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.