At EA's recent Studio Showcase 06, we got a glimpse of the future of one of the most popular racing franchises in gaming history (next to Gran Turismo, of course). The tricked-out racing rides of Need For Speed are back and even more customizable than ever - with hyper-tense, high stakes tracks to match.
To start, EA has added a new feature called Auto Sculpt that blows the doors off of the term "vehicle customization." Instead of simply strapping on pre-formed after-market parts to your sleek
Oct 22, 2007
Mirroring Formula Ones Ferrari-McLaren alledge-a-thon, this year EA Black Box have clearly helped themselves to an eyeful of the blueprints belonging to traditionally serious racers such as Forza. For starters, were off the streets and into the pit lanes of numerous real-world race tracks. According to the games producer, this reflects where the street racing culture is heading.
Apparently bored with having to endure fifteen-minute police chases every time they want an innocent
Believe us when we tell you that Electronic Arts is one company with a big eye on the future. Before the last NFS title - Carbon - had even begun development, 20 hand-picked members of the Most Wanted team were set to work on ProStreet, trying to keep the series on the technological bleeding edge while envisaging how tuner culture may evolve in the future.
After all, being games about high-performance vehicles, recent Need for Speeds have always had their finger on the tuner scene's beating
“Whoa!” We’re pretty sure that’s exactly the response EA and Black Box were angling for when they recently showed off Need for Speed: SHIFT, ‘cause that’s sure as hell the one they got. Why else would they be going around demoing the game earlier than ever in the franchise’s history if they weren’t 100% certain of the wow factor therein?
After a strong, but not quite Codemasters-troubling debut, EA’s Need for Speed: Shift really means it this time around. Again diverging from the series’ traditional model of simple handling and all-out acceleration, in favour of a more considered circuit-racing sim along the lines of Codies’ Grid, the sequel is out for blood. Yours, that of your car, that of your opponents, and most categorically of all, that of its rivals.
Its developers you see, make no bones about going after Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 3 this time. And having gone hands-on recently, we are very much listening.
Was I the only Need for Speed fan groaning during EA’s E3 press conference once it was revealed that The Run’s racing cache would be… quick time events? So… instead of falling back on the good favor you’ve earned from SHIFT and Hot Pursuit, you’re making this your flagship racing franchise into The Fugitive?! Okay, let’s get calm… While I can report that the cineractive events are in fact a little lame, they make a helluva lot more sense within the context of something far more interesting and exciting The Run is looking to pull off.
After its big reveal at this year’s E3, long time Need for Speed fans were a little baffled by The Run’s E3 trailer. After only a brief taste of the racing, the main character Jack Rourke leapt from his vehicle and took off on foot. The ensuing QTE segment violently divided early opinion, but rest assured, this is still a NFS game, and the racing comes first. Our recent demo was 100% in-car, and we’re glad to report it feels just as good as Hot Pursuit.
We’ve got a confession to make that goes against most critical response: we quite liked Need for Speed: ProStreet (at least on consoles). It was a competent and relatively accurate recreation of organized competitive racing events. Unfortunately, what ProStreet did at the same time was completely remove the essence of what made a Need for Speed game, leaving a dry approach to simulation in its place.
Hey, we loved last year’s Need For Speed: SHIFT. Not only was it neck and neck with Forza 3 for the best racing game of last year, we’re of the opinion that SHIFT was the best NFS game in over a decade. Obviously, we weren’t crazy about the idea that Need For Speed: World would mark a return to the open world challenges of Carbon and Most Wanted… that is, until they told us it was FREE!*
A blast from the past with a glorious glimpse at the future of online racing...