The game plays pretty much like any other street racer, where you zoom in and out traffic lanes to avoid hitting civilian cars, as well as timing turns and corners just right to avoid spinning out or hitting the wall. There are several races to choose from, from simple street races to police ambushes, and in order to get the best gear to soup up your car, you need to get first place in everything. The main thing to watch out for is where the races are going; if you’re not careful, you’ll end up turning down the wrong street or hitting a wall at 100+ mph (and yet still surviving). There are also several different vehicles to choose from, including Hummers and pick-up trucks, and there’s the option to soup them all up. I haven’t had a chance to race them all, because there is an excessive amount of available vehicles. I doubt I would get bored, though.
Most Wanted Races
The main premise of the game—aside from racing to your heart’s content—is to move up the ranks to take on the ten most wanted drivers of the game; these races are tough, and it is sometimes best to wait until you have the best possible geared out vehicle to take them on. They can also be frustrating, as you have to get to know the lay of the land for each race and probably will have to play it more than once to figure out the best moves to beat the opponent.
Aside from the extensive amount of available vehicles, there’s also the fact that you can’t really customize each car like in some of the previous NFS games. What you get is what you get, although there is the option to change colors in races, but that’s not really a customization so much as a cosmetic makeover. The vehicles are awesome (well, some of them), but there are times when I just want to add flames or a racing stripe down the middle; I miss the good, ol’ days.
A very unique and somewhat interesting (though oftentimes disturbing) effect is that at the beginning of each race, there’s an artistic cutscene. I honestly have no way to describe what they look like without throwing up a sample, but I can best state that it seems as though the development team decided that this game needed something . . . interesting . . . to offset all the crashing. In all seriousness, go watch a video of some of the opening sequences, and you’ll see what I mean. (They’re viewable on YouTube, 2012 game version.)
And, while it isn’t really an interesting tidbit, I have to state that one of the best features of the game isn’t a specific feature at all, but my own inability to get things done correctly by crashing all the time. The crashes are, to put it bluntly, sometimes extremely awesome and in such unique and incalculable scenes that I just burst out laughing from seeing them. After a long, hard day of working (and riding public transportation with no concept of personal space) it feels really good to just laugh at the absurdity of such improbable outcomes. I’m sure if you were to edit all of my crashes together, you’d have Carrmageddon 2.0.
If you want a game that can be extremely frustrating, as well as breaking you out in laughing hysterics (at least from my viewpoint), I suggest this game. Give the Wii U version a try with a friend; you might have more success than I did behind the wheel.