The Need for Speed franchise has been a fan-favourite since the first game dropped back in 1994. Since then there have been over 24 games with a combined total of 150 million copies being sold. For three years, Criterion Games have been working on the next instalment of the franchise, Need for Speed Unbound, and EA (the publisher of the game franchise) has officially announced the release date.
Let’s take a look at a couple of things we can expect from the new game.
Need for Speed Unbound‘s Anime Art Style and Design
Criterion Games seem to have taken a bit of inspiration for the design of Need for Speed Unbound from anime. Everything is very colourful and graffiti is brought to life “in a completely new visual style”. The drivers are even done in a more cartoony art style.
The creative director, Kieran Crimmins, has said that Need for Speed is about “trendsetting”, “breaking the mould”, and “rebellion” so they should be “exploring new art styles and new visions and new ways that game can look so that we can not only stand out from everything else, but also deliver innovation where we should be setting trends.” And, to stand out against the anime-style characters and art are the “most realistic car in Need for Speed history.”
Everything about the game’s design is done in high contrast to the style of the previous games, all of which had a significantly more Western look. The change in style is to emphasize that Need for Speed Unbound is returning to its street racing roots.
In previous Need for Speed games, being able to race came down to whether or not your car was equipped well enough to handle the race you were entering into. Criterion Games decided to change that up a little by adding more of a real-world element to the way races are handled. In Need for Speed Unbound, players will have to place bets to enter a race and there is a very real possibility of losing money.
In a similar fashion to Need for Speed Heat, now when you spend a long session racing you slowly build up your heat and make cops more likely to notice you, which is a big gamble with all the money that your character will be carrying around from their races. Fortunately, cops have had an upgrade too.
While they can be one of the most stressful or irritating aspects of Need for Speed, they are also the most fun and now Criterion Games has added a tactical method for getting rid of different vehicles. If you get really good at taking out cops, they won’t stand a chance against you.
The story and characters within Need for Speed Unbound have all been developed to make the player feel like “an illicit street racer”. All the NPCs have their own story arcs, personalities, and, as always, style and customized car. As you drive around in free roam you may come across them and in races you can even bet against certain characters.
Now players who develop a one-sided rivalry between that one car that just seems to bug you in every race you go up against them can feel properly smug when you bump into the back of their car to set them of course because their loss will count for something besides petty revenge against an AI.
Need for Speed Unbound is set to release on the 2nd of December for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Fans cannot wait to get their hand on it.
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Are you excited to take your car out for a spin in Need for Speed Unbound?