Evading the law with Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Popular series takes an open world approach to street racing.

After the successful Hot Pursuit in 2010, Need for Speed is returning for another lap with Most Wanted. The console version of the game takes an open world approach reminiscent of Burnout Paradise, which allows for a different style of gameplay compared to Hot Pursuit. The game is also coming out on the PlayStation Vita and iPad to allow high speed racing while on the move.

We caught up with Criterion producer, Leanne Loombe, to ask about the creation of the racing game.

How did Criterion get picked to do Need for Speed?

Criterion producer, Leanne Loombe (LL): I can’t really give any specifics. The first NFS we did was in 2010 with NFS: Hot Pursuit, and that was an award winning title. So when it came down to what we were going to do next, we chose to do NFS: Most Wanted. The premise was really important to us, about becoming the most wanted. So that’s why we chose that NFS to do next.

Most Wanted came out in 2005, so why not name it Most Wanted 2?

LL: Because it is not a sequel. We also don’t make sequels to other people’s games. It’s a re-imagining, or our take, on Most Wanted. It is not Most Wanted 2, as that would imply that we are following on the original Most Wanted. We wanted to make it our own, so we kept the name.

What inspired the new Most Wanted?

LL: Every game we make is a reflection of where we are at the time. Every single game that we have made, we want to bring into each game as well. Most Wanted brings together all the best from Hot Pursuit and marries that all together.

Do the 32-bit Need for Speed games provide any insight?

LL: We try to do something different every time, so rather than looking back at inspiration, we look forward for inspiration. In 2012, it’s all about friends, online connectivity, and playing with other people. That’s the inspiration we’re looking for rather than looking back at old titles.

Which Need for Speed title would Criterion like to reboot?

LL: I can’t answer that really.

Any updates on Burnout Paradise 2?

LL: I can’t answer that either. We’re currently focused on Most Wanted, and that’s what we’re here to talk about.

Want to read other video game interviews with key figures from Sony, Microsoft and more? Then check out Good Gear Guide's complete interview archive.

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