EA has made quite a transformation on iOS as they have gotten a better feel for the devices and expectations. No game better epitomizes that transformation than the Need for Speed series with multiple variations through the entirety of the App Store. Need for Speed Most Wanted is EA’s latest, and the iOS version launches the same day as the console. The game comes from the makers of Dead Space for iOS with inspiration from the makers of Real Racing to deliver the best Need for Speed title in the App Store yet. Most Wanted combines the racing of Shift with the cop chases of Hot Pursuit to create the most hectic racing game in the App Store that balances arcade and realism styles superbly.
The most noticeable major difference is the graphics system which creates the most technologically advanced looking game on iOS to date. The racing action is absolutely gorgeous, bordering on mind boggling when considering that you’re playing on the iPhone. There are 35 authentic cars that look ultra-realistic in the garage, but look even better on the tracks. There are brand new collision effects with sparks flying when you scrap against guard rails or opponent’s cars. There’s also full-car damage, and it’s amazing to see it all in action at such high speeds.
There’s a lot to say about the graphics because they’re so deluxe with intricate racing environments as well. The highlight may be the reflective engine allowing for street lamps, other cars, and sparks to be reflected off of your car in real time to a realistic degree. There’s also a deluxe physics engine as you collide with opponents and cop cars so that the cars react as you would expect. It’s such a treat to see the destruction as you slam a cop sideways into the wall as the action slows down so you can enjoy the devastation.
The entire design lets you absolutely be enthralled by all of the action on screen, and fully immersed as though you’re sitting in the car. Beauty is only part of any game, and the gameplay is at the same level in Most Wanted. The pacing is outstanding, and the AI opponent difficulty makes for action packed races that are nice and challenging from start to finish without being too hard or easy. Then the cop cars are added into the mix to spice up the flavor for an exhilarating race to the finish. There is a wide variety of distinct challenges for the different environments as you compete in six way races, head to head battles, time trials, average speed challenges, cop takedowns, and more.
The action is always fresh as you complete existing races to unlock new challenges, and each of the 35 cars. Some races are meant for specific car types so you can race with muscle cars, heavy duty trucks, speed burners, and more. All of the action is effortlessly controlled with the brilliantly designed touch and tilt controls to precisely steer your car. There’s also smooth drift controls, but the tilting functionality is the highlight. The only drawbacks are what’s not included with a lack of Game Center or online multiplayer, as the app uses EA’s Origin, and doesn’t sacrifice the smooth nature for online play.
Need for Speed Most Wanted ($6.99, Universal) sets a new standard for iOS games, and it’s an absolute must buy that you will thoroughly enjoy as it nails every single aspect of any game on any platform.