NEED for Speed Unbound was released yesterday (December 2nd), and there was a shockingly short time between the official announcement and the release.
Less than three months in fact, which appears to have been a marketing decision to take the pressure off over-hyped releases.
It comes with a new style of cel shading, although that seems to be the only part of the new Need for Speed that’s rooted in fantasy.
We spoke to the game’s Creative Director, Kieran Crimmins, about the game and how the decisions behind the changes came about.
He says: “It’s a completely redesigned driving model and physics system”.
The cars now drive completely differently, on a new game engine specially developed for the latest generation of consoles.
However, Crimmins assures us, “We’re known for our sensibility to arcade racing, so playing it should feel the same way.
“But also the depth and mastery you can achieve with the physics computation, which we’ve completely updated.”
The series has long-standing roots in the street racing culture long glorified by films such as The Fast and the Furious.
While Unbound will be “very loosely based on reality, but not completely unaware of it,” there’s definitely a change from fantasy that the series is known for.
More specifically, he says, “Need for Speed fits into a weird realm in that sense, I think the best Need for Speed games were heavily based on some kind of street racing fantasy.”
Underground, Heat and the original Most Wanted are strong examples of this fantastic influence.
Crimmins explains: “Behind this is a fantasy of being an illegal street racer.
“Betting all your money with a group of people underground, racing the cops who are trying to shut you up.”
In the upcoming game, however, the team doesn’t want to completely ignore the reality of the culture.
He claims, “It’s a fantasy loosely based on reality.
“We do a lot of research with street racers in different communities, we have documentaries, behind-the-scenes stuff and interviews with people from the LA street racing scene and the Chicago street racing scene, and they talk about the grim reality of those scenes.”
The art style contradicts that idea, as Crimmins says: “We’re really not trying to fully replicate reality.
“What we’re trying to do is translate it into this fantasy space where it’s not just a little bit more accessible to everyone, but it’s also a little bit hyper-real, a little bit heroic.”
Over the past few generations, the racing genre has become a crowded genre, with many different settings and levels of realism, but Crimmins believes Need For Speed still stands out from the crowd.
He explains, “I think Need For Speed as a brand has always been a bit of a trend setter, a bit of a rule breaker, something different every time.
“We’re going to do our own thing and do it very, very well.”
Need for Speed Unbound was released on December 2nd for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Written by Ryan Woodrow and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9843358/need-for-speed-unbound-street-racer-fantasy/ Need For Speed Unbound moves away from the street racer fantasy