News Article

Criterion Lavishes Nintendo and Wii U With Praise

Posted by Andy Green

Need for Speed: Most Wanted developer went all out to create the definitive version for Wii U

Need for Speed: Most Wanted has been available on other consoles for a while now. Wii U owners have had to wait for their own version, but it appears that their patience will be rewarded; the game is based on the superior PC version and comes with a host of new features as you'd expect.

Speaking to Kotaku and following on from recent comments made to Eurogamer, Criterion's creative director Alex Ward explained that the Wii U version is more than just a port from another console version; the team instead looked at what the system could offer the player, and built the game around that.

This is our first game on Nintendo hardware since Burnout 2. It's really important for us to do the best thing we can. We looked at the hardware and said, 'How do we use everything we've got?' We've thought for years, since probably Burnout 3, 'What can the second player do?'

It seems this second player can play a large role in the gameplay experience should you want them to. With the primary player using the Pro Controller (or Wii Remote), the secondary player can wield the GamePad and help - or hinder - the driver. Things such as the car being driven, the amount of traffic and the time of day can all be modified with the simple touch of the GamePad screen. Your co-driver can also spin out pursuing police cars, repair your car and even take over the driving for you entirely.

We've no doubt this style of multiplayer will certainly cause a lot of mischief, but this is a type of gaming Ward believes works well on Wii U:

The Wii U to us is about people playing together around the TV. We believe Wii U is about making it easier and simpler to play.

One of the ongoing debates in gaming right now is performance - how much power each individual console has under the hood. Whereas some developers have been more than keen to bemoan Wii U's supposed lack of grunt, Ward doesn't seem to care much at all about how much power a system has.

Everyone wants to talk about this and that on the hardware, and it's not as interesting to me. What's really important is what we're doing with the player experience. The games I'm playing on Wii U - Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U - what Nintendo [does], they just deliver excellent gameplay.

It's probably one of the big problems in the industry at the moment. [Everyone likes] to talk about specs and this and that. We've got to get back to just playing the game. And that's what this game is about. It's about a simple, fun experience. It's not about 10,000,000 polygons and who does this and who does that.

We make games for all the systems. What's important is that we look at the hardware and say, 'What's the best thing we can do on that?'

What do you make of Criterion's philosophy on making games? Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.


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User Comments (52)



XCWarrior said:

Just keep praising the system Criterion. It can only help sales. Burnout 2 was a lot of fun, they are trying to win over some people on Wii U. Can't blame them for trying. Hope it works.



Solatorobo said:

This is a breath of fresh air after seeing "Nintendo is doooooomed!" quotes almost every day. I hope some more step up as well.



uximal said:

@Magolor @ Amen to that, Nothing good like some refreshing news about the WiiU and NFS U looks very good.



belmont said:

It seems that Criterion is one of the developers that really care for their games and aren't lazy. After developing in-house the Vita version and making it almost identical to the PS3 one (the only real difference is less traffic) they are doing their best to provide the definite Wii U version.

We need more developers like them.



Gamer83 said:


I was just going to post something similar. The Vita version of this game was excellent and as near a home console experience as you can get on a handheld, so there was no doubt they'd deliver on the Wii U as well. I look forward to seeing what they do in the future, on all platforms.



Schprocket said:

Oh I don't know, Criterion Games are obviously going down the gurgler with Nintendo simply because it's fashionable to completely ignore absolutely every fact about past new console launches and to kick the 'new kid' console, along anybody who says otherwise...

Of course I don't believe that crock I just made up but then we're not past the first 10 posts or so and the regular Eeyores who post ignorant crap such as that will be along shortly, no doubt.

To answer the first posters Q with a Q - if you don't have a steering wheel AND pedals for the PC version, then would you need an analog Shift key?

The Criterion guy hit the nail on the head - it's the game, not the poly count.
Haze on the PS3 looked great since it was one of the first not to be 90 shades of brown and promised a great story but was the most generic, boringly executed POS with the lamest action that I played... and that was just the demo...



DePapier said:

I cannot BELIEVE a Western developer on this Planet Earth finally cared to read and UNDERSTAND a Iwata Asks. My money is ready.



Ducutzu said:

I find it funny that they knew exactly what sort of sleazes Kotaku are, and they expertly avoided the interviewer's bait (such as trying to get them to criticize something - anything - about Nintendo or the Wii U).



Pikachupwnage said:

Respect +9001. Definitely buying this both because it looks good and to reward the team for putting effort into a port.



MAB said:

Yeah well it's about time these haters got their posture knocked back into their seats bloody comin' around here with all those nonsense posts like a pack of pelicans with imaginary facts ripped straight from another website that caters for blind maggots... WiiU will get the superior PC port of Watch Dogs guaranteed bro dudes



ShortSleevedNook said:

I love graphics too, but he's totally right. It's not about graphics when it comes to gaming consoles, it's about the gameplay. I think about all the fun times I've had on all Nintendo's systems, and I've always had more fun on those systems than on any others. Yes, NES was limited, but the games were simply fantastic! SNES wasn't CD-Rom based, and neither was N64, for that matter, but the latter was a fantastic party system, and lots of fun, while SNES was simply brilliant. GameCube couldn't play DVDs, it had terrible online and the discs may have not been able to hold as much data as PS2 and Xbox, but looking back, EVERYONE I know LOVES that system, and wishes that Nintendo would go back to doing it, instead of their current "gimmicks and innovation" style, which has become MUCH more popular than the GameCube.

You know what guys, I think that all we have to do is stop complaining, and stop focusing on what Nintendo's systems DON'T do. We need to focus on what they actually DO, and I find that unlike many other video game companies, they're trying to bring us excellent games, new ways to enjoy them, and at an excellent price. When everyone says that "Nintendo is always to behind and their tech always sucks" that's not true, because I think that Wii U and 3DS are powerful in their own special way. Wii U has to power an entire TABLET along with a tiny little console, while 3DS (With the 3D on) has to power 3 screens all at once! If you want the best graphics and the best tech, go buy a PC, for goodness sakes! Stop trolling the gaming company that's actually putting out tons of great content onto tons of great systems.



ajcismo said:

I might buy this game just as a "thank you" to Mr.Ward and his philosophy. Been tired of the stupid "power" debate for 15 years now. Just want to play games that are well made and fun.



Zyph said:

Great guy. )
This is a first time a 3rd party developer with less than 6 months working on Wii U can make a very stunning game for the platform. This game is really not just a port.



LztheQuack said:

Hehehe. You all just like them because they praised the Wii U! >:3

Imagine what the comments would look like if they bashed the Wii U!



Wildfire said:

Well it's not only because of the praise but also the fact that he's legitimate trying to do something with the machine, instead of the usual nonsense of the "controller being so different that we can't make it work on Wii U". And let's not forget that this guy isn't properly saying anything wrong. The graphical power isn't everything and gameplay indeed matters!



Scollurio said:

Hmm too bad it's not as good as the original most wanted... But I really appreciate their effort - still I'm careful and let's wait and see if its all hype and PR or if its really a successful port! And... What about the digital only triggers of the wii u?! I fear this will be a great hindrance...



FullbringIchigo said:

a developer saying that the gameplay is the most important thing....what a shock all most of them talk about nowadays are all the sparkles and how good the game looks

glad to see at least one development team knows what's important



Farmboy74 said:

Do my eyes deceive me??, a current games developer actually talking about games being fun to play and just not about machine specs. Quick Nintendo, ask them to develop a Wii U version of F-Zero pronto!!
As I have said previously if this game is good, I'm more than ready to hand over the cash.
I'm just going to lay down for a bit as, I am still shocked by a current games developer talking about gameplay over graphics, finally someone gets it.



Slapshot said:

I'm beginning to get burned out on these articles. Today one say this, tomorrow the other says something else - I think the point has been made on both sides quite clearly by now.



LittleIrves said:

Wow, Totilo was really pushing Ward to say something about the Wii U's raw power. I usually like his perspective and approach, but that was a tad obnoxious.

I'm curious about this version then. I usually have zero interest in modern racer's (I GameFly'ed the previous Need for Speed for 360 and was instantly bored) but I want to give this a chance.



Ryno said:

@Slappy & @Foxy: If you are annoyed with them so much then why read them? Surely you have something more interesting to do besides reading annoying articles on the Internet?



Reala said:

Didn't really think the so called doom and gloom articles where such a big deal really though there was a lot of them, a nintendo site is pretty much there to report on things regarding nintendo after all, don't see why that means they have to put a positive spin on everything, though if you decide to start recruiting propaganda writers instead I might just be interested in that



AyeHaley said:

First NFS game in years I'm buying day 1. It looks amazing, it uses in-game Miiverse implementation and utilizes the GamePad in fun ways. And made by a smart/sane developer? I'm all in!



Fillytase said:

These are the kind of creative possibilities I love about the Wii U. I'm not really a fan of driving games, but I love the thought they've put into this game all the same.



BakaKnight said:

"What's important is that we look at the hardware and say, 'What's the best thing we can do on that?' "

That's exactly the philosophy every game-designer should take in count ^O^
I don't know this developper well, but if that's their philosophy I will really have to keep an eye on their works



Dr_42o said:

If they are so focused on gameplay, why did it take since burnout 2 for them to make a game on a Nintendo console...?



McGruber said:

Because 3rd party games don't sell on Nintendo systems...anyway I am looking forward to this. Looks like it will be my first racer for Wii U.



OptometristLime said:

Dr_42o the Wii was inferior to its console brethren.

Now that the specs of Wii U have leapt into relevance I think Criterion is taking a victory lap. Why begrudge them?



GiftedGimp said:

For those asking about how nfs:mw will handle without analog triggers the answer is just fine.
Vita has no analog and there was nothing wrong with how the cars drive, its an arcade racer, hold down the accelerator, and brake to drift around turns while still holding the accelerator.
Anyone who has played any other version/s once you sign in with your Origin ID, you will get all those speed points brought across to the WiiU version.



Gamer83 said:


I can't speak for others but I've always thought Criterion to be a good studio. If this guy weren't praising Wii U, I'd certainly chalk it up to the console more than the developer.



Kage_88 said:

This was a great read!

We need more positive stories like this.

Enough with this 'doom and gloom' garbage! Trust me, the Wii U will have a prosperous half-decade; it will have a ton of awesome games, and it will NOT flop - as much as some morons wish it to happen.



LavaTwilight said:

This is what I've said on other posts...
The ONLY companies that seem to slate Nintendo off are those that have not experienced the WiiU and/or those who are employed as a subsidary of Microsoft/Sony who are paid to say bad things about their competitors.
Interesting enough, you never hear a bad word said about MS or Sony from Nintendo. Maybe that's just because they're grown ups and MS and Sony are still ickle wickle kiddies!



Jaz007 said:

Neat multiplayer idea, but what are they going to use the gamepad for on singleplayer? I think the PS3 version with cross buy/play is still more appealing than a feature that only applies to multiplayer though.



Jaco said:

Ill pick this. Up someday to support this guy, he seems pretty cool



SneakyStyle said:

Great, we definatly need more devs that will take this type of approach to the WiiU and being creative with the gamepad.

I'm sick of reading these lazy developers that say '' The controller is why we won't port to WiiU '' <~ That makes me laugh. How pathetic to blame something that could be so creatively used as the downfall, when it's obviously a upside to any devs with half a brain.



Araknie said:

@shake_zula Wii U has analog triggers you can use the left one to sprint in Zombi U.

To Criterion:
This is excatly what i mean. The Wii U and 3DS have fever games than other consoles? Fine by me if the games that are out makes advantage of the unique gameplay for the system.
That's all that matters to me, if gameplay is great all games can also be 8-bit i wouldn't mind, really.

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