EA have released another tantalising snippet of gameplay in some new footage for Criterion's Need for Speed Most Wanted, this time focusing on the ability to drive any car you can find in the game. Well, we say new but in actual fact it's the very same on-stage playthrough we were treated to during EA's Gamescom conference.
As Criterion revealed at Gamescom, every car will be available to drive from the very start of the game – "if you can find it, you can drive it" was their memorable marketing motto. In practice, this means that Most Wanted's entire collection of swanky cars are littered around the city of Fairhaven for you to jack and drive like, well, you stole them.
To illustrate this, Criterion enlisted the almighty Aston Martin V12 Vantage, a car that, on the surface, is the last word in British elegance, poise and refinement. And yet beneath the bonnet lies a 510 bhp engine that delivers brutally savage power, with 0-60mph achievable in just 4 seconds.
From the gameplay shown, Criterion certainly seem to have captured the captivating sense of raw power, with a blistering sense of speed along with their usual head-poundingly brash sound effects – you can practically hear the tortured tyres begging for mercy, and the Aston's throaty engine sounds appropriately god-like.
After a quick spin, a conveniently parked Mercedes SL 65 Black series is spotted in a nearby layby. A quick tap of the Xbox 360's A button lets you "jack" the Merc, and after a brief loading screen you're suddenly behind the wheel of your shiny new set of wheels. Simple as that. Although, this being a Criterion game, it's doubtful it will stay pristine for long, of course.
Nipping into new vehicles also seems to let you tinker with Most Wanted's car mods – the menu pop-up shown in the video reveals options for body, chassis, power train, tyres and nitrous, all of which are stock by default. Again, there doesn't appear to be anything in the way of visual mods, so you would be wise to forget about pimping your ride to look like a feckless Fast and Furious abomination. Further mods can be unlocked with Speed points, however, Most Wanted's version of currency that accumulates with practically every action you make in the game.
Every car will apparently have their own unique events to play, too, so there is plenty of incentive to keep car-hunting as you explore Criterion's carefully-crafted open city. It certainly sounds like a more convenient method of swapping cars than Burnout Paradise, which required you to drive to designated garages, and actively encourages you to test drive cars you might have otherwise ignored.
We look forward to racking up the miles in Most Wanted's diverse drives across Fairview City when it roars off the forecourt November 1st.
What do you make of what you've seen from Need for Speed Most Wanted too far? Do you crave for a more realistic approach or embrace Criterion's Burnout-esque take on the series? Have you say in the comments below, our Facebook page or new forum.