Need For Speed Most Wanted Black Edition
|a game by||Electronic Arts|
|Platforms:||PC, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.6/10 - 20 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games, Need For Speed Series|
Over the years, the Need for Speed franchise hasn’t been afraid to try new things, or even go back to earlier ideas to expand on them. In the case of Need for Speed Most Wanted Black Edition, this was the franchise’s return to daylight racing and re-introduced the racer’s biggest adversary: the police.
The Black List vs the Police
Released in 2005 for the PC, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360; Most Wanted tells a story told through the lens of a driver who’s new onto the racing scene in Rockport City. You quickly find out there’s a leaderboard of underground racers called the Black List. Your goal: Reach certain milestones within the game to earn the right to face these ranked racers. These milestones vary, but an example would be reaching a certain speed while being caught in a speed trap. You’ll also need to earn a certain level or respect, which is earned by getting into high-speed chases with the police.
Here is where the game truly shines. The police chases within Most Wanted offer an experience unlike many other racing games, even until this day. As you tear through the city, hills, and highways of Rockport; you’ll start to increase your Heat level. As your Heat level grows, you’ll begin to be chased by the police. At first, the cops can be shaken quite easily. However, as you get further into the game and begin to reach higher Heat levels, it starts to get real. You’ll start to hear chatter on the radio regarding what they play to do, which may involve bringing out a helicopter or laying spike strips on the road ahead of you. This gives you a bit of time to react, but you’ll still need to be smart to escape. To do so, simply hide from the police on your radar. If you’re boxed in and busted by the police, you’ll lose your rewards and need to start that run over. These chases remind me of ones that you’d see straight out of a chase scene in an action movie such as The Transporter or The Fast and The Furious.
As you make your way through the Black List beating racers, you’ll earn money, upgrades, and possibly even the racer’s car. These rewards are chosen at random by you after these races, so you won’t always know what you’ll be getting. This feature keeps the player from being able to upgrade their cars and play exactly as they want. This might frustrate some, but it does give the game a bit of variety – albeit in a forced way. You’ll still be able to choose how to spend your money, so feel free to upgrade your spoiler or rims, or go the performance route and upgrade the engine and wheels.
Get In, We're Going for a Ride
If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll see a few favorites in the game such as the Ford Mustang GT or the Toyota Supra; but it doesn’t have a roster that will absolutely blow you away. Certain cars, such as the Black List’s racers’ cars, will have upgraded versions. If you beat Vic, you might even get his customized Toyota Supra. I enjoyed racing in my Mitsubishi Eclipse before eventually upgrading to the BMW M3 GTR.
The graphics and sound quality are great circa 2005, although you may enjoy the more recent Need for Speed Most Wanted (2015) game a bit more if graphics, music, and sound design are your main requirements for a fun racing game.
The game obviously looks best on the Xbox 360, while playing the Black Edition. This edition adds more cars and some behind the scenes content for those interested in the game’s development. For the music and sound, they’re great for their time. The cars and collisions sound beefy and you’re treated to an intense orchestra once police chases start to ramp up.
Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005) ends up being one of the franchises’ highest quality entries. The competitive races, interesting cut scenes, and action-packed police chase churns out an experience worth diving into, even in 2020. If you’re looking for a chance of pace from previous iterations in the series such as Need for Speed Underground & Need for Speed Underground 2, you might find what you’re looking for here.
- Blood-pumping, hand sweating police chases that test your mettle
- Wide range of cars such as FIAT, Mercedes, Porsche, and Volkswagen
- Entertaining story that keeps you progressing through the game
- Huge open world map to explore and get lost in
- Wish there was more variety in the chase scenes, such as tanks; or more moves the police will try to pull on you to bust you
- Bad acting in the cut scenes, but could be intentional as it has a certain charm