'Need for Speed: Most Wanted' is all about friends, says producer

Criterion's Need for Speed: Most Wanted will have a greater focus on playing with friends and social connections than any Need for Speed game before it, says Criterion producer Leanne Loombe.

Criterion's Need for Speed: Most Wanted will have a greater focus on playing with friends and social connections than any Need for Speed game before it, says Criterion producer Leanne Loombe.

In an interview with Polygon, Loombe said the studio strengthened the social elements of the game to bring it in line with what gamers in 2012 expect.

"It's all about being socially connected – everything we do is about being connected," Loombe says. "Gaming in 2012 is obviously very different to what it was 10 years ago and we really want to make sure that everything is about friends. That's really important to us. So in Most Wanted, friends are at the heart of the game."

Loombe says that the studio has learned a lot from "everything that's connected", and as gaming grows on social platforms like Facebook, it's important for Need for Speed to be aware of what experiences players want.

"Gaming is changed," she says. "People don't want to play for six to eight hours in a single player campaign any more, they want to pick up and play for however long they want, and we want to cater for all those types of people."

"It's all about being socially connected – everything we do is about being connected"

While the game stills offers an extensive campaign mode where players can lose themselves in its open world, fundamental changes have been made to the game to give players more control over how they wish to play. One change that has been made to the series is that all cars are now available to the player from the very beginning. Gone are the days of grinding for hours to unlock cars. Players can now choose their vehicle of choice and jump straight into a race with friends or the AI.

Most Wanted also marks the return of Autolog, a kind of leaderboard that allows friends to compare speed times and speed points with each other. The races are also littered with in-game collectibles and cops will be present in every race for an added challenge.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, and PC on October 30th. The mobile version developed by Firemonkeys will launch at the same time.

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