Need for Speed

Need For Speed Strives For Perfection In Reboot
by Matthew Kato on May 21, 2015 at 06:03 AM
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Ghost Games
Rating: Teen
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Need for Speed franchise has taken some time off since 2013's Rivals title, so it seems fitting that Ghost Games' new title in the series is a reboot simply titled Need for Speed. The game is scheduled to come out this year for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and serves as a chance for the studio to reconnect with the car-culture community.

"I think some fans would like to see us just carry on a continuation of what Rivals was," Marcus Nilsson, Ghost Games' executive producer told us. "It was a good game, to some degree a great game, but at the same time, from what I think is the perfect Need for Speed experience, I don't think it was that."

Although many of the fundamental aspects of the series will remain – cops, the AllDrive online feature set, a story-based experience, and racing tailor-made for drifting around corners and pushing your car to the edge – Nilsson believes that getting in touch with car culture, and car customization in particular, is what the franchise has been missing.

Nilsson says that the developer has heard as much from fans, and for this reboot Ghost Games is working closely with the Speedhunters website and community. It's an EA site, but it's not about games, it's a place where people show off and talk about their custom rides, cars, and news throughout the racing world. Ghost has used Speedhunters before, but Nilsson says this is the first time the two have truly collaborated.

Ghost Games isn't spilling all the beans on what you'll be able to customize on your cars, but it is saying that it will broadly cover their handling, performance, and looks.

Car customization isn't the only thing Ghost is touting for this reboot. Nilsson says AllDrive is coming back and aims to be better at allowing friends to find each other and remain playing together, and he says the open world is "substantially much bigger." There's a story you can latch onto throughout, but Nilsson also promises more variety and "systematic game design pulling you in different directions, giving you interesting choices what you want to do at any given time."

None of this represents a huge 180-degree turn for the franchise, but given the struggles the studio itself has gone through since finishing Rivals, having more time to focus on the core principles of the franchise is a good move for all. This is something Nilsson says Electronic Arts fully supported. "Getting buy-in from the wider company on that was a big win for us," he says.

Need for Speed comes out for the new-gen systems and PC this fall.