Real Talk By: KJ
Need For Speed (PS4, XO, PC) is a supposed reboot, but it mirrors the Underground series more than any thing. You’re always racing in the darkness, driving the finest tuners. This game has a lot of drifting challenges too. I mean let’s be real EA and just call it U3. The graphics look great. There’s nothing like pulling your souped-up ride out of the garage, as the rain hits. Presentation is a non-issue.
The story is all about you. A faceless racer put into a world with larger than life characters who are all super-hyped and heavily caffeinated (especially the character Spike. What is he on?). Without hearing the dialogue it’s easy to see why EA took the live action approach. Your customized car will make its way into the cinematics seamlessly, as if your ride of choice was supposed to of been there all along. Aside from seeing some cool tech at work making that happen, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. The performances are simply obnoxious. I’m not opposed to this live action concept, but it has to get better. You’ll go running for the skip button a lot. On top of that, they frequently call during gameplay. Can get a little annoying as the focus should then be on the road.
Most vehicles are pretty easy to get accustomed to. Drifting can really be fun, especially with the modes attached to it. Particular squad-based modes I really liked, since you have to slide near your teammates to score. Keep up your rhythm without damaging theirs. Completing tasks all leads towards 5 different aspects of progression Speed, Crew, Style, Build, Outlaw. Depending on which area of business you invest, you’ll see it on a pie chart as the game calculates it all showing players their dominant trait. The outlaw way encourages risky behavior. Getting more cops to pursuit at once. Staying wanted, racking up the fines. The background music changes during these situations, building up the intensity. Alternatives towards building the progress bars, is to push your vehicle to the brink. Max it out on the raceway. Drive into oncoming traffic. Play the game like burnout. Level up and get cool stuff.
When you complete the racing missions there’s also locations the player can do donuts. Hidden vistas where the game takes a picture of car in a stylistic angle. Players can also find car parts located all over the map of Ventura Bay. This is a city similar in design to Los Angeles.
Throughout all the bells and whistles visually NFS offers, not once playing did I feel as if the game couldn’t have been offline. It can actually make the game more frustrating. Sometimes a random online player will dart through your race from the opposite side of the road. I was about to win a challenge, then dipstick87 collides right into my vehicle costing me the game. Yes you can play solo, but you still need an active connection.
Need For Speed’s gameplay is just the right amount of arcade and realism at an reduced pricing. The ideas behind the story mode are admirable, but the finished product is comical. Good thing the part of the game that matters the most feels good. The driving! For next time, add more cars, get a serviceable story. Keep the tone established in NFS 2015, and carry it to the next game. I can hear the engine revving.
Need For Speed Gets
3.5 Out of 5
+Soundtrack Fits Well
+Main Challenges (Drifting, Police Evasions)
-Have to be online to play (No pausing)
-No Manual Setting