When I first saw screenshots and shot-off-screen footage of Need For Speed: Most Wanted I was quietly hopeful that maybe Criterion Games might be able to squeeze the Vita for all it’s worth.
And having got my hands on the game I can confirm that they most certainly did.
For the most part this is pretty much the exact same game as it’s console counterpart – having played a bit of the PS3 version the only differences I could see were changing weather, less traffic on the roads and the crashes were a bit less spectacular (cars in the Vita version don’t smash up as much).
To have managed to get the game onto the Vita with just minor changes is a feat unto itself – that the game also plays really well is the icing on the cake.
Criterion have somehow got the entire PS3 map on here and graphically the game is gorgeous, although occasionally the action was so fast on the small screen I simply wasn’t quick enough to avoid the oncoming traffic. To be fair though that might also just be my ‘old-man’ reactions, perhaps younger readers will have no issues.
There are a plethora of cars and events to take part in and with the inclusion of Autolog you’re never far from trying to beat a friend’s time. The menu selection, using the D-Pad in game to select races, is a nice touch and means you don’t have to break from the action to set up races etc.
The online play, for up to 8 players, is reliable and solid – I haven’t experienced much in the way of disconnects etc. There is a full levelling system and separate mods to unlock for cars just on the multiplayer side and you can create your own events for people to take part in.
Need For Speed: Most Wanted probably isn’t going to convert you into a driving fan if you don’t enjoy the genre but if you have even the slightest interest in racing games then this is the best thing out there for the Vita. Aside from the racing this is a stunning example of what can be achieved if the Vita version of a PS3 game isn’t simply handed to a third party to port over. It gives me hope for the future of the handheld!