New Need for Speed ‘all about fun, friends’
Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:02p.m.
By Daniel Rutledge
Racing game franchises don’t come any bigger than Need for Speed.
The arcade driving series has delivered thrills to fans since 1994 and sold over 100 million games worldwide
This year developers Criterion Games have produced their second Need for Speed title, due for release next month.
I caught up with Criterion Games producer Leanne Loombe to discuss what is new in Most Wanted and how it is different from its racing rival, Forza Unlimited. Watch the video interview or read the transcript below.
This is the second Need for Speed game entitled Most Wanted. Is it a sequel, a reboot or something else?
This is our [Criterion Games] second Need for Speed title, our first was Hot Pursuit in 2010. When we were deciding what we wanted to do next, we chose Most Wanted because we really loved the premise behind that – becoming the most wanted. But we don’t make sequels to other people’s games, so this is our take, our reimagining of Most Wanted. It’s an open-world driving game where players race, chase and explore, competing against their friends to become the most wanted.
Competing against friends seems to be a very important part of the game.
If you’ve followed our recent history we’re all about friends, because playing games with friends is much more fun than playing against strangers. Friends are at the heart of everything for us. Most Wanted is all about becoming the most wanted among your friends.
What new things have you added to the Need for Speed franchise with Most Wanted?
A big thing we’re doing is having all the cars open from the start. Racing game convention for the last 20 years has said that you have to grind through to unlock the best sports cars. You might have to play 15 – 20 events to get to the Bugatti Veyron for example. So we were thinking, ‘why can’t I drive the car I want to drive whenever I want to drive it’. We’re throwing that convention out the window and almost all of the cars are available to the player at the start of the game. We dot them around the open world and if you can find it, you can drive it. We think that’s really powerful because it gives a unique gameplay experience for each person. I can load up the game and drive the Lamborghini Gallardo, you can load up the game and drive the Ariel Atom. You end up getting a really different experience, and that’s really cool.
What’s your personal favourite car in the game?
The Lamborghini Gallardo, because I love driving through the tunnel and listening to the sound of the engine. It just sounds awesome in the open world.
What’s your favourite new feature in Most Wanted?
We introduced Autolog in Hot Pursuit back in 2010 which was a system that compared your race time against your friends. In Most Wanted we wanted to take that to the next level. One new thing we’re doing that I really love is we have billboards in the game. You can smash through them, they’re a collectible sort of distraction gameplay. If you get the longest jump through that billboard, we put your face on it. So in your open world, you can see your friends’ faces on these billboards where they’ve got the longest jump. So if I’m really good at those jumps, your world is going to be filled with my face. It really brings social competition into it.
And it means you can smash your friends’ faces.
Yeah, basically, and what’s better than that? It’s pretty cool.
Forza Unlimited is another open-world racing game being released this year. Do you think they’re mutually exclusive, or will racing game fans get something from each?
I think fans will get something from both of them. I’m really excited about what Forza are doing, it’s really cool. It’s a racing game so that’s always good. For us, Most Wanted is a 2012 take on an arcade game - it’s all about fun, all about your friends. You can go into the open world and do what you like, you can basically play the way you want to play and we think that’s really powerful.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted is released November 2 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation Vita.
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29/10/2012 9:44:23 p.m.
They used Dizzee Rascal? FFS...
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