Need For Speed Most Wanted has come to the Wii U, and with it, tons of new features. We caught up with Rob O'Farrell at Criterion to find out more.
Rob why did you guys want to make Need For Speed Most Wanted for the Wii U?
Well at Criterion, when a new platform comes out, we wanna do a great job - we're not just going to port it over. We've looked at the capabilities of the hardware, we looked at what the games are, and thought 'let's do this, and let's do it really well.'
Now the Wii U has the gamepad with it as well, which obviously invites a lot of different ways to play the game - I'm actually holding the gamepad, and Rob has actually got the Nunchuck and the remote in his hand. That's because you can play this together, can't you?
We looked at the social side of it, we looked at how kids want to play this game, and they love driving around, but sometimes they get a little bit frustrated,and they crash and we realised, two people can drive at the same time. And we thought up the Co-Driver mode. That means that you can both drive together, you can turn traffic off, you can disrupt the cops, and it actually means that you're driving and playing together.
So, let's go through the different buttons we've got on the gamepad. So you mentioned Traffic On/Off. Simply, just by pressing a button on the screen...
Yeah. Traffic disappears. You can completely turn it all off. Which obviously means if you're trying to set up some jumps and stuff, you're not going to get a van speeding in. Well, in events you might get stuck, you might get frustrated if a certain event is too difficult, so you just turn the traffic off. Then you can speed straight through it.
So, you've got day and night cycles in Need For Speed Most Wanted, but here you can just make night day with the touch of a button again.
Night time looks great, but when you're searching for billboards and jumps you can't always see it. So you go right, let's go day, and just switch between the two.
So 'Disrupt Cops'. When I was playing the game, one thing that was a minor annoyance to me was, you may have finished an event where you were being pursued by the cops - you've got to lose them before you can actually go into another event.
Yeah, and it's not that they disappear, they spin out. And you can also do it in Single Player. So it's not just a co-driver thing, we want to make sure this mode works in single player and co-driver as well. If you're on your own, you can do it as well.
Before we come to controls, let's just look at the map for a second. So, you can hit the map button, we can see the map here on the gamepad now. I guess that's got a couple of functions. First of all, you can navigate where you want to go. But secondly, you can actually see everything on the map including Jackspots and everything else.
We talked about feedback from the 360/PS3 last year, some of the frustrations people had: the completist wants to find everything. And actually, it's quite hard to find all the speed cameras, all the gates, all the jumps. So here, we can read a map where you've still got to do some finding, but at least we show you where the undiscovered things are. One of the great things about this is you can actually take the game off the TV and play it directly on the gamepad, which some games do, some games don't.
Is that from feedback?
That was just brilliant. As soon as we saw that, we had to make sure we had that in. Because some people do get kicked off the TV, and the whole game looks brilliant. So from Day One, that’s a killer app. So on the Wii U the game's more sociable in the living room; it's certainly easier as well if you want it to be, but why should a hardcore gamer who's got a Wii U play.
Need For Speed Most Wanted?
First of all, it looks gorgeous. It really is in high-res PC graphics that makes it the best-looking console version. We've got the GPU space and we've literally just thrown it all onto the Wii U and we've made it work at a good frame rate, and it just looks great. The cars look great, the world looks great, everything, all the effects.
You've also got Multiplayer on this so I guess again, for people who are really into racing and challenging people online, that's no different.
No, it's no different. You can do Autolog, challenge a friend, you've even got your Miis that come on the billboards, so it actually brings your Nintendo friends into it as well. So it really brings hardcore into it.
So as well as the gamepad functionality, have you done anything else to the actual game itself that improves it?
Yeah, well we looked at Easydrive, and how we can make that more accessible. So the races are all open, you can go and do any event, all the cars you can change too. We also put in "Post To Miiverse”. The Wii U community is great, we want people uploading their times and what they're doing in Most Wanted to all the people out there.
And I believe that the first piece of DLC is also squeezed on there as well?
We managed to get all of the Ultimate Speed Pack on there; the Lamborghini Aventador, the Bugatti...
The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder?
Yeah, we've got it all in there.
Rob, there's certainly a lot in this version, anything else?
There's a few little secrets we've put in there, but we're going to let the gamers find those themselves. But it's fair to say that this is the game that we want you playing with your family and friends in the front room, and this is the best looking console version.
No worries, thank you
As Rob explained, the different game inclusions were made possible by the Wii U's hardware, and the Co-Driver Mode which allows two people to drive together using the Wii U GamePad and the Wii's Nunchuck and Remote. It's perfect for families playing together and the GamePad allows the player to control different driving variables, such as traffic, cops and even the day/night cycle.
The ability to disrupt the cops also stretches to the Wii U's single player modes, allowing players to move on to their next event without having to spend time shaking off the cops first. There's also a map button on the GamePad, making navigation around Fairhaven City much easier - it also pinpoints everything the city has to offer, including Jackspots, Billboards, Shortcuts and Speed Cameras and don't forget, exclusive to the Wii U version of the game is the ability to take the game off the TV and onto the Wii U GamePad.
Multiplayer fanatics will also have everything they need on the Wii U version, including Autolog and challenges, with players' Miis showing up on the in-game billboards. Easydrive has also had an overhaul, and players can access all the races and cars, and also Post To Miiverse and share their stats with the Wii U community.
Need For Speed Most Wanted U comes with DLC the Ultimate Speed Pack, so players have access to cars like the Lamborghini Aventador, the Bugatti and the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder.
Need for Speed Most Wanted U is available on Origin now for Wii U