It feels like it’s been a while but it’s time to dive in with the next Need for Speed title. This one brings in all the exciting racing you could hope for from previous installments but the story isn’t all that good. This one is trying for an ambitious story with a lot of different group dynamics but it really never gets all that good. The first mistake was making this a more grounded live action kind of story. Give me fun graphics and an animated story any day.
The basic premise here is that you come into town and are looking for some fun racing action. You meet up a group who help you find the right tracks. From there you start racing so well that everyone wants you on their team. You have to complete missions from 5 different people and the more you complete on one side, the more the others get mad at you for always being busy. You even end up helping the Outlaws and so you’ll be in a meeting where everyone is upset at them but on the downlow you’ve actually been helping them the whole time. There’s some real drama here for sure and one character even comes close to beating you up at one point.
These driving tests and races really get personal that’s for sure. You can’t afford to let your guard down at all or you may end up in trouble. The only thing to do is to race and race hard! There are a lot of missions in this game so I wouldn’t expect to complete the game too quickly. It can be a bit tricky with the races when their cars are going super fast and likewise the group drifts can get difficult. On the whole drifts are still easier than races though. I would recommend sticking to your main car for most of the game and just upgrade it as needed. Once you see that the opponent’s cars are simply faster than yours even with max upgrades then buy the best car you can. The reason you want to hold off on buying a car right away is so that you have enough money to buy one of the top ends as opposed to a middle grade car that will only buy you some time. There’s just not a whole lot of point in doing that and then having to earn money when you can jump to the top. I did this and so I only needed to buy one really great car at the end.
Just base it all on how much faster your car is. If you’re faster then you just have to make sure not to crash and you’ll win. If you’re slower…well then there isn’t a whole lot that you can do so you may as well not worry about it and just get a good car. The money is fairly generous in this game so I wouldn’t worry too much. Additionally, the more build missions you complete, the more upgrade parts you get so that’s another thing to keep in mind. You absolutely are going to want those down the line as it is so don’t lose sight of that. If you get to level 50 then you should have all of the parts at the ready although you’ll likely beat the game well before that. I beat it at around level 44 if I remember correctly.
You can fast travel to any mission by selecting it and then scrolling right so make sure you do that. I didn’t realize you could teleport at first so I was actually just driving around instead. Teleporting is infinitely easier and more convenient. Then you just complete the missions and if at any point you think a mission is too tricky you can select a different mission instead. With 5 types to choose from it’ll be a while until you actually have to take a specific mission and by then you will likely be a lot faster than you once were.
The graphics here are really sharp. The cars and environments are absolutely high end and everything just looks really sleek and nice. You feel like you are in the car and ready to dominate at all times. The speeds you can go at without the game lagging at all is very impressive. The soundtrack is more on the underwhelming side to the point where you will want to lower the volume in the settings right away. EA has never been known for its soundtracks so that’s not a huge surprise but be that as it may you will probably still shake your head here. Either way just hearing the engine is reasonably soothing.
There is some replay value after beating the game which is to try the Eddie challenges and go after the Platinum. You don’t even need the former to obtain the latter which is interesting. Good luck finding anyone online but the offline gameplay still has a lot of races and non story content to accomplish. Considering that the main length was also rather long as well, I’d say you should be kept nice and busy here. There’s just a lot to really take in and enjoy even if the story is really weak. You are mainly here for the gameplay either way.
The difficulty can be high but it still feels fair. There is a bit of rubberbanding on the CPU side with the enemies suddenly appearing right next to you at times but for the most part I wouldn’t say that this ever becomes a big problem. If your car is faster then you will win. I have repeated this point a few times already but mainly just to emphasize how big a deal that is. Yes crashing will become easier so you better master drifting but at the end of the day if you don’t make mistakes then you’ll be good and that’s how it should be.
Overall, Need For Speed is a quality game. I look forward to seeing how Payback stacks up against this one. Will it surpass the 2015 title or will it end up being left in the dust? It may be a while before I play that one so I won’t know the answer too soon. In the meantime I am aiming for the Platinum on this one so you can probably expect to see an update within the next few days. I mainly just need to get a lot of XP to reach Level 50 and do the daily challenges and I’ll be set. I think this would be my first Need for Speed platinum as those are usually really rare.