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Need For Speed (PS4) if only it played as good as it looked EA arcade racer is revamped for the current gen consoles, but is this really the best way to restart such an important series? Need For Speed is boring and slow. We hate to ruin the suspense of the rest of the review like that, but for a racing game that a pretty big problem. In oakley xs o frame mx goggles fact we not quite sure how you make an arcade racer like Need For Speed without ensuring that the words and are the very last thing you ever associate with it. And yet here we are with a franchise reboot that rather than being a steady foundation for future sequels already feels like a Jenga tower in mid collapse. For the first time in over a decade there was no Need For Speed game last year. This was supposed to allow developer Ghost Games extra time to create a reboot of the series, built solely with the current generation consoles in mind. Thanks to some of the pre annoucement teasers it was initially mistaken for a new entry in the long lost Underground sub series, but it actually meant to encompass the best elements of all of the Need For Speed games. You know, except for being boring and slow. The problem with trying to be all things to all racers is that the game immediately lacks focus. The city of Ventura Bay is open world, but we already seen that in numerous other Need For Speed games and there nothing in the geography or design that stands out as new or interesting. Especially because the game takes itself that bit more seriously, and so there none of the implausible jumps or billboard destruction of Most Wanted just simple shortcuts and equally unexciting collectibles. One of the most fundamental problems with the racing though is the absurd levels of rubber band artificial intelligence, the likes of which we haven seen since Mario Kart 64. It physically impossible to get any kind of a lead on computer controlled cars, as the game just magically teleports them back behind you when you not looking. Which was frustrating 19 years ago and seems absurdly archaic today. The handling model is fine, if highly simplistic, and the drifting in particular is a lot of fun even if the rubber banding means it often difficult to judge overtaking. The graphics, and we assume this is what the developer has been spending most of the last 24 months doing, are excellent. In screenshots, and carefully edited videos, they look amazing and genuinely photorealistic. In the game though it entirely irrelevant how pretty they are because there so little sense of speed to any of the cars. Even with the equally excellent sound design. Maybe it the fact that the game is always set at night (sometimes it gets as far as pre dawn but then immediately switches back to night again), and so there not actually that much traffic on the roads, but none of the cars ever seem to move nearly as fast their accelerometers are pretending. Filling the city with online players is also something other racers, including other Need For Speed games, have been doing for years now. As is the concept of forming and racing as a team. As such, the most distinctive element of Need For Speed online features is that it has to be online at all times or the game simply won work. Even if you said you don want to play with other people. There is zero benefit to this for you as a player, and considerable disadvantage if your Internet connection, or EA servers, happen to fritz out for a second and you lose your progress. This is exactly what always happens when a company tries something like this, so why EA would want to create such a rod for their back we have no idea. But as you might be gathering there not a lot in this game that makes much sense. And just to make things even worse there a real lack of variety or imagination in the multiplayer modes anyway, with fan favourites such as capture the flag and drag racing conspicuous by their absence. What also weird is watching other players zoom around engaged in their own races that you can see, which completely breaks the sense of immersion that was presumably the whole point in oakley xs o frame snow goggles the first place. Need For Speed (PS4) always online is always a bad idea In terms of what else it takes from other Need For Speed games the police are easily ignored (and often ignore you) and their attempts to interfere with an in progress race rarely amounts to more than a minor irritation. Oh, and there are live action cut scenes as well. We almost forgot. They are, of course, embarrassingly awful and although that seems to be on purpose we have no idea why EA thought that would be something people would want. Especially the way the fifth rate Fast and Furious wannabes are always calling you up during a race to bombard you with banal taunts and plot points. The only thing the game really gets right is reintroducing the customisation options from the Underground games. Obviously this isn technically anything new either, but the mix of performance and customisation options is extremely impressive and second only to the Forza series. But that only adds to our confusion as to why EA didn just go ahead and make Need For Speed: Underground 3. Which, unlike live action cut scenes and always online multiplayer, is something that fans have been actively calling for. For a reboot Need For Speed seems worryingly confused about its identity and purpose, and rather than a fresh start this just feels like another stalled entry. In Short: A tragically misjudged series reboot that gets all of the fundamentals wrong, while adding absolutely nothing new to the franchise except flashier graphics. Pros: The graphics and sound are amazing when viewed separately from the rest of the game. The drifting is fun and so too are the customisation options. Cons: The races are horribly boring, in terms of their design, the rubber band AI, and the poor sensation of speed. Boring city design and self destructive always online requirement.

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