Need for Speed
Game review on PlayStation 4
Sam Heatley / Sat 16th Jan 2016
356 views / 15 bites
OVERVIEW Need for Speed is an exhilarating ride that overcomes it's minor flaws with great gameplay.
Taking place on the streets of Ventura Bay, a city modelled after Los Angeles, is the clunky story of Need for Speed. The unnamed character joins a ragtag group of street racers wanting to be noticed by their idols. Through various races and challenges, the player has to prove that he can beat the best.
While Need for Speed is not a story-driven game, there should be more for players to invest in. The goofy acting during the live action sequences makes the game feel awkward. These scenes often fail at delivering a cohesive plot as they are also short. By the end of the game, the player cares more about their car then what has happened.
This is where the game shines. From the beginning, the player can customise their car to the style they like, in order to win. There is no hand holding. By changing the handling style, the car will become better at certain races like drifting or time attacks and worse in others. Having a balanced car is not always the way forward. It is encouraged, by the game, to have more than one car so the player can be competitive.
In order to progress, the player must earn reputation and money to open more races, car parts and story; there are multiple paths to achieve this. The player can focus on what they are good at. Although, it is recommended to be able to drift to compete in the final races of the game.
One of the disappointing parts of the game is how the courses are highlighted. Without constant reference to the small mini-map, it is difficult to follow the blue arrows that direct the way. As the game is mostly based at night, obstacles and corners are even harder to see and can cause an unnecessary restart. Besides some small flaws, most of the game is well balanced and fun.
Ventura Bay is a gorgeous city, with wet roads that reflect the light from street lamps and buildings, the city has immense detail for a place that is never physically explored. The city is believable as it is all unique despite the absence of traffic.
There are a lot of options to customise your vehicle from decals, logos and specific types of paint. After that, there are physical alterations like rims, spoilers and so much more. It is only limited by imagination and the money you have earned.
A great soundtrack is key to any Need for Speed game and they have nailed it. Each track adds to the heart racing suspense while travelling around the city. If only there were more songs that could be added. Cars sound mostly great to the untrained ear and changes can be heard as they are upgraded.
The acting is cheesy and is a minor let-down for the game. Some of the lines are cringe-worthy but thankfully can be skipped to go back to the action.
It's irritating that the game is online only, relying on EA servers and the PlayStation Network to be available for the game makes it unreliable. Often, the game had to be closed and restarted as no new missions became available after completing them all. The racetrack would also disappear due to server lag, leaving no choice but to restart the race. With the PS4 version, there were also minor framerate drops.
Need for Speed is successful in recapturing the arcade magic of previous entries like Underground and Most Wanted. With some tweaking, this franchise could become even better. There is nothing better than racing at nail biting speeds in a visually pretty city.
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