Need for Speed: Most Wanted (NFS:MW) is a multiplatform racing video game, developed by EA Black Box and first released by Electronic Arts for the United States on 15 November 2005. It is part of the Need for Speed series of games. The game reintroduces police chases into a large body of the game's street racing-oriented gameplay, with certain (but not all) customization options from the Need for Speed: Underground games. It is possible that this game is somehow linked to Need for Speed: Underground 2 due to the fact that the word "Bayview" was mentioned in the game. The game was followed by Need for Speed: Carbon, which serves as a sequel to Most Wanted.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted: Black Edition
Need for Speed: Most Wanted: Black Edition was released in celebration of the Need for Speed series' tenth anniversary and in conjunction with the release of Most Wanted. The Black edition features exclusive cars, races and specially-tuned rides, a bonus DVD with behind the scenes footage of model/actress Josie Maran, game concept art, and exclusive videos. The Black Edition is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC in the United States and Australia; only the PS2 version of it was released in Europe.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted: 5-1-0
Need for Speed: Most Wanted: 5-1-0 is a PlayStation Portable port of Most Wanted, released on the same day as its console and personal computer counterparts. Similar to Most Wanted, Most Wanted: 5-1-0 features a similar Blacklist 15 listing and Career Mode, with the addition of "Tuner Takedown", a "Be The Cop" mode not featured on Most Wanted. Most Wanted: 5-1-0 lacks many elements of its other console and PC counterparts, like cut scenes, a storyline and a free roam mode, and contains minor differences (including listing the real name of a Blacklist racer rather than his/her nickname). The title of the game is based off the numerals "5-1-0", which is the police code for street racing.
Most Wanted, like other Need for Speed games, is essentially a driving and racing game, where the player selects one car to reach a destination or race. Police chases have once again been integrated into certain racing sessions, in which the police employ vehicles and tactics to either slow down or halt the player's car. As players take control of faster cars and increasingly rely on nitrous oxide speed boosts (the oxide meter now reloads automatically, for the first time since its introduction in Underground), driving sequences become fast-pace and intense, similar to the Burnout series.
Three distinct regions are offered in the city of Rockport, along with cycling weather. There is no racing in the night, all the action is done between sunrise and sunset. A Grand Theft Auto-like free roam mode is still provided like Need for Speed: Underground 2, but is still limited to Career mode, as well as pursuit-based events in other modes. Most Wanted continues to avoid the use of major vehicle damages on all racing models, as it has been with the Underground series, with only scratched paint and heavily cracked (but not shattered) windscreens comprising the whole of the racers' damage modeling. Police cars, however, are subjectable to extreme physical body damages, and immobilization if they flip over or have been heavily damaged by "pursuit breakers" (see pursuit system) or the player's car.
The game provides players with a selection of game modes, which include a combination of races and police chases. In Career mode, achieving goals by winning races and performing a number of actions, dubbed "Milestones", during police pursuits, as well as a minimum Bounty (see #Pursuit system for details on Milestones and Bounties) are needed to advance in the storyline and race against any of the mode's 15 Blacklist racers. In the Xbox 360 version, the player is awarded with Achievement Points each time a Blacklist opponent is defeated. Career mode introduces a new feature - the ability to win a Blacklist opponent's car ("pink slip"), bonus functions (e.g. the ability to "Get Out of Jail Free") or car parts and decors ("backroom parts"), after defeating the opponent in question. These come in the form of six markers - the rival's pink slip (which is concealed as a bonus marker), two bonus function markers, and three custom backroom parts markers of which there is a part, visual, and performance marker (called a "Junkman Marker") that the player can select - of which the player can choose only two. New cars and parts are also unlocked as the player progresses through Career mode by beating Blacklist racers.
In addition to the Quick Race and Career modes, there is also a "Challenge" mode comprised of 68 progressively difficult challenges (69 in the Black Edition) where players are required to successfully complete Tollbooth races and pursuit challenges, such as disabling a number of police cars. The pre-tuned cars used in each Challenge is fixed, ranging from mostly Career cars with poor handling to traffic vehicles such as a cement truck or police cars. Additional bonus cars may be unlocked as the player progresses through Challenge mode.
In terms of actual variations of races, Most Wanted inherits several racing modes prevalent in its Underground predecessors. The game's four existing modes: Circuit races, point-to-point Sprint races, Lap Knockout races and Drag races, remain largely unchanged since the first iteration of Underground, while Drifting, Street X, Underground Racing League tournaments and Outrun racing are foregone. Meanwhile, Most Wanted see the introduction of two new racing variations, which places emphasis on speed. The first mode is known as "Tollbooth," where a player races alone to designated checkpoints (toll booths) along a point-to-point route before time runs out (similar to Time Attack modes in arcade-style racing games); the more time a player has as they reach a toll booth, the more time they have to arrive at the next one. The second mode, dubbed "Speedtrap," sees racers competing with each other to get the highest accumulated speed record at multiple traffic cameras. At a speed trap/traffic camera, players accelerate their car to aim for the highest possible speed. Accumulated speed is reduced over a period of time after an opponent crosses the finish line first
In the Career mode storyline, the player's career is initially presented in a series of days which shows the stages of event to the present day. It starts when the player challenges a young man named Clarence Callahan, also known as "Razor", in a race, but the scene is interrupted and the story goes back to 6 days before when the player crossed a bridge into Rockport, looking to build up a reputation by winning races against local street racers, ranked according to a "Blacklist." The player character encounters several characters in his first run-through in Rockport including Sergeant Cross, one of the most experienced police drivers on the Rockport police force, in handling cases related to street racing. After a lucky escape from Cross the player encounters a racer named Ronnie McRea and beats him, thanks to his heavily-modified BMW M3 GTR (V8), and eventually runs into a local street racing gang which turns out to be quite unfriendly to new drivers on the scene. The leader of this gang turns out to be Razor, and he is courently the #15 ranked street racer on the "Blacklist"—an underground list of the top 15 street racers in Rockport. A mysterious woman named Mia Townsend (Josie Maran) suddenly appears out of nowhere during Razor's rambling and challenges Razor to race the player. He rejects her proposal and calls the player "a nobody" and Ronnie states to the player of Razor's position and tells him to gain reputation, Mia urges Razor to race but instead sends Toru Sato (Bull) and once again thanks to his BMW, the player beats him. The player gains more reputation by winning more races and two days prior to the present day, after meeting Rog, a blacklist racer who later helps the player and beating him with a group of racers, Razor appears and finally accepts the player's challenge. Razor, unknowingly to the player, has a reputation of being a cheat in his races, and he sabotages the BMW before racing the player, forcing a loss and, in accordance to Blacklist rules, the forfeit of his BMW. Shortly after Razor and his gang celebrating his "victory" over the player, the police arrive and Razor and his gang flee the scene, leading to the player's arrest by Sergeant Cross.
The player is released because he didn't have a car at the time of his arrest. He is picked up by Mia, who tells him that Razor has used the player's car to make his way to #1 on the Blacklist, while two of his gang members, Bull and Ronnie, have also taken Blacklist spots two and three, respectively. With help from Mia and Rog and monetary winnings from his pre-Razor races, the player is able to purchase a new car and slowly work up the Blacklist, with the goal of confronting Razor and reclaiming his BMW. As the game progresses, the player beats each member of the Blacklist in one-on-one races and builds up both cash (which is needed to purchase and upgrade cars) and a sizable reputation. Upon defeating Razor and winning the car back, it is revealed that Mia is actually an undercover police officer who has, with the player character's unwitting help, been working to arrest every member of the Blacklist. Cross dispatches the police in full force in an effort to capture the player (now back behind the wheel of his BMW), but five minutes into the pursuit, they are foiled when Mia develops feelings for the player and shows him the route to a bridge under construction. The player jumps over the bridge and makes it to the other side while the police force is unsuccessful. The player leaves Rockport for good, and in the end is listed as a fugitive on the Rockport's most wanted list.
Need for Speed: Carbon's storyline is a continuation from the end of Most Wanted, and shows the player driving towards Palmont in the same BMW.
The cut scenes in the game are presented in a significantly different style from the Underground series, with CGI effects (encompassing car exteriors and environments) mixed with live action. This presentation of cut scenes is used again in Carbon.
Cars included in Most Wanted can be categorized into 3 distinct types, including "Euro imports" and Asian (mostly Japanese) import tuners cars, (mostly European) exotic cars and American muscle cars. The Black Edition of Most Wanted also includes a standard BMW E46 (M3 GTR V8) (although in career in the standard version, you may customize the awarde BMW) and a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, along with an array of specially tuned and customized versions of stock models from the standard edition of Most Wanted, such as the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, the Porsche 911 GT2 and the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R .
The customized BMW M3 GTR V8 featured prominently in the game and its cover art was also recreated in real-life by the SPEED Channel television program Tuner Transformation using a 2-door coupé BMW 330Ci upgraded with M3 GTR performance parts, as well as customized vinyls and body parts to the likeness of the in-game car. The finished car vaguely resembles the in game M3 GTR. As in the preceding Underground installments, the performance and physical appearance of the player's car could be extensively modified, but options for exterior modifications have been simplified to only the essentials, with specific parts (i.e. individual bumpers, side skirts, lights and exhaust pipes) foregone, and are primarily used as methods of decreasing the car's wanted level, compared to increasing a car's "reputation rating" in the Underground games. Additionally, players are allowed to assume a sleeper appearance for cars without penalty in Most Wanted.
PERFORMANCE UNLOCKS ENGINE: [Race:FREE] [Pro:Izzy (12)] [Super Pro:Kaze (7)] [Ultimate:Ronnie (3)] TRANSMISSION: [Race:FREE] [Pro:Vic (13)] [Super Pro:Earl (9)] [Ultimate:Webster(5)] SUSPENSION: [Race:NONE] [Pro:Sonny(15)] [Super Pro:Big Lou(11)] [Ultimate:Ming (6)] NITROUS: [Race:NONE] [Pro:Sonny(15)] [Super Pro:Big Lou(11)] [Ultimate:Ming (6)] TIRES: [Race:NONE] [Pro:Taz (14)] [Super Pro:Baron (10)] [Ultimate:Jewels (8)] BRAKES: [Race:FREE] [Pro:Vic (13)] [Super Pro:Jewels (8)] [Ultimate:Webster(5)] SUPERCHARGER: [Race:NONE] [Pro:Taz (14)] [Super Pro:Baron (8)] [Ultimate:Ronnie (3)] (same)TURBO: [Race:NONE] [Pro:Taz (14)] [Super Pro:Baron (8)] [Ultimate:Ronnie (3)]
Online play is included with what is described as a "similar feature set to Underground 2" though this time, world-wide play is included with no conflict between the North American and European versions. Prior to the release of Most Wanted, a decision was made not to include online play for the PlayStation 2 version (including the Black Edition, despite fan requests). It is speculated that EA Games had dropped the PlayStation 2's online services in favor of Xbox Live for the Xbox and Xbox 360.Template:Fact However, the PlayStation Portable version of the game would support this feature. Both the PlayStation 2 versions of Underground and Underground 2 had previously included online play.
EA has quit support to the PC version of the game very early from its release, even with the community asking for another patch to fix lasting bugs, the latest patch for the PC version (1.3) was released on December 6, 2005
Gamers have complained that the cover BMW M3 GTR is non-customizable; players are unable to tool with the performance and parts attributes however players can alter exterior colors. Also, the Game Boy Advance version lacks features (eg.cop chase) and cars (eg.Aston Martin DB9). The GameCube version of the game tends to freeze at times especially right after the player defeats Razor, most likely caused by the small disc used in the console