Armed & Dangerous

The Super Sports pack endeavored to fill a void that was never there by doling out some retuned toys to play with in the proverbial sandpit of Seacrest County. Armed & Dangerous manages to actually fill one.

This second pack brings two new game modes to the table. There aren’t any new cars this time, nor are there events for those not attracted to the online races. No frills: two online modes.

Arms Race is the first and, as title would imply, is the standard race with the inclusion of weapons. Why this hasn’t made the jump into the single player portion of the game is debatable but it’s far from remarkable anyway, hanging out in the no man’s land between hot pursuit and standard race events. So you’ll fire EMPs and spike strips at other racers instead of cops (which was pretty much the standard affair in hot pursuit to combat the rubber banding anyway). Despite the lack of law enforcement there are still intermittent roadblocks and that harbinger of friendly fire, the helicopter, shows face periodically to keep you on your toes.

It’s a glorified one-way destruction derby and it’s fairly forgettable.

Luckily the Most Wanted mode is of a higher caliber. Like with the online hot pursuit, players are divided into teams of 4 racers and 4 cops (theoretically, more on that in a moment). Nothing’s changed for Seacrest’s finest – and it’s still exasperating that you can’t choose sides. One of the four racers, however, is selected to be the most wanted. It’s their job to break free of the commotion and make a clean getaway while the other racers block or take out the po-po to give their leader the time and opportunity to flee. Once the most wanted player has put enough distance between them and the pack they enter a cool down period – much like in the interceptor events – and if the cops fail to cover the required distance before the timer expires, the racers are crowned victors.

The best thing about most wanted is that the luminary racer is at liberty to guide the flock anywhere across the entire map, so efficient use of the jammer and turbo boosts can leave an unfocused police unit tearing up the road heading in the wrong direction.

Playing as the most wanted is a riot but there’s no shortage of joy to be had as either the other racers or the police. Scoring that precious arrest as the men in blue is as priceless as it is dramatic. Points are delegated for takedowns and a hefty bonus is rewarded to whichever side succeeds, so teamwork pays off in dividends.

There is the issue of friendly fire, particularly among cops looking to go all Rambo on the chase before piloting their black and white law machine into a cactus. But short of turning friendly fire off and having players zooming through spike strips and roadblocks, there’s not a great deal to be done about that.

As good as Most Wanted is, there are two problems with this pack as a whole. Firstly, I had a tough time actually getting into games which, a mere week after release, is concerning because if no one else is playing then your five queen pounds have been squandered. Secondly, you’re paying five pounds for two game modes. Just to put that into perspective, that’s a quarter of the price of the full game right now. No new cars, no new tracks, no alterations. Just. Two. Modes. One of which is a half-hearted marriage of two superior modes: the stay-together-for-the-kids of races.

So Armed & Dangerous follows faithfully in the footprints of the Super Sports Pack; it’s an exorbitantly priced missed opportunity and almost impossible to recommend. As a free incentive to continue frequenting the hallowed grounds of Need for Speed it would be welcome. At a premium though, it’s a bad joke.

4/10

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