Introducing: Need for Speed
Man oh man, it took me a while to write this because I was simply trying to find the right grammar to describe this new Need For Speed reboot. What I settled on was simply “wondrous,” although I would’ve opted to use a newfangled, over-the-top phrase to sum up this bundle of awesomeness. This newest creation by Ghost Games is also the latest entry into the Need for Speed series since Rivals in 2013, also partly developed by Ghost Games.
You start off the game in Ventura Bay, a fictional city where the nameless driver becomes a member of an underground racing crew. From there, the player sets off to earn reputation points and cash to buy new cars, upgrade them, and become a street racing legend.
By now, the game-play probably sounds very familiar and that’s because it should be. Ghost Games took the story concepts from the previous Need for Speed titles and blended them into one ironically original game. What remains the same, of course, is the option to customize your car to match the over-realistic expectations you have for it in real life. In other news, free roam is back and even better this time around because you’re in an underground racing community!
Missions never take place during the day, just night or dawn. Similar to Rivals, the game requires an online connection so other racers randomly enter your world map for you to engage with. For the most part, they appear as icons on a map, often involved with their own game rather than purposefully interacting with others. Unlike Rivals, where player-controlled street racers and police patrolmen opposing each other populate the same open world, Need for Speed hardly gives incentives for player-to-player contact.
You access missions via your in-game phone from texts and calls from crew members. You can also race to mission icons scattered across your map. They consist of circuits, point-to-point races, and drift challenges. They either exist as races or single player trials in which you earn cash and reputation points, of which also serve as experience points.
Leveling up means unlocking different customization options in the hub garage, where players can tweak car performance and appearance as they see fit.
It’s a good thing that the garage is an entertaining place to be since players will potentially spend a great deal of time in there. At the outset, the player has loads of decals and customization options to create wraps for their car. Earn a little rep and body mods become available. Nothing here costs in-game cash, so it’s easy to suddenly lose 20 minutes tinkering with different looks and toying with the different textures in real time.
Beyond the body modifications, decals, and paint options, mechanical parts of the car can be individually upgraded to influence performance. The game lets you swap and change different performance components but they all do the same thing: up the power! That would be fine and dandy if certain upgrades balanced others out, but eight out of ten are just straight horsepower jumps.
The Grand Debut
The winning gist about the game overall is the debut of the BMW M2, which thus far, is only available for game-play in this Need for Speed edition. The previously spotlighted BMW was the M3 Evolution 2 E30 in the first installment of NFS Most Wanted, but that does not compare to this year’s 6-cylinder, 370 horsepower debut.
For me, it served as a testament to the phrase “Sheer Driving Pleasure.”
The M2, along with the amazing graphics, cars, and game-play is what earned this console title an incredibly huge thumbs-up from me. It would make the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season for that video gaming, car enthusiast on your list.
*BobKevin Shoo is the Social Media Manager of Automoblog.net and an avid video gamer and gear head.
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