Need for Speed is back! After a year’s hiatus, EA’s annual racer is back, doing all it can to bring the series back to the flashy, street racing roots of one of its most successful and beloved series; Underground. With car customisation, night racing and cheesy Full Motion video, it should do just that right? Perhaps not. Here’s what critics think of the latest Need for Speed.
Gamespot – 8/10
The game is far from perfect, but it is, at points, truly exceptional. Its jaw-dropping visuals, adrenaline-pumping audio, and highly-customizable handling make screaming around the darkened streets of Ventura Bay an intense thrill. The sense of ownership that comes with tuning a single ride to perfection rather than simply grabbing the flashiest vehicle available proved tremendously rewarding. Even just the breathtaking speed of upgraded vehicles makes the driving in Need For Speed absolutely gripping. This foundation of gratifying gameplay anchors the experience, while the rest of Need For Speed’s specifics run the gamut from equally outstanding to smash-your-controller frustrating.
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.
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.
USgamer – 4.5/5
Need for Speed returns to its urban car culture roots with a gorgeous-looking, very well designed game that offers five different racing styles to tackle – and a bevy of interesting cars to modify and make your own. Its story is a lot of fun, and it’s set in an impressively large environment that is very enjoyable to drive around. A great arcade racer that’s both challenging and addictive.
God is a geek – 6.5/10
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.
The biggest drawbacks appear to be its always online nonsense (when will EA learn?) and that it’s just playing it safe. If you love Need for Speed’s brand of arcade racing, you may get a kick out of it, but it’s nowhere near revolutionary. We’ll have our own review soon.
Last Updated: November 3, 2015