Let me simply be sincere right here and clarify that I’ve not performed a Need for Speed since 2015’s confusingly titled Want for Velocity. And I barely performed that. In a world with Forza, Gran Turismo, Filth, and Grid, the Want for Velocity sequence might by no means maintain my consideration. However NFS Unbound is totally different, and I’m discovering myself unable to place down the controller.
NFS Unbound’s colourful and distinctive artwork type isn’t solely the large cause I’m even trying out this installment, but in addition a part of why I’m having a lot enjoyable. NFS Unbound mixes reasonable vehicles with cel-shaded characters and a world that lands someplace in between; not fairly hyper-real but not fairly absolutely cel-shaded or cartoonish. The tip end result works, and helps NFS Unbound stand out in a sea of different driving video games which are all chasing the identical objective of rendering photorealistic vehicles and environments.
I additionally appreciated all of the prospers and colourful on-screen pops and results that occur if you hit your NOS or leap off a ramp at excessive velocity. NFS Unbound has type, and is aware of the best way to use it. Even the characters look sharp, with tons of nice style and customization choices on supply.
A colorful and cool-looking racing sport is good and all, but when the driving sucks, who cares? Fortunately for NFS Unbound, its driving is stable and responsive. And Unbound is versatile sufficient to assist every kind of driving types. Are you somebody who likes to get sideways round each flip? You’ll be able to tweak your controls and automotive to turn into a drifting machine. Or perhaps you like hitting the apex of each flip and driving extra like an F1 racer? No worries, Unbound helps you to try this too. Each types really feel nicely supported and rewarded.
One thing I actually love about NFS Unbound and what helps set it aside from fellow open-world racing video games, like Forza Horizon, is how the sport makes you’re employed to earn quick vehicles and victories.
When you end the prologue you get caught with a junker and must scrape collectively winnings from small races across the metropolis to improve it. And early on, you get your ass kicked loads. Different racers within the metropolis are simply sooner than you, and except they eat it throughout a race, you’ll seemingly not win each occasion. And in contrast to in different racing video games, you’ll be able to’t simply restart eternally till you get first. Most occasions strictly restrict restarts, and a few don’t allow you to start once more in any respect. And in contrast to many present racing video games, NFS Unbound doesn’t have a rewind button. This makes each race extra thrilling and nerve-wracking.
Generally I’d skip occasions as a result of the buy-in was too excessive or I knew my present experience wasn’t as much as the problem. However for the actually expert drivers on the market, Unbound will allow you to push your luck as a lot as you need and can reward you for those who succeed.
I’ll admit, I spun out and crashed generally, and with no restarts, I used to be mad. It may be irritating, particularly when a random NPC driver takes you out of an occasion you paid to enter. However shedding is a part of the method. As you save up money and improve your automotive you begin successful extra and it feels a lot extra satisfying than Forza Horizon 5 dumping 20 high-end supercars on you inside the first hour of enjoying. (I nonetheless love Horizon, however I at all times discovered its progression system to be boring.)
After all, the police can and can derail all of your enjoyable and progress, and managing your warmth between occasions is necessary. Get too wreckless through the day whereas exploring and ending up some small races and the fuzz will probably be more durable to shake at evening when the big-money occasions occur. And for those who get caught with $20,000 in your pockets, you lose it. This will generally be annoying. However it’s all of the extra satisfying if you do make it again house protected and sound with all that hard-earned money.
Need for Speed Unbound is unlikely to drag the franchise out from beneath the shadows of larger, extra common racing video games in 2022. However I do assume it has an opportunity of serving to the sequence stand out extra. And no matter if Unbound turns into an enormous hit or not, it’s a rattling high quality sport with some nice concepts that make each race extra thrilling and each improve really feel extra invaluable. And it appears rad the entire time, too.