Need for Speed Series Overhaul : Three For You, ‘cos One Won’t Do

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The Need for Speed series is an ailing one; Recent entries in to the franchise – Undercover, ProStreet and Carbon – have garnered neither the critical acclaim nor the momentous sales expected of them. What was once the premier name in racing games has now been relegated to the realms of mediocrity.

A change is needed, and a change is coming – EA games have told us that the series will be getting quite a substantial revamp, with the title being split into 3 separate games -  Core, Casual and “Play 4 Free”

Details on each game after the jump!

Need for Speed: Shift

Shift will be the main ticket, targeted at the core gaming audience. Forgoing its arcade background, Shift will uh…shift the focus to simulation racing. The game will have a 3D HUD that somehow simulates driver head movement, inertia and G-Force.

The game will be developed by Slightly Mad Studios, the team behind SimBin’s GTR series. This has EA marketing guy Keith Munro quite excited –

“Need for Speed Shift is amazing and I think it will blow people away,” said Munro. “The tech behind that game, the details that only a team with such racing pedigree could accomplish, and the ability to make you feel the intensity of a race is unprecedented. I can’t wait for our fans to begin experiencing it!”

Need for Speed: Shift will be available for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP

Need for Speed: Nitro

Nitro, the more casual entry will treat players to fun arcade racing, and resplendent visuals. The game will be developed by EA Montreal for Nintendo’s current home console and handheld.

Allaying fears that the game would be a Mario Kart clone, Munro states –

“…we are evolving the arcade racer with a fresh and unique visual style that is very Need for Speed. The game will be rich and deep and will appeal to experienced arcade racers as well as casual players.”

“What you’ll see is that Nitro in no way resembles any other previous Need for Speed title”

Need for Speed: World Online

The ‘Play 4 Free’ PC-specific title will, much like Battlefield Heroes, allow players to experience the game for free, with a micro-transaction model likely to be put in place. Free online games of this sort are incredibly popular in Asia, where World Online will be released first, before making the jump to the west (and then a step to the riii-iiii-iiight)

Co-developed by series Black Box and EA’s online studio in Singapore, Munro asserts that –

“This Play 4 Free action racing game will give Need for Speed fans the most licensed cars, parts and game modes ever in Need for Speed’s history.”

Will this much needed vicissitude revive the series or are its glory days on their way to being a distant memory?
Give us your thoughts in the comment section.

Source : EA Press Release & Eurogamer

Last Updated: January 30, 2009

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