Ever since the game came out last year, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the latest from Burnout developer Criterion Games, has done a splendid job revitalizing the long-running racing franchise. Featuring the same kind of open world racing antics we found originally in Burnout Paradise, but with miles of new terrain to cover and challenges across the board (both online and off), it's become one of 2012's most memorable driving experiences. And it remains a competitive delight today.
Now, aside from the Wii U version (which will be spinning its way into garages later this month), EA and Criterion have provided some add-on content for the other editions of Most Wanted, in the form of the Terminal Velocity pack. Available for $15 (or 1200 Microsoft points), this level opens up a whole new portion of Fairhaven City, in the form of an international airport. But if you think this is just a matter of racing up and down a runway, you better think again. There are miles of terrain to cover here, including off-ramps, terminals, and even the planes themselves – some of which you race through, others over. It's like everything you ever wanted to do in an airport – provided you had a sports car to do it in, and no violations to worry about.
Along with a variety of single player racing events to choose from, Terminal Velocity also comes with 23 new multiplayer races across 30 online SpeedLists. These will have you challenging fellow players on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (or PC, if you prefer) to a slew of killer events, including speed runs and tournaments. If you prefer off-line play, however, there's plenty to do, especially with the addition of the new modes.
The first, Drift Attack, is a must for those of you who prefer to drive off the straight-and-narrow. In this mode, you'll have to drive along the pre-set route, gaining as many accolades as you can while continuing to drift often. In some situations, it can be rather difficult, as the road can wind around. However, if you've become accustomed to Criterion's gameplay system – which you probably did back when the game released in October – you'll have no problem acing these particular events.
Then we have Smash and Grab, and this is a fun new mode where you drive along a course, destroying as many staged markers as possible within the allotted time limit. Doing so earns you more bonus points, letting you stack up your reputation amongst the Most Wanted. And you can compete against friends as well, seeing who can take down the most markers in the smallest amount of time.
Events aren't the only thing you'll find in Terminal Velocity. New modifications also open up within the world, adding a bit of color to each race. For instance, there are now Drift Tires, which enable you to get better handling on a vehicle as you enter into a drift. If you choose to go with the Pro versions of these babies, you'll also be treated to specifically colored smoke, adding some style to your run.
Another huge asset that you'll have – especially if you like to be airborne – is the new Jump Nitrous system. Utilizing this, you'll be able to increase your acceleration whenever you're flying through the air. It's best to use this for some of the bigger jumps in the game, especially when you go sailing over a parked 747. If you go Pro with this mod, you can also let off colored smoke, like you were flying in a cropduster. Your duration picks up as well, allowing you to stay flying even longer.
The Terminal Velocity pack comes with four unlockable Achievements, worth a total of 80 points. (Trophies are available in the PlayStation 3 edition.) These include…
Velocity: Terminal 5 – Drive all Terminal Velocity pack cars in single player
Velocity: First Class – Finish first in every race in the Terminal Velocity Pack in single player
Velocity: On Final Approach – Unlock either Jump Nitrous Pro or Drift Tires Pro in multiplayer
Velocity: Terminal Addiction – Unlock Ram Chassis, Drift Tires and Jump Nitrous for all 5 Terminal Velocity Pack cars in multiplayer
Now, only four Achievements/Trophies may be hard to accept considering the cost of the add-on pack, but they give you some lofty goals to work toward, so don't let it bother you too much.
Finally, for this add-on pack, Criterion is also offering a slew of new cars, five new cars are available to try out. Our favorite of the bunch would have to be the Porsche 918 Spyder 2013, which is the Most Wanted car of the pack. You'll need to win the Most Wanted event in Terminal Velocity to unlock it, but it's well worth it, and accessible from all Jack Spot locations.
Other cars in the pack include the BMW 1M 2012, the Audi RS3 2012, the Ford Fiesta ST 2012 and the Alfa Romeo Milo 2012, all quality rides in their own right. Each are worth taking a spin with – though your original cars from Most Wanted work just as well within the game.
Also, if you're a real car nut, you'll want to check out the two extra packs introduced alongside Most Wanted. The first, the NFS Heroes pack, features cars from previous games, including the BMW M3 GTR. The second takes a cue from classic films with the Movie Legends pack, featuring the James Bond-ish Aston Martin DBS 2008, the Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Special Edition 1977 (from Smokey and the Bandit) and other cars. You can buy both packs for $9.99 (800 Microsoft points) apiece, or buy the whole package – Terminal Velocity and the two car packs – for $29.99 (2400 Microsoft points).
Even if you're not too fond of game add-ons, the Terminal Velocity pack is a worthwhile investment, with hours' worth of events, a few extra Achievements/Trophies for your collection, plenty of sweet rides and the kind of stunts you've always dreamed of doing at an airport. How can you miss out on that?
Need For Speed: Most Wanted is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and coming later this month for Wii U.