re heat meter increases by driving the exact opposite way you’re dad taught you. Getting air, nearly missing cars, speeding, all these increase your heat. The weird thing is that all other games reward you for doing these things, yet this game scolds you for it. The cool thing is a little thing called Double Down. This feature becomes available if you finish an event with a full heat meter. Basically, if you wish to “Double Down” you’ll continue the event, but have to get away from the cops. Doing this will double your reward money and the respect gained. If you lose, you’ll get nothing! If you’re like me you’ll love raising your heat in order to make them chase after you so you can show them whose who.
During the game you’ll encounter regular events such as circuit races, knockouts, and time trials. The newer ones would include tuner takedown. This is really similar to the pursuit mode in Burnout. The other one would be heat challenge. You are given a specific heat level that you must reach in the allotted time.
The gameplay itself is like it should be, a racing game. Although the career mode doesn’t have the nice addition of an in-depth story, cut-scenes, or any voice at all, it still has a lot of play to it. It would have made the game that much better if these were included. The cars themselves, at first, feel extremely awkward to maneuver because the physics is really high up there in terms of reality. It has an almost perfect mix of arcade feel with the real life physics that will immerse you in the events. The cars sway and turn and grip the road like they should. You’ll find yourself gripping your PSP as if it were the steering wheel. The only bad aspects of the game is the fact that because there is no in-depth story, it makes the career mode go stale really quick, but usually that’s when the police start to get you mad and then it becomes a game of revenge. Believe me, there is nothing better than actually “fish-tailing” the cop that was supposed to do that to you! That’s right; make them earn their meager salary!
Sound and music is one of many things that EA knows how to do and this title is no exception. There is a butt-load of music that you can listen to. And, as always, the playlist is completely customizable. EA has even kept the PSP in mind when they came up with a little something called EA Pocket Trax. This is where you will customize the playlist and be able to listen to just the song you want while playing a little visualization. Something like the original Playstation. Comes with four different visuals, nothing too special, but something that will definitely impress your friends and alike. The sounds in the game are what you would expect from motors and sirens. Nothing much to say there.
I thought that the graphics would take a hit being that you would be traveling at somewhere around 160-200 mph, but to my surprise, the PSP handles it beautifully. The tracks themselves feel extremely nice for racing and look awesome. The game never slowed down even when four cops where trying to take me down while traveling at about 190 mph. The odd thing is that it does slow down in the menus. Go figure. The cars themselves look realistic. As always with the NFS titles the high speed blur looks really sweet, especially on the PSP.
Got some friends that have this game? Then you’ll love the multiplayer. This title uses both Ad-Hoc AND Infrastructure. It’s about time that the developers started doing this. The Infrastructure mode will let you compete around the world and you can work your way up the global list of best players.
The replayability is average, only is you have access to the multiplayer aspect of the game. Showing someone on the other side of the world who’s the “big daddy” never gets old. If you don’t have any access to multiplayer, then you’ll be stuck playing the career and quick play modes, which will leave you feeling lonely.
In summation, this title is a very solid racing game. Has everything that makes a racing game a classic, with the added twist of the “fuzz” chasing after you. If you don’t really like racing games then obviously this game isn’t for you. Someone looking for a solid racing game with a little something extra to overcome that will take you away from the average run of the mill laps of pure racing will enjoy this game entirely. Definitely worth the rental, especially if you have a little grudge against the police!
The game never slows down while you’re playing. Which is especially remarkable with how nicley the game looks. Pure beautiful.
The music is very nice to listen to which gives it some kudos points. Motors sound like motors, sirens sound like sirens. What else can I say?
This title delivers exactly what it says it will. Running from the cops has never been more enjoyable, since you won’t have to serve any
If you don’t have access to the multiplayer than once you beat the career mode you’ll find yourself driving around in circles. If you do, then let loose your unholy speed demon on the world!