Alpha Impressions of Need For Speed Most Wanted on PS3

Today I decided to take a trip to Manchester in search of inspiration (and a plethora of leaflets) for my PR project at university. I trawled up and down Manchester trying to find horror themed leaflets, memorabilia, locations and tried (and failed) to get some free stuff. Of course I added in a little bit of shopping because it would have been rude not to, and I purchased a new book that will no doubt make its way to my ‘pile of shame’.

I’m rambling though. The point of this is that today I got play Need For Speed Most Wanted in a little pop up booth in Manchester. The game isn’t out until November 2nd, but there it was, available in multiplayer and single player. The game was only in its alpha stage so of course it wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough.

The guys at EA were very friendly and explained the whole concept of the game to me. I’m not used to playing racing games on the PS3, so I slightly missed the clunkiness of my Xbox controller, but I got on with it. After an initial console crash I got stuck into single player, swiftly plowing straight into a wall and wrecking my car instantly.

The first thing I noticed once I got into it however is that the cars I drove were very smooth handling. Almost a bit too smooth for my liking at times, but then that could have just been first time nerves and my lack of knowledge about the track. I played a few races to get used to the terrain and the controls. I have not played the first Most Wanted, but the closest I can compare this game to is Undercover in terms of visuals. It has a very arcade feel to it which is nice for those of us that do not like simulation racers and just want some fast cars in our lives.

The multiplayer took the form of a 3 stage competition. Whether this is what will happen in the released game I do not know, but this is what we did today. Our first event was a speed test which I am pleased to say I came first in with excessive use of NOS. Our second event was a race against each other. I believe I came fourth in that as there were some much better players there than me and I was once again far too busy nosediving into buildings to come first. Our final event was a jump test, but I believe I didn’t reach the meet point in time as I had been too busy driving off into the distance and getting some drifting action going on.

So far I don’t think that the Most Wanted looks as good as Hot Pursuit, but then I just love that game and it’s all about personal preference. When it comes to November 2nd I will definitely be giving it another go and seeing how much stuff I can destroy and how many drift points I can rack up.

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