Random scribblings by a prick. Enjoy.

EA To Release FOUR Need For Speed Franchise Titles This Year

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Nope, that isn’t a typo. Word is coming out from Eurogamer that EA having completed a brand extension on their Need For Speed franchise, is intending to release not one NFS title this year as is the annual tradition, but instead FOUR, each one coming out on a selection of different platforms.

Apparently each title is being designed to cater for a different kind of audience.

Need for Speed: Shift (PC, 360, PS3, PSP)

Need For Speed: Shift will apparently be the po-faced simulation title of the litter, being developed by Slightly Mad Studios of GT Legends and GTR 2 fame, with help from EA Black Box producer Michael Mann and EA Games Europe bigwig Patrick Soderlund.

One of the flashy features that was divulged was a flashy 3D HUD that mimics driver head movement. In addition to this, each car will have a virtual cockpit, allowing the user to look around the car as they are driving.

Sounds more than a bit like the Race Driver series to me, but to be honest, this is the direction the series needs to go in to establish some credibility as a serious force in the genre.

Need for Speed: Nitro (Wii, NDS)

Described as a ‘fast and fun racer’, ‘Nitro’ apparently aims to ensnare the casual audience with accessible controls, eye catching graphics and exciting multiplayer modes. Cryptically, the title is not meant to be ‘anything like any other Need For Speed game that has come before’, but apparently is not a ‘Mario Kart clone either’.

Can you say ‘Hotwheels’ 🙂

Need for Speed: World Online: (PC)

Need For Speed: World Online appears to take the micro-transaction ball and run with it, as the title is being billed as free to play, but you pay for whatever tracks, cars or upgrades you use in the game.

With a comprehensive selection of stuff to buy, EA are first trialling this one in Asia prior to a Western roll-out.

Given the relative animosity that most stingy Westerners approach DLC at the present, I don’t see a game being made *entirely* off DLC doing that well… do you?

Secret Black Box Developed NFS Title: (???)

From the scarce few details that have popped up about this, what we do know is that this title will aim to continue the urban-racing lifestyle scenario that has characterised the series since Need For Speed: Underground, and well, all of The Fast And The Furious films…

Overall, the whole strategy sounds like a knee jerk reaction to the credit crunch, allowing consumers to pick and choose their favourite ‘bits’ as separate retail packages, rather than sticking with a single vision and developing it solidly.

Congratulations, now instead of one NFS title each year, we now get four.

The last thing we need is more shovelware, which unfortunately I see at least two of these titles being.

Written by bitsnark

January 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm

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