Need for Speed @ Gamescom 2015
August 13th 2015
Written by F. Rick Reich (http://www.twitter.com/RickNFS)
I want to start with a little recap of the past 5 days. If you want to just read about the new Need For Speed, feel free to scroll down.
First things first, When I arrived on Wednesday, I went to the EA Community Lounge straight on. I Was kind of lost, because even though this was my 7th time at GamesCom, I did not know the new Community Lounge. When I finally found it, it was packed with people that I did not know. No wonder as Andreas Koch (the orchestrator of things over there) told us that he sent out over 1700 invitations this year.
After a while, I dropped into a conversation with some people and finally met the one or other familiar face. After introducing myself to Ben Walke, our new Community Manager, I met Lukas of NFS-Serie.at, who helped me with this Article. (Which is also making me change perspective of this article and change to â€žWEâ€œ from here on out.)
We gathered information about the new Need for Speed like our life depended on it! Asked people, shared details and harassed Ben to give us more. Wow, must we have been annoying!
Playing the Game
After we all got drunk on Wednesday evening, we finally played the pre-alpha of the game on Thursday. The setup was a PS4 demo and began with the tuning of one of 5 cars. Selections included the Nissan 180SX (S13) Type-X, Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (C10), Subaru BRZ Premium (2014), a random Porsche and the Ford Mustang GT (2015), wich is the one I took for a spin.
When you hear visual tuning in any recent Need for Speed title, you think "Yay! Okay…let's change the body color and go on with it…" but not in this one! Color means you can slide off the 16 million color field and set the reflection, metallic shine and smoothness.
As we went for visual tuning, we noticed that the interface is extremely intuitive. You point the cursor at the area you want to change and go wild. As the amount of fantasy- and licensed car-parts goes into the gazillions.
Your name on the license plate? CHECK.
Want a Spoiler, or two? CHECK.
Want to change the Bodykit? CHECK.
want to change the Front Bumper, hood or the rear bumper? TRIPPLE CHECK.
Want to change the rims? OH MY - we got blown away…Not only can you change the rims of the front and back apart from each other. No, you can change multiple color areas, the size, the stance and also the brake calipers and disks of em!
Performance tuning is also included, but it was grayed out so we can't tell you much about it.
When the timer hit zero, the game went into a race, with all 8 seats in the EA Community Lounge NFS Section competing against each other. The graphics looked fantastic, the physics and the vibe made us feel home instantly.
Ventura Bayâ€™s nightlife felt beautifully vivid and reminded us a lot on the Real LA, which it is based on. Frostbite3 owned the composition: The cars, the flashing police lights and the lights and sounds of the environment dropped us into a breath-taking driving adventure from dusk till dawn right at our fingertips. Sadly we only saw a small part of the map, wich is meant to be twice as big as the one in Rivals.
First it was a bit hard to get the controls right. But since we could change the whole controlâ€™s feeling to our liking by using a slider that goes from Drift to Grip, we could just adjust and go on with the fun. Wellâ€¦a few seconds into the race - not long before the police actually busted me, I ran into a traffic car and found out that the Crash cam part of NFS. I did not do a too good job, to be honest. I came in 7th, Lukas did a way better job.
After the race finished, the game dropped us out at a cross-section in free roam mode. Each direction gave us a different event, either Sprint or Drift. Hitting the events without changing the camera perspective was quite a task, but this might be changed until the gameâ€™s release. Drifting was super-fun! The cars control is so arcade that you can feel the adrenaline rushing through your chest without hitting a wall. The drift-cam is a little annoying, but it can be turned off.
We have been told that there will also be other game modes to be played right on the map, Apart from drifting, sprint and circuit races. There will also be Time trials, Canyon races and the outrun mode, wich works seamlessly with your online friends.
On Friday, at noon we went into a special presentation of the game. The premise was to be able to ask questions to James Mouat, the Lead Designer and other people involved into the production of NFS2015. But what we witnessed was one of the funniest adventures I (Rick) have ever had at GamesCom. Apart from a pink Car that a lovely lady created for us in the game, and a crash, we met Ken Block and Magnus Walker personally. We asked them questions and even took photos with them. what a blast!
James told us that the idea of merging Real-life action footage with game world fits perfectly to the 15-hour story line, laid out in 5 different arcs. Each arc following one of the 5 icons: Magnus Walker, Ken Block, Nakai-San, Risky Devil, Morohoshi-San. He told us that you can play the whole game with your favorite car (maybe even your starter car) by tuning it. Also, he told us that the multiplayer mode and Autolog are going to be seamlessly integrated into the online world of the freedom map.
Ken told us that he loved driving the Hoonicorn in the game as Damaging the car in real life would break his heart. Magnus told us that you can actually find his garage on the map.
Other information we gathered where that there will be no way of sharing tuning setups at release, but that this might come in later. That there will be a wide collection of cars from Tuners, Exotics, Muscles and even Dailies. That the full car list will be released in september and that they might get away from the yearly sequel model for new NFS games.
After the presentation was over, we went outside. We had hours of fun with Rick Taylor, the community manager of Battlefield and eventually got drunk again - but that is a different story.
Need for Speed comes out on November 3rd, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and it comes in 2 versions. The standard Game and the jam-packed Deluxe Edition. It brings you a set of exclusive stickers, spoilers, rims and splitters. Plus high performance parts, a lifetime discount on all items using in-game currency. And if that ain't enough, it summons the infamous BMW E46 M3 Most Wanted as a starter car!
In Closing, this is NOT â€žUnderground 3â€œ but this is the perfect sequel if you liked Underground to Carbon and want the tuning and gameplay of these games, mixed with nowadays technologies and Vaughn Gittin Jr. Cameos!