Let's continue with the third part:
Car Physics and Racing
Since the game is pretty much based on Need for Speed Underground 2, there's not much difference in the way the car handles on the road. I didn't have much time for car customizing, so I can't tell you how handling changes when you upgrade the car, but I did get a chance to drive both ultimately tuned cars and a completely stock family car. Top speed still flies with the same motion blur effect while the handling is still pretty easy so I can tell you now that you will not need the brakes much, except when you do 180 turns to avoid the cops. Compared to NFSU2 there was no racebreaker in the game I got to play but the nitrous did however refill in slowly. Weight plays a very important part in the game as you won't be able to move cop cars around, especially when at low speed and with a small car. Need for Speed Most Wanted has a completely new never before seen feature called Speedbreak. It can be used like nitro (start with full amount, when you use it, it refills slowly) and what it does is it slows down the time and highly improves car handling. It is very useful in sharp turns, hairpins and with 180 turns which with speedbreaker you can do without touching the walls. From what I've experienced it's a really good and fun addition to the arcade styled racing. Another thing I noticed is that wallriding has been made a bit harder - I couldn't really make turns so easily without losing speed as in NFSU2.
The most important feature of Most Wanted are definetly the cops. And I must say there are lots of cops! Go over the speed limit near a cop and the chase starts. At the beginning there's only one cop behind you but in time as you commit more illegal actions (speeding, ramming cops, destroying public property...) more will join your pursuit and your wanted level will increase. Wanted level will determine what kind of cops will be on your tail: level 1 will be normal police cruisers which will be replaced with level 2 undercover police cruisers which you can't see on your radar. Since I usually drive by the law, I didn't get past level 2, but I can tell you what the next levels are: after undercover police you can expect SUVs with a completely different technique (expect them going directly into you) and different performance cop cars. EA says there is no way to lose the cops unless you use certain strategies, you will not be able to shake them and I can say that is more or less true. Just by driving straight and no matter how fast you go, cops will be behind you. But by taking sharp or even 180 turns you can actually get out of their visual range and when they can't see you they also will not follow you. Then you can expect them to cruise around the area where you were last seen so a good idea would be to hide somewhere. And there are plenty of locations on the track available. When hidden there's a cool down meter which slowly progresses. At the time it took in my opinion a bit too long but might change untill full release. But hiding from the cops is not the only way to shake them: try ramming straight into them at high speed. Unlike Underground games and Hot Pursuit 2, cops in Most Wanted can actually be damaged and even destroyed. Yes, by hitting them enough you can damage them completely which makes them stop chasing you. Damage itself is quite good looking but when I played the cops were pretty hard, it took a lot of power to damage them.
Overall the pursuits are not only the most important part of the game, but also the funniest! Since I don't want to make a 3 page essay on just cops I'll stop here and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask here and I'll be happy to answer.
Unfortunatly the cops have their bad side: we won't be able to join their sides which is a shame really as playing as cops would add a lot of fun especially to online races.
So this should be enough for part 3, stay tuned, part 4 will cover ingame animations and psp version of the game!
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