Platforms: PS4 / Xbox One / PC
Reviewed on: PS4
Distributor: Electronic Arts South Africa
Developer: Ghost Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 3 November 2015
The latest instalment from the fast paced Need For Speed franchise goes back to its roots and delivers a paired down driving experience.
Although less flashy than Need For Speed Hot Pursuit or even the most recent game Need For Speed Rivals, this 2015 Need For Speed game set the internet alight with its realistic looking trailer.
Ghost Games managed to bring these visuals through into the game. Of course the game is all set at night and conveniently it’s either raining or just stopped raining, however it’s not something I minded at all as I continually marvelled at the beautiful reflections and lighting effects.
Need For Speed harps back to the very core of the franchise with driving at the centre, layered with extensive cosmetic and functional customisation. Expect to spend most of your time either driving or tuning your ride. This is great as it really channels the spirit of previous NFS titles such as Underground and Carbon doing a great job of reminding us of why car culture is so addictive.
The game follows five key characters through a well scripted, interweaved story allowing you to unpack each of the five disciplines within the game:
- Build; and
You can choose to dive into any of these characters and build your skill within their area of expertise as you go. You do this by completing races and earning experience points and unlocking vehicle upgrades. The vehicles themselves are quite limited although with the extensive customisation options you will more than likely tend to stick with a couple of your favourites and tweak them to the edge.
My single biggest problem with the game is the incredibly annoying notifications, both the in-game hints/tips (that pop up across your entire screen while you are racing forcing you to skip them and miss what they were trying to tell you) and the continued phone calls from the various characters (who seem to call every 35 seconds) which you can’t disable. This continually broke the atmosphere created by the excellent visual and audio experience within the game.
In terms of the driving it’s Need For Speed at its best, fast paced, fun, explosive driving with just enough arcade feel for it to be accessible to a large audience. Expect plenty of nitrous, near misses and sweeping drifts. NFS is always a refreshing break from the more serious Forza or Gran Turismo titles, focusing rather on the euphoria gained from a perfect sliding corner or precision executed nitrous release.
The new Need For Speed sacrifices depth for a very strong core experience and delivers it well. It’s a fun game that celebrates car culture through an interesting cast and extensive customisation options. It’s worth picking up if you are a Need For Speed fan (especially the older titles) otherwise you may find yourself a little short changed in terms of value.