New Anime Need for Speed ​​game is fun and nifty AF

A pink car covered in anime images drives fast through the night.

picture: EA

After it was leaked earlier this yearmany were curious about the next one Need speed obvious new direction of the game. It seemed to be a full anime, complete with cel-shaded characters. And while that’s not quite the case, NFS unbound is still a fresh and exciting change for the franchise that could help elevate it beyond its current “also ran” status among other car games.

NFS unbound, out tomorrow for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC, is the latest installment in EA’s decade-long racing franchise. Developed by former Burn out Studio criteria games, Unbound takes place in a Chicago-like city called Lakeshore and features a large open world. Racing in day and night events will earn you money and police attention. If the cops catch you before you make it back to your hideout or garage, you’ll lose all your winnings, making every race and open-world ride even more thrilling and exciting. All of this is done in an effort to pay back a racer who wronged you and your mentor, with the ultimate goal of beating him, getting your old car back, and winning a major racing tournament.

Let me just be honest here and explain that I haven’t played any Need speed since 2015 is confusingly titled Need speed. And I hardly played that. In a world with Forza, Gran Turismo, Dirt, and Network, the Need speed Series never caught my attention. but NFS unbound is different and I can’t put the controller down.

EA / criteria games

NFS unboundColorful and unique art style is not only the main reason I watch this part in the first place, but also a reason I’m having so much fun. NFS unbound mixes realistic cars with cel-shaded characters and a world that lands somewhere in between; not quite hyper-real, but not quite fully cel-shaded or cartoonish. The end result works and helps NFS unbound Stand out from other driving games that all share the same goal of rendering photorealistic cars and environments.

I also appreciated all the flourishes and colorful on-screen pops and effects that occur when you hit your NOS or jump off a ramp at high speed. NFS unbound has style and knows how to use it. Even the characters look sharp, with tons of awesome fashion and customization options on offer.

A colorful and cool looking racing game is nice and all, but if driving sucks, who cares? Lucky for NFS unbound, its driving is solid and responsive. and Unbound is flexible enough to support all kinds of riding styles. Are you someone who loves to drive sideways in every turn? You can tweak your controls and car to become a drifting machine. Or maybe you love reaching the apex of every corner and driving more like an F1 racer? Do not worry, Unbound lets you do that too. Both styles feel well supported and rewarded.

Something I really love NFS unbound and what helps set it apart from other open-world racing games, such as Forza Horizonso the game lets you work to earn fast cars and victories.

Once you finish the prologue, you’re stuck with a Junker and have to scrape together profits from small races around town to level it up. And early on, you get a lot of butt kicking. Other racers around town are just faster than you, and if they don’t eat it during a race, you probably won’t win every event. And unlike other racing games, you can’t just keep restarting until you’re first. Most events have a strict restart limit, and some don’t allow you to restart at all. And unlike many current racing games NFS unbound has no rewind button. That makes every race more exciting and nerve-wracking.

A pink car speeds down a highway behind a group of other racers.

screenshot: EA / Kotaku

Sometimes I skipped events because the buy-in was too high or I knew my current ride wasn’t up to the challenge. But for the really experienced riders out there, Unbound lets you push your luck as far as you want and rewards you when you succeed.

I’ll admit I was spinning and crashing at times, and without a reboot I was furious. It can be frustrating, especially when a random NPC driver gets you out of an event you paid for. But losing is part of the process. When you save money and upgrade your car, you win more and it feels so much more satisfying than ForzaHorizon 5 Unload 20 high-end supercars on you within the first hour of play. (I still love horizonbut I always found his progression system boring.)

Of course, the police can and will ruin all of your fun and progress, and managing your heat between events is important. Get too wreckless during the day while exploring and completing some small races, and the fluff will be harder to shake at night when the big money events are happening. And if you get caught with $20,000 in your pocket, you lose it. That can be annoying sometimes. But it’s all the more satisfying when you make it home safe and sound with all that hard-earned cash.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound The 2022 franchise is unlikely to be pulled out of the shadows of bigger, more popular racing games. But I think it has a chance to help the series stand out better. And it doesn’t matter if Unbound a big hit or not, it’s a damn good game with some great ideas that make every race more exciting and every upgrade more valuable. And it looks awesome all the time too. New Anime Need for Speed ​​game is fun and nifty AF

Curtis Crabtree

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