Go back to Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Written by: Rik

Date posted: December 31, 2011

The police chases in Need for Speed: Most Wanted can be tougher than mutton vindaloo. Here’s our guide to the ins and outs of getting your bounty up and achieving those milestones:


You can plunge yourself straight into trouble from the game menu. It’s pretty easy to lose a single cop car, though, so you’ll need to slow down a bit and make sure you don’t get away until you’ve caused a little more havoc.


Your ‘heat’ level shows in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Every time it increases, the screen goes blue, accompanied by a ‘whooshing’ sound, followed by some chatter on the police radio to the effect that they need to try harder to catch you.


Make enough of a nuisance of yourself and soon you’ll have pursuit cars and unmarked vehicles after you. These vehicles are slightly more powerful, and the drivers more tenacious, than your standard doughnut-muncher.


Soon enough, the police will be setting up roadbloacks with spike-strips to catch you out. Helpfully, though, they’ll usually leave a car-shaped gap for you to squeeze through, and even if you don’t make it, you can still ram the block, as long as you miss the spikes. Keep your ear to the radio chatter and you might hear which side of the road the spikes are on. If you hit the spikes, it doesn’t necessarily mean game over, although limping on with a flat tire leaves you severely handicapped and usually only delays the inevitable.


If you’ve got a lot of heat on your tail, you can get rid of some of them by using so-called ‘pursuit-breakers’, bits of scenery you can happily drive into and cause a structural collapse, leaving debris in your wake and blocking the path of your pursuers. Some are more entertaining than others – my personal favourite is the doughnut shop, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘dropping a doughnut’.


If you’re still going by this point, the cops won’t just be chasing you, they’ll be actively trying to engage you in head-on crashes. Keep a close eye out for hefty 4×4 vehicles approaching in the far distance – soon enough they’ll be trying to knock you off the road.


You can head off-road to try and lose your tail, but the police have a helicopter at their disposal, swooping overhead and reducing visibility while informing vehicles on the ground regarding your location.


Eventually, you’ll have souped-up police Corvettes after you. If you cause enough trouble, then apparently you can attract the attentions of the police sergeant himself, although that’s not something I’ve ever personally come across. Generally, cop-cars wait for you to make a mistake and then box you in before you can get away. Once the red ‘BUSTED’ bar fills up, it’s game over.


If you manage to get away, you can’t relax until the police give up the chase altogether. There are a number of hiding places dotted around the city where you can avoid being spotted and complete your escape. My personal favourite is the underground car park at the stadium.


If you don’t escape, they’ll be incredibly lenient and let you off with a fine, but you’ll also get an impound strike against your car. If you’re on your last strike, then you’ll lose your vehicle to the police impound. Even if you do get away, your car’s heat level will remain high and you’ll attract more attention, more quickly, next time you get involved in a chase. To get your heat level down, visit the paint shop and change your car’s appearance. Thankfully, the requirement to make your car look ridiculous for no good reason has now disappeared, so you only have to resort to lurid colours and logos if that’s the kind of thing you like. Otherwise, a simple respray and a change of wheel trims etc will suffice.