- Need For Speed Heat. Picture courtesy of VideoGamer.com


Is it so difficult to make a good racing game?

1y ago

Here is something you won’t believe. Need for Speed (NFS) is now as old as the Foo Fighters. The franchise has been around for 26 years with 27 titles under their belt (this does not include some of the spin-off titles). However, after the recent release of NFS: Heat, one would ask, can NFS make a good game?

Hear me out. I have played almost every entry in the NFS franchise until the 2015 reboot, which was considered a huge let down in the series. After the release of Payback, I stopped playing NFS (In fact, I did not even play Payback after reading reviews of how bad the game was). Payback was flat-out awful in every way. And then there was Heat, which was able to rectify some of the gameplay mechanics (that were found on Payback) in a way to try to gain some credibility in the franchise. But despite the improvement, it failed to convince me to buy the game. Why? It’s nowhere near as good as Most Wanted or even Hot Pursuit. So, what happened?

I could blame Electronic Arts for the declining quality of the NFS games, which is sort of obvious just by looking at their business practices. I could also blame the developer, Ghost Games (now known as EA Gothenburg), which is a disappointment as the team consist of employees who were from other game developers that specialised in arcade racing games. That puzzled me because with that much experience, how could they possibly drop the ball to make a good NFS game.

Fortunately, as reported in February 2020, the NFS franchise has been taken over by Criterion. This is a good move as I considered them the kings of arcade racing game genre with the Burnout series. They even make two NFS games (2010’s Hot Pursuit and 2012’s Most Wanted), which myself (as well as other gamers) considered to the best of the franchise.

I’m delighted that Criterion will be developing a new NFS game because right now, we need more exciting arcade racing games that use real-world cars instead of Mario Kart (which has become the standard response when one mentions ‘arcade racing’) which I am sick of hearing, and NFS has every opportunity to do that. Because I think they are the only racing game that includes action-packed cop chases, which make the game that much special. It’s just that the game has to be executed properly.

Take away Mario Kart and look at what racing games do we have now. Midnight Club is no more as Rockstar Games is busy with Grand Theft Auto. Burnout is down to just re-releasing Burnout: Paradise on the current-gen systems (I highly recommend this game). Forza Horizon was good, but it is more like Top Gear/The Grand Tour amusement park, driving real-world cars around amazing roads. It’s like a theme park without roller-coasters.

Forza Horizon is a great game. But, it is more of a Top Gear amusement park, without the roller-coasters.

Forza Horizon is a great game. But, it is more of a Top Gear amusement park, without the roller-coasters.

Sure, there are other racing games such as the Formula 1 series, Project Cars, Dirt Rally, and Asserto Corsa but unless you are into F1 or have the patience to learn the racing line, I would not recommend this to a casual racing fan.

NFS is a roller coaster. The thrill of driving a Lamborghini at the absolute limit on open roads while having the sense of danger getting chase by the police as they throw helicopters, roadblocks and spike strips to stop you. You feel you are the bad guy as you try to battle police cars and other racers to reach the finish line. I’m sure anyone who is into racing games agreed that NFS is the only game that does cop chases perfectly.

So, let’s just hope that the new NFS game will be good, considering that the franchise is in good hands. Otherwise, it is time for EA to retire the franchise.

So, what are you thoughts about the Need for Speed franchise? Sound off in the comments below

Join In

Comments (2)

  • A few things, to think that most wanted 2012 was one of the best Need for speeds, is quite simply mindboggling and to be honest as intelligent as replacing your cars motor oil with olive oil. The game was a complete copycat of burnout paradise although that game was excellent, it made most wanted feel rushed and not like a real need for speed game. EA are the real people to blame as MW 2012 was going to be something different but EA had other thoughts and finally, just because some reviewer didn't like a certain game it doesn't mean that you should too. Heat, payback and 2015 were very harshly criticised yes they weren't perfect but they were still very enjoyable games (especially heat).

      1 year ago
  • I love Heat, it's a great game. It kinda feels like its heading back to NFS's roots in the golden age with Carbon, MW (not the shit one), and the Underground series. MW 2012 was a terrible NFS game, it should've been a Burnout game, that's all I'm going to say about that. What the fans really want is remasters of the old games. Underground and Underground 2, Most Wanted, and Carbon. HP was fun, but it wasnt a very good game. If you like that sort of game, go play Burnout and leave NFS alone. Payback wasnt too bad tbh, it was definatley getting back on the right path, and I think they hit it right on the money with Heat.

    Go back and play some of the old NFS games, MW (again, not the shit one) and Carbon specifically, I'll use Carbon as an example. You start off with your super awesome M3 GTR, but then your good friend Cross shows up. You're introduced to Daruis and Niki, then Neville and you choose your first car. Eventually you find out what really happened on the Fateful Night, and your suspicion of Darius slowly grows as you concour Carbon City and get more crew. Eventually, you have the whole truth, you know Darius was the one who stole the money you were blamed for. Darius' car allowed you to escape the race, and it was a means for you to run away (presumably to Rockport, I'm not 100% sure tho) with the bag that everyone though contained the money.

    Heat uses the same principals, the mounting hate of the antagonist through out the game eventually leads to you taking them down. Payback tried to do the same thing, but it didn't work with the whole 3 main character thing. They just need to remaster the old awesome games and everyone will be happy.

    I want another NFS game, but not a shitty one like MW 2012, that game was ass. It was good for a Burnout game, but it never should've been allowed to tarnish the Need For Speed name. I'd rather they spend another few months or a year even developing a proper NFS game then release another steaming pile like MW 2012.

      1 year ago