Do you feel the need?

It’s almost time to see the new imagination of the Need for Speed series gamers and we are all waiting for those reviews to come in over the next few days as the game gears up to the unusual launch day of Thursday 5 November 2015 here in the UK and Tuesday November 3 in the USA.

So with this upcoming release hitting shelves and servers this week, we see a nice break in the mould from all the first person shooters, action-adventures and RPG’s coming out at the moment, not that there’s anything wrong with that kind of thing, we just know some people out there are ready to race! We are too and our review will follow as close to launch as possible.

Fans of Need for Speed will be looking forward to seeing the title based around “authentic car culture” as the developers describe it, with an interesting twist that sees the gameplay engine merge with the real world. This goes into massive levels of customisation all set in a perpetual night-time open world, lush with cool lighting, shadow and weather effects that really do look something a bit special.

Many fans are very pleased with the return to a more Underground feeling with the game merging a little of the new school and the old school while staying with the original theme’s of Need for Speed games. Freedom and full control of your Need for Speed experience is also at the heart of this game and one player’s NFS will play very differently to someone else’s.

One new feature that has people talking is the different Icons available in the game all of which are available to you depending on your style of play. With five variations and five icons there is a lot of variety on how this game can play out.

Check out the details on these different features below, each section has toggles with official details and official trailers to enjoy if you want to as you go.

Going Back to My Roots

As older gamers bop along to that song I just put in your head, we’ll have a look at some of the cool features of this game. Need for Speed has been around for a number of years and has done many different things as the series evolved. One game I particularly remember as standing out is the Underground games that really captured that street racing idea. The cars, soundtrack and the racing all worked so well together that it was a very addictive game… and I’m not a huge racing game fan.

For me, I tend to like the, not so popular these days, arcade racers where you see more game based racing than simulating real life racing. So Need for Speed generally has good memories for me and I do think this new version of the game gives something back to older series fans and adding in a layer of freedom that is a real positive step.

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First of all the open world looks incredible, at the EGX Gaming Expo here in the UK it was looking very impressive with the night time setting really suiting those lighting effects on the new consoles. From what we saw of the customisation and options too, there is a lot of detail you can go into when it comes to creating that ride you really want to show off but the interface to create the new look is relatively easy.

Gameplay wise the control at the event what I like to call arcade-sim which means it’s more on the arcade side of things but there are simulation type elements so you can’t just drift around everywhere and go crazy.

But here’s where the customisation comes in, you can even set your own handling style within the parameters of the game. This means my Need for Speed will race how I want it too, nice and arcadey; but other people can customise the handling to suit them and treat the game as a more simulator type feel.

Freedom seems to be the key ingredient in this new game and that’s what the other modes also like to give you the sense of. For the full details on the game from EA plus the Launch Trailer And Car’s & Customisation Trailers use the toggles below.

Need For Speed Game Information.The game delivers on what the fans want, and what Need for Speed stands for – deep customisation, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative that pulls you through the game.

Need for Speed will deliver an experience that’s grounded in authentic car culture by diving into the rich world of past, present and emergent trends of the urban car scene. This collaboration with Speedhunters in the research and development of the game means the level of detail and real-world authenticity will envelop gamers in an exciting world to discover and enjoy in a way that only Need for Speed can deliver.

Five Ways to Play…

So many ways for me to crash!

One of the key elements to this new Need for Speed is freedom and this goes down into the type of “icon” you want to become as a driver in the game. The game’s plot also reacts with how you decide to race meaning that someone into flat out speed racing is setup with other people like them, which ultimately links into the Icons Gameplay (explained after this section).

The styles are Speed, Style, Build, Crew, and Outlaw with the option being left totally up to you.

We like this idea, I can certainly see the appeal. Being a Speed racer, burning that fuel as hard and fast as possible while treating the break pedal like an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend you want nothing to do with anymore, will certainly get some gamers going. But the Style option where you look good on those roads, drifting around and pulling off (or not in most cases) stupid handbrake turns sounds a lot of fun to me.

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Build is based on your car looking good and having extreme performance modification. Here you can see the full depths of the customisation system and will really be one for the gamers out there that want to create the ultimate car. Not one for me but those who want that rich customisation there are a tonne of options here and, being EA, I reckon there might be some additional ones you can get in upcoming DLC too.

Crew on the other hand sounds a lot of fun… you could even make a whole game based around it… wait… Anyway, here you are working together to race staying as close as you can, racing in packs as stylishly as you can. This is a nice multiplayer element to the main game and because of the seamless nature it all just happens on the fly. Of course this comes with the trade off of requiring a internet connection to even play but, it is 2015 people!

But, let’s be honest gamers out there, who doesn’t want to play Outlaw! This mode sees you causing the police lots of headaches by creating chaos across the city at night. You get into pursuits and “mess” with the law by smashing their cars to bits or just getting away. It all sounds lots of fun.

There is something for most racing fans here, I’m not a huge one but I like the sound of it all especially Style and Outlaw. A bit more detail and a Narrated Trailer On The 5 Ways to Play is below if you want a look.

Five Ways To Play Details

The new Need for Speed introduces compelling and innovative gameplay through Five Ways to Play – Speed, Style, Build, Crew, and Outlaw. Each drives your Need for Speed game through an interconnected narrative. Built around five real world automotive icons, each of whom is a hero of today’s car culture, they will inspire the player to experience all Five Ways to Play. Earn their respect and build your reputation on your journey to become the ultimate icon.

Action-packed overlapping stories, rich with distraction based gameplay, ensure variety and personal preference. Carve your own path through Ventura Bay by playing different event types and propel your progression by ultimately winning your way.

Speed – Pedal to the metal, high speeds, maximum adrenaline rush. Keep your nerve and never lift off the gas, the fearless always push the limits.
Style – Expression through driving, sliding the car into a corner sideways with ultimate precision. For some, style is all that matters.
Build – Take your car to the extreme through visual and performance modification. The constant need to improve and personalize. Craftsmen build, searching for perfection.
Crew – Ride together with your Crew and never hit the streets alone. Put your faith in others and the skill of close proximity chaos.
Outlaw – Messing with and escaping from the cops. Push the limits and live life on the edge as you crave the thrill of the chase.

Make Yourself an Icon

It can be a little cheesy but playing yourself in a game is always fun and in Need for Speed you are you, and as the story play’s out you will meet different icons of the racing and automotive icons around the world.

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These all link into the different play styles discussed above with Magnus Walker (Speed), Ken Block (Style), Nakai-san (Build), Risky Devil (Crew) and Morohoshi-san (Outlaw) all featuring in the game as themselves. This is where the cool mixture of game engine and real life comes into play with the game. You experience cutscenes from a first person perspective in a real world setting. The game engine comes in with the cars and other features blending into the live action.

It’s a cool twist and the big racing fans out there will certainly get something from seeing these iconic people within the game. As not a fan though, I also really like it. I might not know who the people are but the fact they are real people and not some made up characters adds a little something to the game for me and, while it looks solid overall, if this is done properly I can see it being something that makes the game very special.

More on the gameplay and the Trailer Featuring Each of The Icons is on the toggles below.

Icon Gameplay Details”]Play as yourself in Need for Speed and witness the action from your own point of view as your entourage of friends and the icons entice you into the Five Ways to Play. Make choices that will determine your path through Ventura Bay as you build your reputation through the different styles of driving and progress on your journey to become the ultimate icon.

The real world automotive icons are the stars of today’s urban car culture and have inspired the stories behind the gameplay by how they express themselves on the streets every day.

Speed Icon – Magnus Walker collects and restores classic Porsche 911s. He is known for his high speed driving and will push you to enhance your reputation through adrenaline-fuelled driving.

Style Icon – Ken Block is notorious for his style of aggressive driving, as he showcases in his phenomenal YouTube GYMKHANA series. Earn his recognition by mastering the art of precision sliding and jumping through corners and on the streets.

Build Icon – Nakai-san is the founder of RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF (RWB), a world renowned tuning and customising company. Focus on creating that perfect customised ride as you look to impress him.

Crew Icon – Risky Devil are an infamous drift crew. These guys are the kings of close proximity driving and control. Ride in packs, inches away from wiping each other out as you get to grips with precise control and wild drift trains.

Outlaw Icon – Morohoshi-san doesn’t care how people categorise him, he just does what he wants. He’s often seen on the night streets rolling around in his customised ride. Risk it all as you mess with and escape from the cops to grab his attention.[/toggle]

Our Thoughts

The Need for Speed franchise has been around for a long time, it’s hard to imagine it actually started on the 3DO back in 1994 and has gone through so many changes over the years. Personally I think it’s great to see the series come back and get a nice reboot and from what I’ve seen, it certainly looks the part.

The Frostbite 3 Engine is certainly going to love the night setting of the game, as will the gamers enjoying the incredible reflections and lighting effects evident in every turn, drift and boost. What the game also seems to have going for it is a level of freedom that could really make the game something special, mixed in with the automotive icons.

What concerns me is the sheer volume of new things going on at once here. You occasionally get it where it all fits together perfectly but more often its better to work on things gradually.

What I do like is the fact they are promoting the game subtly and not boasting too much. You’d hope this is a sign they are happy to let the gameplay and reviews do the marketing for them. I for one hope this is a very enjoyable racer, it doesn’t need to be perfect but gaming certainly has room for a fun to play racer at the moment. If the features come together on this one, I can certainly see it being a hit with NFS fans and even create some more on this generation of consoles.

More on Need for Speed coming soon.

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