Yes, we know there’s already been a Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Yes, EA and Criterion know that too. But the reason there’s no number sitting at the end end of the new game’s title is that it isn’t a sequel to the internally-developed 2005 EA racer – it’s a brand new game based on the same concept. Mark Webster, executive producer on the open world racing game, is apparently a long-term fan of the franchise.
“When we finished Hot Pursuit, we looked at what we were going to do next and we looked at the entire history of Need For Speed,” he recalls. “We’re really excited to have the keys to such a historic franchise. Many of us grew up with it and as I said when we were doing Hot Pursuit, I remember seeing the original in 1990 when I joined EA. It was on the first 3DO, which was a bunch of wire-wrapped circuit boards about the size of a fridge. That was a real moment, like ‘oh my God, this is next gen’ and we’ve had a few of those moments since. But when looking at what we were gonna do next, the one name that we loved out of the entire series was Most Wanted. It’s such a powerful premise. But as we said at E3 and keep reiterating, we don’t make sequels to other people’s games.”
If anything, it’s EA’s own fault for coming up with such a strong concept and not getting it right the first time around. Criterion’s approach was always going to be somewhat more… shall we say, explosive and sure enough, Most Wanted is rammed with exactly the amount of frantic pursuits and horrific collisions that a game based around police chases should be. “When it came to looking at what Most Wanted meant for us, coming off the back of Burnout Paradise and Hot Pursuit – where we introduced Autolog and put competing with friends at the heart of the game – we knew we wanted to make it about being most wanted among your friends. That was our creative centre, then we looked at everything else we’d done. For us, Need For Speed: Most Wanted is race, chase and explore, and compete to be most wanted among your friends. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Need For Speed: Most Wanted is shaping up beautifully – if you can’t wait to find out more, we’ve got a full preview in the latest issue of X360, featuring hands-on verdicts on both solo and multiplayer gameplay plus insight from Criterion’s Craig Sullivan, the project’s creative director. Issue 89 of X360 is in literally every shop on the planet right now*, with a bunch of extra goodies including a DVD of all the latest footage and trailers (as well as our own creations), a complete Darksiders II guide book and a huge Borderlands 2 poster. Alternatively, you could always grab the digital version for a fraction of the price, though you’ll naturally miss out on all the extra bits and bobs. Read it your way, people. We won’t judge.
*That might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s definitely in most of them. Okay, some of them…
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