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Need for Speed – Is The Reboot Worth A Spin?

Need for Speed screen

Has Need for Speed caught up to its prestigious roots or does the reboot lag behind the competition?

With a series that’s as long-running as Need for Speed, it’s no surprise that it’s taken on many different forms. It’s gone from racing rare cars on rural highways to customizing tuners on crowded city streets. It’s been entirely cartoony in games like Nitro and taken a stab at track day realism in Shift. Now Ghost, the studio currently handling the franchise, has determined to define the essence of the series, plotting a course for games to come with this year’s reboot, simply titled Need for Speed.

But is it any good? International gaming publications and critics have given Need for Speed the road test, so let’s see what they have to say:

GameSpot – 8/10

“I did notice a small but forgivable handful of framerate drops during my playtime on the PS4, and the game’s always-online setup meant I could never truly pause the game. If you ever need to quickly pause the action to, say, answer your phone or stop your cat from destroying your furniture, you simply can’t unless you’re willing to lose whatever event you’re playing. I was also disconnected from EA’s servers anytime I was away from the game for even a brief period, which led to the unnecessary hassle of reconnecting just to continue playing by myself. Still, none of that – including the unfortunate difficulty spike I experienced – was enough to ruin Need For Speed’s stunning world, rewarding progression system, and exhilarating driving mechanics. Your move, Vin Diesel.”

Gametrailers – 8.3

“2015’s Need for Speed is in many ways more grounded than other recent entries. You don’t throw spike strips at each other and you don’t jump off buildings. It’s more about the inherent excitement of dodging traffic and drifting down the side of a mountain. The customization features are a welcome return, and the five-layered career lets you play with different approaches to driving. Some aspects of Need for Speed could use more variety, but it’s a solid foundation to move the series forward.”

EGM – 7/10

“You’d be hard pressed to find an automaker willing to take an extra year to reset their car line much like Ghost Games did here with their second run on Need for Speed. What we get is a more focused and competent racer but one seemingly unwilling to risk standing out from the crowd.”

Shacknews – 6/10

“For taking a year off to work on this Need for Speed, I was hoping Ghost Games would have given its reboot a more noteworthy return. While Ventura Bay looks good and the game has plenty of missions and side missions to complete, the constant distractions I felt while playing it kept me away from enjoying it as much as I have previous iterations of the franchise. If you’re a long-time fan of the series, you’ll find something to enjoy here, but if this is your first time behind the wheel, you’re going to want sit this one out and check out some of previously released Need for Speed titles.”

God Is a Geek – 6.5/10

“It sounds like I’m being incredibly harsh on Need for Speed, but it just doesn’t do enough to truly excite. It’s a perfectly serviceable racer with great looks (which is expected from racers nowadays), plenty of customisation options, and passable driving, but it’s a real shame that latest reboot of this franchise had the hallmarks of the greats in the series’ past and could have been truly special. While it’s not bad by any means, it’s just plain old “decent”, and that’s not really enough with the competition out there.”

Destructoid – 6/10

“When you factor in Need for Speed’s forgettable story, you’re left with a slightly above average racing game that’s not as enjoyable as past series entries. From a pure gameplay perspective, it works, but it never manages to elevate itself. If you’re in the mood for a new cinematic racer though, you could do a whole lot worse.”

Need for Speed screenshot

USGamer – 4.5/5

“Ultimately, Ghost Games has very successfully rebooted Need for Speed. By going back to its roots, and focusing on what made the series great during its heyday, the Swedish studio has created a simple, straightforward racer with five interesting facets that challenge your racing prowess in different ways. It can be tough at times, but the game is solid, addictive, and looks absolutely stunning.”

IGN – 6.3/10

“Need for Speed looks the part, sounds the part, and is surprisingly reverent to real-world car culture. I like the direction Ghost has taken here, and I think it’s the right one, but beneath its flashy exterior it’s not quite firing on all cylinders.”

Videogamer – 5/10

“So, in a roundabout (none of those in this game) way, Need For Speed is a success. It does exactly what it sets out to do. But what it sets out to do is boring, bland, unimaginative and thoroughly dull. It’s sometimes fun, very pretty, and enables you to plaster stickers of dogs all over your newly-pink Mustang, and it’s riddled with great ideas like the fine online challenges with friends and enemies alike, annoying connectivity issues aside. But it meanders, settling on a rhythm that can only be described as ‘safe’, not pushing the player to be anything other than adequate. I adored NFS: Hot Pursuit, I got a lot of fun from Most Wanted, I even didn’t totally hate Rivals – so it saddens me to say that, at the end of the day (which is always the time in Ventura Bay) Need For Speed just isn’t that good.”

Need for Speed screenshot 2

Well there we have it. Will you be picking up Need for Speed this month? Let us know in the comments section below…

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