Reviews

Need For Speed: Most Wanted Review – Pay to Play


Firemonkeys are undoubtedly the perfect studio to handle the Need for Speed franchise; the studio formed from an amalgamation of Firemint, the undisputed king of mobile racing simulators, and Iron Monkey, the studio responsible for Dead Space, Mirrors Edge and Mass Effect Infiltrator. Need for Speed: Most Wanted should be an action packed racing experience, filled to the brim with content, variety and exciting racing events.

Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Unlike its console counterpart, the mobile version of Need For Speed: Most Wanted is not an open world racing experience. Instead, players are treated to a list of events to compete in, only to find out that they all play out very much the same way. While I understand the limitations behind mobile titles, a smaller slice of an open world Fairhaven would have been better than what has been served up in this iteration.

“There’s a difference between making a little money and being insulting to players, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted is at the verge of crossing that line.”

Players will find themselves competing in a number of race types in order to win cash, purchase more cars, upgrades and to become the most wanted driver in Fairhaven. Despite the vast number of events available, each and every single area you drive through looks exactly the same, which leaves the game feeling a little stale after a handful of play sessions. Variety is the spice of life, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted is relying on the cars to add that spice.

Unfortunately, you will have to part with your hard earned cash to drive said cars. Micro-transactions rear their ugly head as unlocked cars are hidden behind a paywall until you are willing to cough up some really money. Considering the steep asking price of $7.49 to begin with, you can’t blame me for being less than thrilled when an exotic car I unlocked during a boss battle will then cost me a few extra dollars to actually own. There’s a difference between making a little money and being insulting to players, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted is at the verge of crossing that line.

The career mode will have players progressing through the races, slowly working their way up the top ten most wanted list until the are ultimate bad ass of Fairhaven. The real question is, does anyone care?

The default controls will have players using the gyroscope to steer, with automatic acceleration providing a pick up and play experience. Users can opt for an on-screen steering wheel which feels a little finicky at first, but ultimately offers the most control. It’s not as good as Real Racing, but Need for Speed: Most Wanted handles touchscreen controls well.

While the gameplay may leave a little to be desired, the visuals in Need for Speed: Most Wanted are top notch. We tested the game on an iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad and Nexus 7 and all versions ran silky smooth, with cars looking gorgeous and the minimalistic hub was crisp and full of life. Even at high speeds the vehicles never lose their detail, which is a true testament to the power of the graphics engine powering the game.

Final Thoughts

Need for Speed: Most Wanted looks great. The graphical prowess is backed up by solid controls that really make the cars a pleasure to drive. However the lack of variety, along with the necessity to pay for new and exotic vehicles after playing a premium price for the game, ultimately leaves it falling short. If you're a fan of the series this might be worth your while, but otherwise there's cheaper and better alternatives out there.

Overall Score 2.7 Average
Readers Rating
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  • not wanted

    “Unfortunately, you will have to part with your hard earned cash to drive said cars. Micro-transactions rear their ugly head as unlocked cars are hidden behind a paywall until you are willing to cough up some really money. Considering the steep asking price of $7.49 to begin with, you can’t blame me for being less than thrilled when an exotic car I unlocked during a boss battle will then cost me a few extra dollars to actually own. There’s a difference between making a little money and being insulting to players, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted is at the verge of crossing that line.”

    Um. sorry guy but this is patently false information. The definition of a paywall is to pay to continue. but you do not need to do this in this game. Just replay a couple of events and you’ve easily got enough in game currency to buy the next car.

    Did you actually play teh game????

    I mean its not a perfect game but you definite dont need to buy iaps.

    • http://www.pixelsforbreakfast.net Stephen Heller

      Thanks for taking the time to read my review. Just like any game featuring IAP, you can definitely grind your way through but the grinding process in NFS:MW feels like absolutely torture. There may not be an explicit paywall put up, but there might as well be. Yes, I actually played the game and I just checked out a number of reviews and several of them agree with my statements.

      • not wanted

        Ok so your headline is wrong and your statement that there is a paywall is wrong, you admit this. Will this be changed? It sounds like you actually have issues with the gameplay itself if you don’t like replaying races. grinding like this is in all arcade racer games, like it or not.

  • GMoney

    I love the NFS franchise and I’ve especially loved the free-to-roam worlds they have provided in their recent releases. The idea of forking out money for a NFS title on my space phone is unappealing, though I would certainly consider it if the free-to-roam world was implemented. The simple fact that the progression on the game is based on a set list of races is in my eyes a disaster in regards to the reputation of satisfaction NFS titles provide. This makes me sad as most of my spare-time gaming is now done on my SGSII… /SadFace