Need for Speed 2015 Hand-On Impressions

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Firstly, just to get something off my chest, I’m not a fan of the title Need for Speed. I understand this is a reboot for the franchise, but it really messes with future gaming historians who will be looking back at the timeline of these games through the lens of some kind of EA compilation disc. Do I boot up Need for Speed or Need for Speed? You see. Anyway, I got to try out the new Need for Speed (which will be referred to as NFS from here on) and it’s refreshing to see the first title specifically made for the new generation of consoles gets a lot right.

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Customization is a big component for car and racing enthusiasts, and I’m happy to say a robust and meaty selection is present here. Although it may not be on par with the hyperrealism of a Forza or Driveclub, NFS strikes a good balance of authenticity and ridiculous fun. After all, this is more of an arcade racer that puts more emphasis on flash and flare, which the NFS franchise is known for. I went with a bright pink Ford Mustang GT that was cranked all the way up on its grip over drift. There are also sliders to edit things such as brakes and tire pressure, but those get real deep with layers upon layers of depth. Surely, car fans will spend a lot of time fine-tuning to get the exact feel they want.

Once out of the garage, it was time to hit the streets and I was simultaneously playing with 3 other people. We met up on the streets of Ventura Bay and started up our first speed challenge. This was a straightforward race for first place and I didn’t do too hot, but I never do with these games. After the challenge was finished, points were earned and the good news is you get a little bit of something no matter how bad you do.

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The game is broken up into 5 reputation types: Speed, Style, Build, Crew and Outlaw and you can go about it however you’d like. I like to imagine I’d be a top contender as a Crew person since I play so many multiplayer games with friends, but I’ll likely be the Outlaw who messes with the cops all the time. Oh and cops can arrive in the middle of a challenge, so you can continue on with the challenge and earn double points completing it while evading the cops. This happened to me during my session and it was very intense as I am not a good multitasker.

Eventually, my time with the demo put me in a drifting challenge, which was daunting, because I had my car customized all the way for grip. I was assured that I would be able to still compete well, but I noticed my struggles very early on. I got used to how to compensate for my lacking car after my 2nd try, but it definitely showed me balancing the car would’ve been beneficial.

Play how you like and customize practically everything on the car sounds like a gimmick, but so far you can color me impressed. The game feels good and looks great, and if the news we’re hearing about the game keeps up its pace, then this would indeed be the reboot fans were hoping for. Heck, the game like this better deliver on the promise of a substantial reboot with a confusing title I mentioned earlier. We’re only a few short weeks away from Gamescom, so look forward to more Need for Speed news soon. Need for Speed is set to arrive this fall on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

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Video games, professional wrestling and discovering new foods. I'll take a large taro slush with bubbles, half sugar, less ice.

  • Rob Sauer

    The one thing you need with all these games is a good driving stick. I actually can’t play these types of games with just the regular controller. Maybe it’s the physics or just my brain being fooled that it’s almost real. I don’t know.