Electronic Arts is pushing this year’s Need for Speed as a big refresh for the series. Not just a yearly update, but something new and different. Developer Ghost Games has been slowly trickling out screens, trailers, and bits of information, but a big FAQ posted this week answers a whole bunch of questions at once.
There are, first, a couple things some gamers won’t be very pleased with. The game appearing on consoles will be locked to 30 frames per second. With the great-looking effects we’ve seen in the trailers so far, I’m really not surprised. The framerate on the delayed PC version will be unlocked, though. The game will require an Internet connection to play, but does not require an Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus paid subscription for single player.
There is, however, some good news. There will be no microtransactions. The FAQ says it as simply as that, with no room for wiggling out. Ghost also says they “currently have no plays for any paid DLC,” but that they plan to release a series of free content updates for the game. The company is built primarily out of veterans of Criterion, the team that built the Burnout series, and I can’t help but think of Burnout Paradise, a game that still stands as one of the best examples of post-release support for a game even seven years later. There is a pre-order bonus, but it consists of a few in-game parts and decals and seems to be a one-size-fits-all-retailers incentive that doesn’t significantly affect gameplay. It seems more like – get this – a bonus for pre-ordering, rather than content held hostage to trigger gamers’ fear of missing out.
As for gameplay, Ghost has confirmed that in the game of cops and robbers that is Need for Speed, we’ll only be playing as the robbers (or at least reckless drivers). Each player will be able to own just five cars at a time in the game, though all cars will be available from the beginning, gated only by money earned in-game. The reasoning behind the five car limit, Ghost says, is that they “believe in creating a bond and relationship with your cars. It’s about finding a ride and taking it from stock, to stock plus awesome through some of the deepest customization in Need for Speed history.” The idea of pushing for deeper customization rather than just mass car collection, as these sorts of games often devolve into, seems like an interesting take that I’m eager to learn more about.
Need for Speed looks like a departure from the norm in many ways. Even though a few of the technical aspects may not please some fans, other elements are encouraging.
Need for Speed hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 3 and PC next Spring.