Criterion Games will be making Need for Speed again

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jsmith79327

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#1  Edited By jsmith79327

https://www.ign.com/articles/burnout-studio-returns-to-take-the-need-for-speed-series-into-the-next-gen

I find this very interesting. For years I’ve been saying that ghost games just isn’t getting the job done with these games... rivals, reboot and payback didn’t do it for me in so many ways. So when I heard about NFS:Heat, I didn’t really have high hopes, but after playing for just a an hour or so, i knew that Ghost had finally made a very fun and exciting need for speed game. That game sucked me in and about 30 hours later, I walked away feeling very impressed with what ghost games did, including fun driving/turning controls, a story so laughably stupid that it was actually brilliant, and the entire feel of the game world felt so nice that I didn’t want to stop driving around it. Nothing was more intense than having a 5 star wanted level and your trying to sneak through the trees, dodging cops to make it to your safe house, knowing if you get caught you might lose all the xp you’ve earned. I now found myself looking forward to seeing what a Ghost Games , that finally figured their shit out, would do next, and I guess it’s a shame that we won’t see what that is. It’s hard not to be excited though to see what criterion will do with this franchise again, 2010 hot pursuit and 2012 most wanted were brilliant games. I know the article says criterion scaled down years ago and has mostly been a support studio, so I don’t know what they will look like as I assume they will be beefing back up due to their new project, but I’m optimistic that with the name Criterion, as a long time burnout fan/ fan of those couple NFS games they made, it will be something to be be excited about!

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Casepb

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They need to go back to Burnout. Why does EA hate it so much? I think there is more of a demand than they realize.

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jsmith79327

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@casepb: They could make Need for Speed: Burnout! I would be very excited for that

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Shindig

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I'll guess that EA really value racing games with real brands and vehicles. You cannot bring those to the table with Burnout.

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jsmith79327

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@shindig: true, I forget that these brands aren’t too keen on seeing their cars being smashed into smithereens lol

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notnert427

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#7  Edited By notnert427

The last good NFS game was the 2012 Most Wanted, IMO. It was basically Burnout meets NFS, which was unsurprisingly a solid choice for the Burnout team that's making an NFS game. However, the later games somewhat lost their focus, and I'm not sure how many people with Criterion from the Burnout days are even still at EA. I seem to recall some of the former devs making a few attempts at a Burnout game on their own recently. Still, I think this is welcome news from a franchise that has been fairly aimless as of late because Criterion still has some talented folks there.

I've actually thought a lot about NFS and the decline of the racing genre in general. Back in the 2000s, there were all kinds of racing games. Arcade racing had standouts like PGR and Burnout. Rally racing had games like Rallisport Challenge and DiRT. Sim racing had Forza and Gran Turismo. The NFS games somewhat rotated between games centered around F&F-style street racing, scenic open-road supercar cop chases, and the occasional foray into sim territory, with a few great examples of each in their heyday. This was probably the golden age of the racing game in general, and definitely the golden age for NFS.

Fast forward a decade. The 2010s proved to be a very different landscape. Forza wisely decided to branch out from being just a very good sim racer into something far less niche with the Forza Horizon games, and those have become virtually perfect to the point of it being a fool's errand to even try to make a Horizon-like (several have tried, NFS included). Meanwhile, Gran Turismo lost its way around GT5 and began dragging its feet on releases and ultimately got very up its own ass. The non-AAA racer is pretty much dead, outside of the occasional gem like Wreckfest and some ultra-niche stuff like iRacing.

NFS spent most of the decade putting out a slew of very forgettable games that tried to be too many things at once and did none of those things notably well. I honestly confuse all of the games that happened after 2012 Most Wanted with each other. I think there was Rivals, Heat, a "reboot", and some other shit I've forgotten. I suspect I'm not alone there in viewing them all through the same "meh" lens of apathy, and that ain't great. Which begs the question, what at this point can or should NFS do to regain some former glory?

The answer, IMO, is both simple and complicated. The simple part is that NFS needs to focus on doing one thing well, and if they're putting the Burnout team behind it, let them make a Burnout-like. Give them the time and the budget to make it the absolute best one of those that they can. I can't even fathom how much money and resources were basically lit on fire as they threw shit at a wall hoping it would stick for most of the 2010s, so it arguably makes more sense to "go big" on one game. Taking a few years off to make people potentially miss the series couldn't hurt, either.

The complicated part is that even if they absolutely kill it, it may not be enough. Convincing the public that THIS game is the one after crying wolf with the last several is an uphill battle , to say the least. I've also observed a shift in attitudes both from games journalists and gamers. Very few people actually give a shit about cars anymore. Most game journalists don't even drive, and your average current gamer views cars as merely a tool to get them from point A to point B. That's not even exclusive to gamers, actually; it's a generational thing, IMO.

And it's not their fault, really. Cars shifting heavily towards electronics has largely resulted in removing people's connections to their cars. Working on your car with your dad in the garage isn't really a thing anymore. Things have also gotten more practical at the expense of excitement, and as life has become more urban, the joy has been sucked out of driving. There are people who've never cruised a back road driving a stick shift in a car worth doing that in, and that makes me very sad. Driving a Camry in stop-and-go traffic is most people's association with driving, so it's not surprising that the passion for cars and racing is dwindling.

I'm getting dangerously close to "old man on the porch" territory, so I'll move on, but the point I was getting at is that NFS sits in a fairly precarious spot. The franchise needs a hit in the worst way, and overcoming the "eh, it's another racing game" attitudes most seem to harbor is not going to make that easy. Still, I want to see them try. I mean really try. I want the franchise to go down swinging with a great, but underappreciated game if that's the way it has to be. I will miss NFS if it goes away, but it will be much sadder if it disappears with a whimper. And maybe, just maybe if they can make a game that's good enough, it could revitalize the franchise and genre.

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Bonbonetti

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It will be interesting to see what their plans are.

I don't need anything complicated for a fun Need for Speed game; just a big and nice-to-look-at open-world, and some awesome cars to play around with. That's it, don't need no story or fancy multiplayer. That's not for me.

My favourite NFS games are Hot Pursuit, Rivals and Most Wanted (2012). I haven't played the latest 4 games, but will get to them eventually. There are lots of really good racing games around today, both arcade and sim, not sure how a new NFS would fit in. They would have to do something different that's for sure.