This year sees the entry of a new Need for Speed, an open world racing game developed by Ghost Games, published by Electronic Arts (EA) and released on only two platforms, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Incredibly, this is the twenty-second installment in the NFS series and a hopeful reboot of the franchise.
This marks the franchise’s first return to the import scene and tuner culture focus since the release of 2010’s Need for Speed: World. After the release of Play Station 3, the Need For Speed franchise had dropped the ball on fans by not bringing us what we so desired in a racing game. The releases that followed were never as good as the old ones and just never met up with the NFS fan demands. That is why this year’s edition of NFS is trying to bring back to life what was remarkable about its old games and add that to a new open world map with great graphics and intuitive racing gameplay.
Now, while this sounds amazing to racing game fans, there are a few things you should know before buying the new NFS. Firstly, if you have internet connectivity then do not waste your money purchasing the game. In order to play, you must always be connected to the internet. You do not need a subscription for your platform unless you would like to compete with other NFS players. There is an offline option, but you must still be connected to the EA Servers in order to access your game.
The story is based around the player and a group of racers attempting to be noticed by the game’s icons (in total there are five icons). The five icons are real motorsport and street racing figures from around the world. In your crew, you have your first companion Spike, who wants to impress Magnus Walker. Then you meet Amy who wants to impress Akira Nakai, Robyn wants to impress Risky Devil, Manu wants to impress Ken Block and Travis who wants to impress Shinichi Morohoshi. As you progress through the game, the player earns money and rep among the other drivers and people he meets along the way. When you reach the point of defeating Magnus Walker a cut scene appears where Spike gets jealous and angry. Spike does eventually get over this though and once the player becomes the ultimate icon, the final challenge is against the icons of the game and also against your own crew Travis, Spike, Amy, Robyn, and Manu. Upon completion of the race, the final cut scene includes the whole crew taking a group photo together but the player wears a mask to hide his true identity. The story mode is good and sparks interest, but it is, however, very short and lacks depth.
There are five different gameplay types: Speed, Style, Crew, Build, and Outlaw where you can earn points for competing in events and story missions. NFS takes place in the fictional city of Ventura Bay and its surroundings which are based in Los Angeles. Overall, the gameplay is good and really convinces us that we are in an actual race. All the cut scenes during gameplay can become annoying, but thankfully they are not too long.
The level of customization is very high allowing us to customize almost every part on our vehicle –which is totally awesome. The vast amount of decal and aftermarket parts are astounding and really make customizing your car an essential and fun part of the game. The overall look when racing was good but the gameplay is slightly dim and dark because everything is always at night. Altogether the graphics are very good but, unfortunately, the frame rate does drop at times.
Honestly, there is not much to say about the multiplayer besides the fact that it is weak and not very engaging. If you are playing the online mode, other players appear on your map. They can be challenged by you to any race type of your choice. Also, you can search for players online and build a crew to earn extra points.
While we can get over the whole internet thing, there are a few more annoyances that arise throughout the game — such as the no pause option, which is completely insane. If you have to access your phone or map, you actually have to bring your car to a stop on the side of the road to do that so you don’t get bumped by other cars passing. Another thing I found odd was the whole game is at night. So if you have bad eyes I feel sorry for you. There is also no manual shifting option available in Need For Speed 2015. Every car game should have the option of manual or automatic, so I found this very strange. Also, the background music from start till finish is terribly annoying and random. As a whole, besides weak song selection, the sound of the cars and everything else is almost perfect. The cut scenes look good but are slightly overwhelming.
Overall, Need For Speed has found a way to rekindle some exciting features of its old games and add on to the experience, which makes it very good. However, it is not worth the price of a triple A game.