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Need for Speed

At this point, does anyone feel the Need for more Speed?

Need for Speed is a series that almost everybody is familiar with. Seriously, if you’re not, where have you been? Need for Speed: Underground 2 was the peak of the series, with everything following feeling rather… meh. I must admit, a few years break may have done Need for Speed the world of good, but after just one year, the series has undergone a reboot. The first title in the reboot? Need for Speed (Love the originality!)

At this point I should probably mention that if you don’t possess an internet connection at home, you should probably head away from this page now. Yup, EA and Ghost Games have made it mandatory to have an internet connection in order to get past the start screen. I get that most people do have an internet connection, but what about the people who can’t sustain the monthly bills for the connection? Why should they lose out.

Well, for those who don’t have an internet connection, you’re not really missing out on much. On one plus note, Need for Speed does look fantastic, but I do have a nagging question for the developers at Ghost Games… have you ever heard of day time races? Yup, almost every single race you play in the game is either played in two conditions. Night time or night time with it completely pissing down!

Ghost Games encourage you take on the five elements which include Speed, Style, Build, Crew and Outlaw. These are pretty self-explanatory really. The one that I did enjoy the most was Outlaw. Getting chased by the boys in blue is just a barrel of fun in any game right? There may be 5 different elements to play Need for Speed but unfortunately, the mechanics really let down any sense of feel in different cars. It doesn’t matter what car you own, how much you customize it, everything just feels too similar in the way it races. Sure, some cars can go faster, but I really wanted to feel like every car I drove differentiated from each other. Sadly, Need for Speed never really delivered on what I was hoping. Drifting is another aspect that disappointed me. It probably is the mechanic that Ghost Games got ‘right’ the most, but even then, it doesn’t feel as natural as it should do.

Need for Speed never really delivered on what I was hoping.

The ability to customise your cars is something that Need for Speed has been known for down the years. This is the best part of the game, and credit to Ghost Games in the options that they have given you; your paint job, engine, tires, nitro component right down to the window wipers (OK, I might have slightly over exaggerated here) can be customized to your liking. I would strongly recommend that you do place a decent standard of Nitro on your car though – there were too many times where I was in first place, just about to enter the last straight and my opponents overtake me with their blast of Nitro available to them. This got too annoying, far too quickly, resulting in me giving my car the serious jump-start it required it needed, with me having a Need for Speed… OK, that was a poor pun, I apologise!

You may have noticed I haven’t talked about the story mode on offer in Need for Speed. I haven’t because quite frankly, the story is as simple as a one liner in a bar. Meet a load of racers, participate in races for each one, become the best racer in the circuit. End of. However, this doesn’t take away anything from the live-action scenes you encounter in the game. It was something I enjoyed and made me feel more involved, although the frequent use of the fist-bump is a sight that can become quite annoying after the first 10 times…

If you haven’t played a Need for Speed title before, I suggest you go back to the older ones, Need for Speed: Underground 2 being the best the series has to offer. You can see that EA and Ghost Games have tried with Need for Speed, however, it ultimately falls way short of expectations.

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It's great hitting 0-60mph in a matter of seconds, but Need for Speed stalls at the first attempt.