Written by Gauntlet on July 04, 2016 @ 12:36 am
Ah, the latest installment in the NFS franchise! And it's allegedly designed with realistic car culture in mind! Let's see how well EA Black Box fared, shall we?
Well for starters, there's the infamous "always online" controversy. EA claims this gives you a more "immersive" game experience but really it just hinders you. If the servers are laggy or offline, it will affect your gameplay and the game even admits it. Yes, even if you're playing solo which is an option.
Gameplay itself is hit or miss. There's pretty much no reason to build a car for grip, since Ventura Bay is designed primarily for drifting and even if you max out every stat on an otherwise grip-oriented car (i.e, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX or Nissan Skyline R34), you will still slide around corners when you don't mean to. If anything grip only helps to minimize accidental fishtailing when you're trying to tackle a corner, and that requires a fair bit of knowledge of how the game works
On the other end of the spectrum, drifting is incredibly fun in this game. If you build the right drift car, you will slide around corners with ease and can shave seconds off your lap times, which is also nice. Challenging other racers is really great, too. Not only does it give more of a social aspect, it reminds me of the good old days in Need for Speed: Underground 2, which this game clearly takes a lot of inspiration from, complete with the always night setting.
With that being said, I don't mind it being always night like many players complain about. Always raining, though? Fuck that. Rain was a game changing obstacle in some games, and now that it's permanent it just gets in the way of the visuals. Guess this is why your cars are prone to sliding no matter what?
Story itself is laughably bad. Your car buddies encourage you to hoon around until some popular idols in the car community (with Ken Block being debatable) who just so happen to be in town notice you and challenge you. You can't get any more generic OR more obvious about product placement than that (your character and their friends are even drinking Monsterâ„¢ Energy Drinks!) but to be fair, lots of racing games have sponsors you can put on your cars so this isn't really something I should complain about. Eddie's Challenge is pretty lacking as well and really just appealing to fans of Underground.
Now onto the cars themselves: The selection is pretty decent albeit small. It just needs to be expanded some more with classic muscle cars and JDM cars such as the Nissan 350Z and 370Z, the DC2 Acura Integra Type-R, and the first generation Camaro. Thankfully the selection is expanded for free each update, so keep your fingers crossed. The only real problem regarding cars is three different Toyobaru models with identical stats. If one of them were a performance-tuned special edition (i.e, the Subaru STI Performance Concept or the Toyota 86 cB), it'd be more justifiable.
And Customization? It's pathetic, and supposed to be the biggest part of the game. Half of the car options are limited to Rocket Bunny/Liberty Walk crap, gigantic splitters and diffusers, and fart cans. Some of the more generous cars will grant you 2-4 front and rear bumper options each and sometimes two body kits, but that's about it. The worst offenders are the Ferrari cars who can't even be customized at all apart from one Le Mans style body kit each. Considering how controlling Ferrari is with how any type of media can use their cars, this isn't surprising.
Thankfully the wrap editor is incredible and you can paint almost everything. You can even slap stickers on the center of your windows, something I've never seen in a game before (previous games only let you add a banner on the topmost section).
Finally, the sound. One of the many things NFS games get right are engine sounds. They are authentic and equally pleasing to your ears as the game's incredible soundtrack, which features many callbacks to previous NFS games High Stakes and Most Wanted. High Stakes menu music plays in the garage and "I Am Rock" by Rock plays sometimes while driving. I think I heard Hard Drivers once too
Don't speak of the police chases. Just don't.
Nonetheless, despite its flaws, it's a great game if you're into arcade style drift-oriented gameplay, a great selection of cars with average customization, lots of social interaction, and overall reminiscent of the Underground games. If the aforementioned flaws are taken care of, this has potential to be the ultimate game for car enthusiasts, which I hope it does soon.
Overall, I'd say just play the game for yourself and see how fun it is once you're in the driver's seat.
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- Playstation 4
- Ghost Games
- Electronic Arts
- NA Release Date
- November 3, 2015
- JP Release Date
- November 12, 2015
- EUR Release Date
- November 5, 2015
- AUS Release Date
- November 5, 2015
- ESRB Rating
- PEGI Rating
- CERO Rating
- ACB Rating
- MVGL User Score
- Official Website