“Ask any racer. Any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” – Dominic Toretto, The Fast and the Furious
Need for Speed – A name and brand synonymous with nostalgia, disappointment, love, and sometimes hate.
From its humble beginnings in 1994, running on the mythical DOS, to Need for Speed: Porsche, and yes, that would be a racing game based entirely around one manufacturer – imagine that. Then we jump to Hot Pursuit 2, where the series combined cutting edge graphics, high octane police chases as well as racing, sometimes all at once. Nothing was more unsettling than being ambushed by the Police in a Lamborghini while you were trundling along in your newly unlocked Jaguar. Ah yes, we’ve got the need for speed alright.
But, to the matter at hand – Need for Speed (2015). The spiritual successor to the Underground series, Most Wanted, Carbon and Hot Pursuit is what most fans (we brave few) of the series wish it to be. We want it to be just that, not just some reboot from the dark recesses of the gaming Archives. What we hope it won’t be is along the lines of Undercover, NFS: World, The Run (vomit), Most Wanted (2012) or Rivals. Ugh, so many iterations of a game that started out so well and ended up dangerously close to the scrapyard.
Truthfully, yes the Need for Speed series has had more hits than duds, but this dark cloud that the series is desperately trying to come out of has appeared mostly because these duds have followed in quick succession over the recent years. Coupled with a slew of competitors in the Racer genre, they now have to battle with the mighty beast that is nostalgia.
You might be wondering why Prostreet, Shift or Shift 2 haven’t been mentioned. Well if you’ve been living under a rock you know well enough why those monstrosities have been omitted from these paragraphs, aside from this one of course. These pitiful entries in the series are frowned upon and unmentionable because EA and Ghost Games have made it clear through game play trailers, an extensive demo and Beta, that their latest installment would resemble the good old racing days that long-time fans crave. A well-tuned (get it?) Racer with extensive user controlled customization set in a nocturnal cityscape with a vigilant police force to challenge your reflexes and skill. Because really, what better feeling is there than dropping 50 large or more into a car, and then getting your satisfaction not only by ruling the streets, but also by being able to outrun the police at the push of a button.
We’ve waited for days like this for a few years now. The feverish days when Need for Speed “challenged everything” and brought a much needed adrenaline rush into our lives. By the looks of things, it would seem that they’ve done their utmost to do exactly that with this new entry, or reboot. Whatever it is, it looks good, and we can’t wait any longer. The Need for Speed is almost here. Can you feel it? We certainly can.