Previews// Need For Speed: ProStreet

Drifting challenges were saner

Posted 2 Aug 2007 17:51 by
Now, depending on what you hit and how fast you?re hitting it, your machine will gain scratches or dents; and spit debris all over the place. In Speed challenges specifically, your car is going to be totally designed for streamlined performance, so it's light as a feather when it comes to impact. It's a factor I learned the hard way as I went careering up the side of a canyon cliff for the umpteenth time in an epic crash.

It?s quite enjoyable at first, but we can imagine players getting sick of the car's over-sensitivity in this challenge ? one clip of a curb and you?re toast ? but it?s likely you?ll be able to beef up your car using customisation options.

Drifting challenges were saner, but required a more specific method of playing altogether. It was a very different beast to the Speed races, where you just hit the accelerator and hope for the best.

In the demo, I played a race in the highways of Tokyo that involved plenty of awkward corners to overcome, not to mention the aim of reaching first place. These custom-built drifting cars were more sturdy but were also more stiff to control. Having just played the Speed challenge really made this mode appear treacle-slow in comparison, despite drifting round corners at speeds of over 100mph. With at least three other modes of challenge to take on board, you?re going to need all the customised cars you can get your hands on to win top gong.

Speaking of which, EA Blackbox has pulled out all the stops to make sure you can tweak almost every aspect of your car to, um... ?the max?... yo? There are now 42 different individual parts you can modify on your vehicle, all of which can be upgraded many times over to get that edge over your opponent.

These modifications can make a great deal of difference depending on what event you?re taking part in. Unlike Carbon, where a certain customisation has the same effect in every race mode, ProStreet will pretty much force you to create several purpose-built cars for every type of challenge you hope to take on. Each modification impacts your performance in the game, and a wind tunnel mode will provide you with statistics on how well it can do under certain conditions. With 10,000 parts confirmed in the game, that?s an awful lot of tweaking for the perfect drift race.

The car customisation mode is also where we saw the first instance of what EA calls ?the two levels of gamer? ? those who just want to race and those who spend all their time in customisation menus building the perfect machine. For racers, there's access to several basic blueprints from which to work, and a few tweaks here and there will help you in certain events. ?Tweakers? (titter) can build the ultimate racing vehicle and send it across the world as a blueprint for others to download. As racers download and use your car blueprints, you?ll be credited for every win as the creator of the machine while the player gets commendation for driving skills. In that sense it?s sort of like a co-op, but, well, not?

I think I?ve just confused myself. Anyway, the locations, I'm told, will take players around the world, while AI for the single-player missions will also take on board various strategies of play depending on the car it's using and that particular CPU character?s personality. It?s looking to be the definitive Need For Speed that will make fans very happy indeed.

That, basically, is how my recommendation goes. ProStreet doesn?t do anything extraordinary with the formula from what I?ve seen, so if you?ve never liked the series then this one won?t interest you a bit. But if you were an advocate of the original way back in 1994 and were turned off by the Cribs style of Carbon most recently, then this return to the franchise?s professional street racing roots might be reason to keep your ear to the ground.

For more on ProStreet, be sure to check out SPOnG's interview with the game's producer, John Doyle.
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