Need For Speed Most Wanted U / Version Played: WiiU
Criterion / EA / PS3-360-WiiU / March 21 / RRP $89
First up I just want to say that I will be covering the new WiiU exclusive features of Need for Speed Most Wanted U and briefly touching on some of the original gameplay elements. The game was originally released in October 2012 for PS3 and 360 and met with a ton of positivity.
When the game was released on its original consoles it was praised for looking amazing. The great news is that the WiiU version is noticeably better looking. The textures are more polished and the night-time lighting now looks realistic and incredible. It’s great to see Criterion take advantage of the WiiU’s capability and provide what is the best looking WiiU game yet.
Need For Speed Most Wanted has you racing around an open city finding new cars to race in open street racing events. Every car you find has 5 separate events. As you complete these events you will eventually get enough Speed Points to unlock a race against one of the Most Wanted drivers and work your way up the list. There are the usual things you’d find in a Need For Speed game such as police pursuits, takedowns and all that good stuff.
Included in the WiiU version is the Ultimate Speed Pack. This was the first piece of DLC released for the original version and includes five extra cards, 25 new challenges and 70 milestones to find.
The most exciting things about this new version come in the form of the gamepad exclusive features. My favourite by far is off-tv play. This feature has quickly become my favourite feature of the WiiU and why I really love to play as many games as possible on the system. Changing from TV to WiiU gamepad is the most seamless it’s been in the any game. You press the minus button and it’s instantly transferred.
A fun mode for families will be the Co-Driver mode. One player takes charge of the racing using the Wiimote or Pro Controller. The second player takes control of the gamepad and has free range over things like seamlessly changing day to night or allowing the gamepad player to bring up a detailed map, guiding them to places of interest. Whilst this feature is quite novel, it was really cool to see how powerful the gamepad can be. Not only are all these features available when playing by yourself on the gamepad, you can also turn traffic on and off, on the fly and also create diversions for police cars.
Another cool feature even if you won’t really use it, is the ability to use the gamepad’s gyroscope feature to steer your car. It works great when driving around aimlessly, but not so much in the middle of a high speed race. The only real disappointment came when it came to navigating the menus. Criterion didn’t take advantage of the touch screen capability when controlling the menus, instead opting to only let you use the DPAD.
Online and Autolog work just as well as they did on the other consoles. This has been one of the first times that i’ve felt like I was getting the full online experience on a Nintendo console with no real drawbacks.
In my eyes you can’t go wrong buying this game. You gain a host of new features on top of what was an already great game. This is easily not only the best racer, but the best third party release on the WiiU. Pair these things with the fact that the WiiU isn’t actually getting many releases and you’d be crazy to not at least try this game and put your WiiU to good use. I really praise Criterion for looking at ways to improve the game and it shows all over.