Need for Speed: Most Wanted features a far more sophisticated pursuit system and police Al than its predecessors. There is now "Heat Levels" or "Conditions" and there is also "Pursuit Breakers" and "Hiding Spots". The police department in Most Wanted is called the "Rockport Police Department" or "RPD".
Initiating a Pursuit
When police talk about your car and your offences, it is a warning that Police cars are in the area. You will need to watch out for closing police units using the upper radar (which tracks the location of a nearby unit if it is within a 180 degree range from left to right and how close you are to it). Once a police unit acquires visual contact of your car, the camera zooms in on the police unit to indicate where it is (unless you have the game moment camera turned off). A pursuit will then begin. You can also initiate a pursuit immediately by selecting a unfinished Milestone or by selecting one of the Bounty scenarios. If you encounter a police cruiser and you aren't committing a crime when you come into his visual range, the pursuit won't happen and you can drive right by him. However, if you commit a crime while in front, behind, or beside him within his visual range, you will instantly engage into a pursuit.
The aggressiveness of the police depends on the "Heat", or wanted level, of your car. Heat is collected during pursuit, when you are seen committing police offenses or continuing to engage in police pursuits. While in a pursuit, the police will refer to your "Heat" level as a "Condition". There is a total of 7 Conditions in the game.
- Condition 1, Civic Involvement, when local police chase your car using Civic Cruisers. Condition 1 is unlocked from the start.
- Condition 2, Civic Involvement, when local police will chase your car using black, unmarked Undercover Civic Cruisers. The police will also begin using roadblocks. Condition 2 is unlocked from the start.
- Condition 3, State Involvement, in this heat level state troopers take over and deploy Pontiac GTO State Cruisers against your car. The state police will also begin to use Light Rhinos. Condition 3 is unlocked after you beat Blacklist #13.
- Condition 4, State Involvement, when state troopers deploy black, unmarked Pontiac GTO Undercover State Cruisers. Heavy Rhinos will take over the role of Light Rhinos, and state police begin deploying spike strips. They will also call in a police helicopter to monitor the chase. Condition 4 is unlocked after you beat Blacklist #9.
- Condition 5, Federal Involvement, when federal agents deploy Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Federal Sport Cruisers against your car. Sergeant Cross' elite Street Racing Unit will also participate in the pursuit with Cross in tow. The police helicopter will also intervene by occasionally swooping down and ramming into your car. Condition 5 is unlocked after you beat Blacklist #5.
- Condition 6, Federal Involvement, when federal agents deploy black, unmarked Chevrolet Corvette C6 Federal Sport Undercover Cruisers, Supercharged Rhinos, Police Helicopters, roadblocks, and spike strips. Sergeant Cross will also participate in the pursuit with his Street Racing Unit. Condition 6 is only available during the Final Pursuit and in Challenge 68 of the Challenge Series after 10 minutes in pursuit.
- Condition 7, Federal Involvement, when federal agents only deploy Supercharged Rhinos and Police Helicopters. Condition 7 is only available in the Black Edition of Most Wanted in Challenge 69 of the Challenge Series.
Heat levels can be reduced by changing the physical appearance of you car in a parts shop or by using another car you own to race while storing the other car in your garage (each completed race using that car will reduce the heat level for the other car in storage).
There are several vehicles that the Rockport Police Department use.
- Civic Cruiser The Civic Cruiser is a hybrid mix between the Chrysler AA Body cars, the fourth generation Chevrolet Caprice, the eleventh generation Chevrolet Impala, and the second generation Ford Crown Victoria. It can be seen anywhere in Rockport and appears in Condition 1. Compared to any other police vehicle, the Civic Cruiser is the weakest and slowest car. The player can drive the Civic Cruiser in Challenge 44 of the Challenge Series.
- Undercover Civic Cruiser The Undercover Civic Cruiser is an improved version of the Civic Cruiser. This version is covered in navy blue paint, is slightly tougher and faster, and appears in Condition 2.
- State Cruiser The Pontiac GTO State Cruiser appears in Condition 3. It is faster than the Civic Cruiser and Undercover Civic Cruiser and can withstand more damage. The player is able to drive the State Cruiser in Challenge 45 of the Challenge Series.
- Undercover State Cruiser The Pontiac GTO Undercover State Cruiser appears in Condition 4. This version is dark blue and is a more powerful version of the State Cruiser.
- Federal Sport Cruiser The Chevrolet Corvette C6 Federal Sport Cruiser appears in Condition 5. The durability and speed is significantly better than the State Cruiser and the Undercover State Cruiser and has nitrous. The player can drive the Federal Sport Cruiser in Challenge 49 of the Challenge Series.
- Federal Sport Undercover Cruiser The Chevrolet Corvette C6 Federal Sport Undercover Cruiser appears in Condition 6. It is a faster stronger version of the Federal Sport Cruiser and also has nitrous.
- Light Rhino Unit The Light Rhino Unit is the smallest police SUV. It has no bull bars across its front grille, it has the lowest suspension, different road tyres, and standard police rims. It appears in Condition 3 alongside the State Cruisers. They are utilized as roadblocks and will attempt to stop the player by ramming head on into them.
- Heavy Rhino Unit The Heavy Rhino Unit is the standard police SUV. It has bull bars across its front grille, it has higher suspension, different road tyres, and five spoke black rims. They appear at Condition 4 and 5 alongside the Undercover State Cruiser and Federal Sport Cruiser. They are also used as roadblocks and will attempt to stop the player by ramming head on into them at high speed, ramming them off the road and boxing them in. The player can drive the Heavy Rhino Unit in Challenge 48 of the Challenge Series.
- Supercharged Rhino Unit The Supercharged Rhino Unit is a high speed police SUV. It has lower side skirts, more antennas, different road tyres, and five spoke black rims. They appear at Condition 6 alongside Federal Sport Undercover Cruisers and appear at Condition 7 as the only ground units. They use the same tactics as Heavy Rhino Units and can keep up with the player at high speeds.
- Police Helicopter The Police Helicopter appears in Conditions 4-7. It is capable of swooping down and blinding the player with dust, ramming into the players car when in the open, knocking down cartain pursuit breakers, and can keeping up to the player at high speeds. It appears to have a blue and white color scheme.
- Speeding- drive in a police vehicles's visual range in excess of 150 MPH (240 KPH)
- Excessive Speeding- drive in a police vehicle's visual range in excess of 180 MPH (288 KPH)
- Property Damage- ram into property (Road signs, traffic pylons, street lights.etc)
- Ramming a Police Vehicle- ram into a police vehicle (when a police vehicle rams you this infraction does not occur on some occasions)
- Driving Off Road- drive your vehicle off road while in a police vehicle's visual range
- Resisting Arrest- go into Cooldown mode
- Hit and Run- hit any civilian vehicles while in a police vehicle's visual range
- Reckless Driving- drive in a police vehicle's visual range in excess of 200 MPH (320 KPH)
Pursuit Breakers and the Speed Breaker
The game introduces two new pursuit-related features: the Pursuit Breaker and the Speed Breaker.
Pursuit Breakers, marked as triangles in the city map during pursuits, are road-side objects which are designated to collapse when you use your car to knock down its support, damaging or disabling following police cars. This feature is the best way to cut down the number of police units chasing you, as it is far more effective than evading the police units with speed, which will not always work. However, take note that you will need police units to be close to you and behind you when using Pursuit Breakers. Obviously, police units in front of you may not be affected by the collapsing debris, and police units far behind can easily avoid the falling objects. Each Pursuit Breaker will be replenished after a certain amount of time. On a side note, Pursuit Breakers may also be use in the same way to crash racing opponents.
The Speed Breaker is basically a bullet-time mode that slows down time and allows you to control your car quickly for a limited time and also makes your car heavier. This feature is best used to find a weak point of a roadblock, or avoid incoming Rhino SUVs. Speed Breakers are also useful during fast-paced races, where you are required to avoid traffic (particularly in drag racing), maneuver around a tight corner, or realign you car to take a shortcut. Each steering turn using a Speed Breaker, however, sends the car in a drift that could slow your car down; as such, it is also effective in taking sharp corners, and comes in handy for tough tollbooth races.
Hint: If you see a roadblock, use the Speedbreaker to find a weak spot in the block and ram through it.
Pursuit Status Bar
A crucial indicator to take note of during police pursuits is the pursuit status bar located at near the bottom of the screen. This bar helps you indicate the current status of the pursuit, the number of police cars in pursuit, the amount of time before the next back of backup arrives, and the risk of you getting arrested.
The time remaining before backup arrives, obviously, indicates the amount of time before a large group of police units joins in to chase you. When the number of police cars chasing you falls to around one or two, they will call for backup. A timer will appear at the bottom of the bar. At Condition 1, it will take 3 minutes for the backup to arrive. At Condition 2, it will take 2 1/2 minutes. At Condition 3, it will take 2 1/4 minutes. At Condition 4 it will take 2 minutes. At Condition 5-7, it will take 1 1/2 minutes. The amount of cars that will join the pursuit when backup arrives increases by five every condition.
During pursuit, the meter will indicate the risk of you being arrested or the chances of you evading the police. If your car stops close to the presence of the police, the meter moves to the left with the bar turning red, indicating that you are close to being busted; driving your car away at a minimal speed will lower this risk. If all pursuing police units are far away from your car, or have lost contact of your car, the meter moves to the right and turns green, indicating that you will be evading the police.
The bar also indicates other information about police units: The number of police units disabled, and the number of police units which had a "exchange of paint" or physical contact from you car.
After evading the police, this bar will switch to a "Cooldown Bar"; which will be explained in the next section.
Upon evading the police, you are still required to avoid the police for a certain amount of time, known as a "Cooldown" period, until they give up and cancel the search. Cooldown periods will be indicated in a bar where the pursuit status bar was. In this period, the police will still initiate search of your car; thus it is usually required that you avoid police units to avoid another new pursuit. In order to endure a Cooldown period, you will usually required to stop at an area that will rarely or never be seen by the police, usually off roadways and in covered spots. Hiding spots are also provided on the map; driving into these zones will speed up Cooldown time and shorten the Cooldown period.
At higher Conditions, however, Cooldown periods will be longer. More police units will be searching for your car and cars with Condition 4 or higher heat levels will be sought for by Police Helicopters, which are capable of finding your car easily if you are not in a hiding spot.You can also stop a little further away from the pursuit breakers until the police icon disappears from your map(at lower conditions , as the heli's can easily find you).
When your Pursuit Status Bar on the bottom of your screen goes all of the way to the left (Busted), the game will switch to a cut-scene showing you being taken into custody. A Condition 1 police car is shown in the cut scene, regardless of your condition. A police officer will simply arrest you or in some instances, your character will try to resist and the police officer will retaliate (hence the "T" rating). After an arrest you are required to pay fines owed on the current pursuit as well as fines from others that you have evaded. You also have the option to use a "Get Out of Jail Free" Marker to avoid having to pay any fines at all (you will be given three Get Out of Jail Free Markers from the start). In the case where you happen to not have enough money to pay your fine or you have three strikes against the car your driving, your car will be impounded. You cannot release your car from the Impound immediately after its impounded, unless you have an "Impound" Marker. After a certain amount of time, if you do not have an Impound Marker, you will have to pay a fine that is equal to 1/4 of the price of the car.
Milestones are one of three requirements set out by Blacklist racers that have to be completed in order to race them. Milestones may vary from Blacklist racer to Blacklist racer. Milestones are also included in the Challenge Series. Please note that to complete a milestone, you have to successfully evade the pursuit.
- Bounty Challenge- Requires a certain amount of bounty to be acquired in a single pursuit.
- Cost to State Challenge- Requires a certain amount of Cost to State to be acquired in a single pursuit.
- Roadblocks Challenge- Requires you to avoid a certain amount of roadblocks in a single pursuit.
- Spike Strip Challenge- Requires you to avoid a certain amount of spike strips in a single pursuit.
- Pursuit Time Challenge (Less Than)- Requires you to evade a pursuit in a certain amount of time.
- Pursuit Time Challenge (Greater Than)- Requires you to keep a police chase going for a certain amount of time.
- Trade Paint Challenge- Requires your car to damage a certain amount of police vehicles in a single pursuit.
- Infractions Challenge- Requires you to commit a certain amount of infractions in a single pursuit.
Bounty is another requirement to race a Blacklist racer. Bounty is calculated on three things: the length of the pursuit, the number of police vehicles immobilized, and how many milestones that are completed. The more of each one of these that you get, the higher your bounty goes.
Length: Every 10 seconds during a pursuit, the bounty increases. At Condition 1, the bounty increases by 100. At Condition 2, bounty increases by 500. At Condition 3, it increases by 1,000. At Condition 4, it increases by 5,000. At Condition 5, it increases by 25,000. At Condition 6, it increases by 30,000.
Immobilizing police vehicles: Each vehicle has varying bounties. If you immobilize multiple vehicles, the bounty is increased, to a maximum of x3. Bounty begins at 250 for Civic Cruisers, 500 for Undercover Civic Cruisers, 2,500 for State Cruisers, 5,000 for Undercover State Cruisers, 10,000 for Light Rhinos Units, 15,000 for Heavy Rhino Units, 20,000 for Federal Sport Cruisers, and 25,000 for Undercover Federal Sport Cruisers and Supercharged Rhino Units. For disabling Sergeant Cross's vehicle, the player receives 100,000, value that can also be influenced by immobilizing combos, which could go up to 200,000 or 300,000 if timed very well.
Milestones have varying bounty rewards. These are awarded at the end of a pursuit after you successfully evade, providing you fulfilled the Milestone.
Your Rap Sheet is a database where the Rockport police can access your street racing files. These files include your vehicle database, rankings compared to the 15 other Blacklist racers, cost to state, pursuit information about your top 5 police pursuits, and a summary, which summarizes your pursuit statistics and in the centre of summary summarizes how dangerous you are depending on how many infractions you have. If you have 0-400 infractions, your summary will say "Minor Code Infractions: Perform Routine Check For Citations And Infractions If Encountered". If you have 400-600 infractions, your summary will say "Major Code Infractions: Perform Routine Check For Citations And Infractions If Encountered. Proceed With Caution". If you have 450-800 infractions, your summary will say "Chronic Violations Of Vehicle Code: Apprehend At Reasonable Cost". If you have 800-1,000 infractions, your summary will say "Gross Violations Of Vehicle Code: Request Heavy Backup If Encountered. Apprehend On Sight". If you have more than 1,000 infractions, your summary will say "Wanton Disregard Of Vehicle Code: Apprehend At All Cost. Request Heavy Backup". The more infractions you have, the more aggressive the police will be. Your rap sheet is accessible from your Safe House in Career Mode after you defeat Blacklist #14.