Need for Speed Most Wanted will feature 12-person multiplayer, and every car will be at your fingertips "almost immediately", says EA. Today's release of the brand new multiplayer trailer (complete with an amazingly appropriate soundtrack from The Who) was accompanied by some big new information from gamescom.
Welcome to Fairhaven City. Bring your friends! Now's the chance to prove who has the best driving skillz, as you race around the open world drifting, jumping and performing some nifty tricks as you duke it out to see who is the Most Wanted.
There's also a neat feature which sees an in-game billboard of your friend's face placed in the map at the location where they've made a killer jump. If you'd like to challenge their record, just drive straight through their smiling skull.
...but that's about what we'd expected from Criterion, new guardians of the Most Wanted franchise. What we didn't expect was the studio to completely revamp one element of racing games that has been that way for 20 years.
Traditionally speaking, gamers are unable to choose from a racing game's entire library of cars as soon as the game is loaded. Matt Webster, executive producer on Most Wanted asked the crowd at gamescom if they knew why that was. The simple answer: "20 years of history".
So why do something just because it's the way it's always been done? Webster explains:
An open world game deserves an open game structure - if you can find it, you can drive it.
Even better - if you can drive it, you can upgrade it: Unlocking upgrades for a specific vehicle really is just a matter of driving it around a bit. Simple as that.
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Jimmy the Geek