I have always had a secret obsession for racing cars, not so much the ones you find on racing tracks around the world with supercars and sponsored teams but more of the street racing ones. After all, here on the Singapore Streets, there is only so much you can do without breaking the speed limit. Thus you can imagine my joy when the car list for Ghost Games and Electronic Arts’ reboot of Need For Speed includes the likes of the Honda Civic Type-R, the Mazda RX7 Spirit R, the Nissan Silvia Spec-R and my personal favourite, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR.
If there is one thing that wowed me straight away upon popping the game into my PlayStation 4 (PS4) is how developers Ghost Games have worked the PS4’s graphical powers into the game. Just like watching a scene out of recent racing genre movies, the action is fast and furious as with frame rates keeping up to display effects like water droplets giving the car bodies that shinny feel from the street lighting. Sure it can get overly realistic sometimes but hey, I am not complaining about pushing my PS4 to make my tuned up car shine while I drift round the corner on a wet rainy day.
Sound wise, I would suggest those who has hooked up their PS4 to high end loud sound systems to tone down the volume first before moving it up to comfortable levels as it can get quite loud, especially if you stay in a HDB with sensitive neighbours. Again this is not a bad thing especially if you been track side to hear the Mercedes AMG engines roar. From the tuned engines for performance to the gears slamming, Need For Speed has another thing right in this reboot.
Sadly the thing that led the game down is the single player portion. Maybe the standard for racing storylines have been pushed too far up thanks to movies and anime such as Fast and Furious and Initial D, both which makes heavy use of street racing background and the tuned up cars. The length of it is rather short as well and thankfully as well with the cut scenes which has many facepalm incidents. Thankfully all these are often forgotten once you hit the streets in your tuned up car.
Car customisation is a double edged sword in Need For Speed. For those who want to spend more time racing and less time worrying about the nitty gritty, this is the game for you as customising is straight forward. For those expecting a Grand Turismo detailed tuning session, sorry you are not going to find it here.
Overall it is an encouraging take by Ghost Games and Electronic Arts on this long standing series. While Need For Speed is still far for being that perfect ride that every Racing fan of the series is looking for, this is one game worth considering to pick up for the Christmas season.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2015