"revolutionary game nobody understood," and that Need for Speed: Most Wanted is an evolution of that approach.
Most Wanted reflects "who we are at the time," and right now that's "social, connected" and so games in 2012 have "got to be very connected" where friends are "at the heart" of it. Cue Autolog.
Everything you accomplish in Most Wanted is compared to friends so you can issue challenges to one another. It's that aspect that Criterion believes will keep the game going.
During an interview with "You might think that," he replied. "Following Paradise -- which is a pretty revolutionary game nobody understood, there’s no way that we could do an open-world game -- that is what Most Wanted always had to be for us -- without building on what we did before.", Alex Ward was asked if Most Wanted wasn't Paradise 2?
"There’s no way we couldn’t put easy drive in, there’s no way we couldn’t put social challenges in the multiplayer, and shake it up." Criterion have already taken a crack at the Need for Speed franchise with Hot Pursuit which was highly lauded as bringing it back to its roots, but now Most Wanted wants to embrace an open-world and 'connected' playground.
"So to us it’s just about taking it further," Ward explained. "We always said each game is a reflection of who we are at the time, and this game, Most Wanted, reflects who we are, probably more than anything else: which is social, connected, and everything a game needs to be in 2012. Like I said, we just need to change it up really; that’s what we’ve got to do."
Games in 2012 have to be very connected, he said, "they’ve got to have friends at the heart of the game. I’ve got to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it. So obviously, Paradise was a great stepping-stone from there. We like a bit of revolution; we like to turn things on its head. We did it with Burnout, and now we’re doing it with Need for Speed."
Another reason the Criterion crew jumped at the chance to drive Need for Speed is because they get to work with real licensed cars, and not their own 'close but not quite' imitations in Burnout.
"We have total freedom. We asked to take on Need for Speed, and we did; that was our first game: we did Hot Pursuit," said Ward. "We wanted to do real cars for years, and in Burnout, we had to make the cars up and pretend for a long time. So to finally get our hands on Aston Martins, and Porsche Carreras, and Lamborghini Aventadors, is just a total dream-come-true for us; and to do it our way."
"I think our take on Need For Speed: it’s NFS -- hashtag NFS if you want to Tweet that; we say “hashtag FFS” which means “Fun, with your Friends, at high Speed” -- and that, to us, is our vision for Need For Speed, right? It just really is. Having fun, with your friends, on and offline, on a variety of different devices, at high speed, being chased by the law."
Check out thebetween Alex Ward and AusGamers. Need for Speed: Most Wanted releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC October 30th in the US, November 2nd in EU.