Need For Speed: World hands-on

Classic NFS at no cost to you!

Hey, we lovedNeed For Speed: SHIFT. Not only was itneck and neck with Forza 3 for the best racing game of last year, we%26rsquo;re of the opinion that SHIFT was the best NFS game in over a decade. Knowing that, we weren%26rsquo;t crazy about the ideaof Need For Speed: Worldmaking a return to the open world challenges of Carbon and Most Wanted%26hellip; that is, until they told us it was FREE!*

Above: Welcome to the MMO lobby you can play

That%26rsquo;s right, this summer%26rsquo;s NFS game is free* for any and all. And okay, we%26rsquo;re willing to admit we did sorta miss zipping around those wide-open cities likeRockport and Palmont, so it doesn%26rsquo;t feel like much of a step backwards, especially once you consider that they%26rsquo;re now basically giant lobbies where swarms of players will meet up to race in events, gain ranks, and customize cars. (Or just dick around and pester cops!)

Above: Police cruisers are back and Pursuit Challenges are back!

If you missed the arcadey thrill of barreling through an urban landscape of cops and licensed cars, NFS World has a target painted on your very soul. We%26rsquo;re told there%26rsquo;ll be both steering wheel and 360 controller support, but we played with a simple WASD control scheme and we gotta say: It was pretty awesome.

Above: Build 'em and share 'em

The Blur beta may%26rsquo;ve familiarized you with slingin%26rsquo; multiple power-ups (Boost or add an extra lap to catch up,) but using a mouse to hit boosts and what-not beats the hell out of clumsily cycling through with a shoulder button.


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