The classic Need for Speed receives a reboot, due for release in November 2015
This hotly anticipated, upcoming reboot of the classic sandbox, arcade style racer game is aimed by developers Electronic Arts (EA) at taking the franchise back to its roots, although it is the first totally next generation game in the Need for Speed franchise. The game occurs in a thinly disguised version of Los Angeles, called Ventura Bay. All scenes occur after dark, giving the open setting a menacing, nocturnal feel to its ambiance. In the developer EA's own words, the city "Only comes alive at night" with tight cornered, dramatic fast races set after sundown.
The game play will offer five "ways to play" with (obviously enough) speed being the principal method of creating the "perfect need for speed moment". Rewards will also be offered for stylish drifting and impressive looking maneuvers. As expected, police chases and car customisation will be also included in the release.
The options of customisation available should appeal to game players (and real life car enthusiasts) of different tastes and generations. Cars can be modified to earlier eras when they appeared to grip the pavement, or the machines built with an emphasis on drifting. There is a built in option to personalize the player's handling style, using a "Grip versus Drift Slider" menu to make the game play very accessible.
The multiplayer function is called the "8 player rep attack" and demands the pinnacle of skill based driving that recent sandbox racing games have honed among racing fans. This mode enables players earn points towards their desired rep when competing against 7 other players at Rep Attack. Points can be accrued by hair raising near miss car maneuvers and slick drifting. When the 8 player match is over, there is still time to accumulate points by luring police vehicles into a pursuit sequence or free styling roaming and drifting.
Visually, the nocturnal setting of Need For Speed's Ventura Bay can seem a little isolated, although a touch of realistic context is added by the light refraction from street lighting and other car headlights. Overall this iteration of the Need For Speed franchise should please fans on its release and also catch the attention of new players looking for high octane driving thrills.