Need for Speed: Most Wanted review

Need for Speed Most Wanted ReviewIf you have played the last couple of Need for Speed games, you will probably already know that the quality of the racing games published by EA was degrading rapidly. By letting Criterion Games, the creators of the immensely popular Burnout series, develop Most Wanted, EA has made the right decision to resurrect the NFS series.

As in most racing games, there isn’t really a storyline. The only information you get at the start of the game is that you need to beat the 10 most wanted drivers of Fairhaven, the city in which you can drive freely and participate in races to upgrade your cars and get enough Speed Points to unlock the next Most Wanted Race. The ten cars you will have to race and the required amount of speed points can be found here. There are four DLC packs, all of which also add an extra Most Wanted Race. To get the car of a Most Wanted Driver, you have to beat him in a race and shut him down afterwards.

The entire city of Fairhaven is completely open-world, with lots of secret passages and structures to drive on. A cool new feature is the addition of Autolog, a system which allows you to change your car parts on-the-fly, even while in a race. It also lets you jump to discovered jack spots and from here you can track your progress on the Most Wanted List without having to go to the menu. With Autolog, you are connected to all of your friends who play the game. There is a virtual leaderboard for every billboard you drive through and every speed camera you pass, so you can compete against your friends. To unlock cars, you will need to find them throughout the city and its surroundings. After you have found them, you don’t need to buy them. You can just hop in and start driving it. Each car has its own set of 6 races to unlock different parts like wheels and nitrous, which can all be upgraded to Pro level after completing a task, giving you more advantages while you use the part. In total, there are 123 Jackspots, but some cars have multiple spots where they can be found, resulting in a car list of 44 unique cars. While you race these, you will probably damage them. If that’s the case, you can just drive through a garage and you car will be instantly fixed, like in Burnout Paradise.

There’s a multiplayer section to the game as well, in which you can drive in the city, shutting down other people and winning races to get Speed Points. As you level up, you will receive new cars to drive. These can be similarly upgraded as in the singleplayer. There is a number of different events to participate in, ranging from normal races to contests of jumping the farthest through a billboard.

Criterion has proven it still knows how to make racing games by taking the Need for Speed franchise out of the endless stream of racing games and making it fun again. Hopefully EA is smart enough to ditch Black Box forever and to stick with Criterion Games as their developer for NFS games.

(available for xbox 360 (version tested), PS3 and PC)

SimCity amusement park DLC confirmed

20130524-232633.jpgThere had been rumours flying around on the web already about a DLC for SimCity that is completely amusement park-themed, but now it’s been made official by EA. The gales publisher has just announced that there will be a new content pack for SimCity, their latest god-simulation where you can build your own city. With this pack, players will be able to earn money for their cities by building amusement parks and have citizens visit it. The amount of cash the park makes depends on whether there are fun rides, food stands and more, but also on how the rides are connected, so attention to roads and placing will be necessary if one wants to make a lot of money. There will be all sorts of attractions, ranging from roller coasters (of which you can draw the rails like you draw roads) to little trains. To make people visit your theme park you’ll also have to place signs around your city. The DLC will be released on Origin, EA’s own online game hub, on the 28th of May, but no price has been confirmed yet.

Dragons are coming to Sims 3 in the Dragon Valley pack

ImageThe next expansion pack for Sims 3 is a medieval-themed one, that has actual dragons in it, as the name might suggest. It will be pointed more towards the fantasy side of the medieval world, instead of focusing on the castle life, which was already in a previous DLC. The content pack will feature 3 different dragons, that each have their own special abilities. EA will release Dragon Valley on the 30th of May and it will be available for $25. You can watch a trailer here.

Dead Space Plasma Cutter in real life

ImagePatrick Priebe, the creator of Laser-Gadgets, has made a life-size (but downgraded) replica of Dead Space’s Plasma Cutter. The tool weighs around 4.4 lbs (2 kg) and uses 5 lasers: 3 green ones of 30 milliwatts and 2 blue ones of 1500 milliwatts. With the blue ones you can cut through wood, plastic and other thin surfaces. You’ll need one 18650 and three 14500 lithium-ion batteries for the Cutter to work. The machine took around 200 hours to build and there will be no blueprints or building videos given. However, the gadget will be available for purchase, but only on demand, but expect to pay a lot of money. Here is a video of Priebe burning through stuff and demonstrating how to insert the batteries and here‘s Priebe’s website. Right now the Plasma Cutter isn’t on it yet, but it will be soon.

Lots of sales from various publishers

ImageSince Wednesday you were already able to get a discount of up to 70% in the EA Origin shop, but today Square Enix and Rockstar Games have also joined the sale extravaganza. On Steam you can get a 50-75% reduction in cost on Rockstar’s game library. Square Enix will also give a maximum of 75% off all purchases. The EA sale will go on until April 29th, the Rockstar sale ends Sunday night and the Square Enix price reduction will last till the end of the week.

SimCity bugged after 2.0 update

ImageThe huge 2.0 update for SimCity went online 3 days ago, with the intention to fix the numerous bugs in the game. It did fix some things, but now some new glitches have surfaced and users are complaining all over the EA forums. SimCity has had more setbacks than success, but eventually everything will be all right, the developers say. Time will tell if they speak the truth.