You’ll notice that the new Need for Speed game has no subtitle. Unlike with Rivals and Underground, EA has opted to do away with subtitles this time because they’re dedicated to bringing back the beloved series in its purest form possible. Need for Speed, as the name suggests, is all about the cars, the customization, racing, and of course, the speed.
Before I got to spend any time with the game, EA gave us a quick walkthrough detailing the menus and online play. On the main menu, you’ll find various items like Daily Challenges and the Snapshot Gallery. Daily Challenges are random missions or objectives that will be added to the game each day that you can complete to earn rep points. Pretty standard stuff. Snapshot Gallery, on the other hand, focuses on the more social part of Need for Speed. You can take in-game screenshots of your races and events and share them in the gallery. People on your friends list will be able to rate your screenshots and if you get a good rating, you’ll earn rep points as well. It’s a smart move, I think, to incorporate the social aspects of the game with actual rewards. And of course, you’ll also be able to go online and play with your friends.
The hands-on demo also allowed me to tamper a little with the customization options. For the first time in a Need for Speed game, players can now freely choose between the drift and grip handling, as well as several other car tuning options. The car customization was impressive, and the game provided tons of options for body kits, wheels, wheel size, rims, exhaust, tail lights, spoilers, sides, and bumpers. Implementing real world body kits and wheel types was a nice touch as well, and made the game that much more immersive.
Once I was finished customizing my Ford Mustang, it was time to check out the in-game events. All your usual events are back in this instalment of Need for Speed, including sprint races and drifting challenges. There’s little need to mention this, but the graphics were stunning, obviously. You could see the streetlights getting reflected off of the car’s window and on the tarmac roads, and every car had a shine to it. The game looks gorgeous, and driving through the city at high speed was a graphical delight.
At the end of the demo, all 8 racers were ranked according to how many rep points they had accumulated in 10 minutes. There was also a statistical breakdown that showed which players did the best in each category. For instance, I scored the most points out of everyone in slipstreaming and driving extremely close to other players but not coming into contact with them. Other categories include city destruction and high speed.
EA has also stated that they intend to have a larger focus on the story in Need for Speed. They mentioned five different story types: a focus on speed, style, modifications, driving with friends, and running from the cops. Using these five aspects as the core of the game, these will form the basis of each different story type. All in all, Need for Speed is shaping up and looking like a very solid racing game that you can pour hours into. Not to mention, the social aspects have been integrated neatly into the game, making it a strong title you can play endlessly with friends as well.
Need for Speed will be made available for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 3rd this year.