Need for Speed is an online open world racing video game developed by Ghost Games and published by Electronic Arts released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November 2015 and released on Origin for Microsoft Windows on March 15 2016. It is the twenty second installment in the long running Need for Speed series and is a full reboot of the franchise. It marks the series second eighth generation installment and is the first Need for Speed title to only be on eighth generation hardware. It marks the franchise first return to the import scene and tuner culture focus since the release of 2010 Need for Speed.
The first gameplay footage of the pre alpha build for Need for Speed was revealed at EA press conference at E3 on June 15 2015. The E3 presentation shows a part of the story followed by the customization of a Subaru BRZ which showed the new and improved customization system and the action camera which was later revealed to be one of the five different camera angles. There are five different gameplay types Speed Style Crew Build and Outlaw where players can earn points for engaging in to progress in the game through five overlapping storylines. Need for Speed takes place in the fictional city of Ventura Bay and its surroundings which is based on Los Angeles.
Need for Speed has a redesigned Wrap Editor, and body modifications return to the series after nearly 5 years. The game features real life tuning companies including RAUH Welt Begriff, SEIBON and RTR Mustang. A new Handling Slider was exhibited in the E3 gameplay video which combines the best elements of the earlier Black Box titles grippy tires as well as the drift style of the newer Criterion titles.
Following the 2010 release of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit EA own developer Criterion Games developers of the award winning racing video game series Burnout was given stewardship of the Need for Speed franchise with 2012 Need for Speed Most Wanted. In a 2012 interview Most Wanted executive producer Matt Webster told that while all future Need for Speed games may not be developed by Criterion the studio would have creative oversight of the franchise moving forward.
After just one year later during a Gamescom interview with Need for Speed Rivals executive producer Marcus Nilsson told that the newly created Ghost Games studio was now in charge of the franchise about 80 percent of Criterion was working on Rivals with the remaining group working on a mysterious new project. A month later vice president and creative director of Criterion Games Alex Ward announced that 60 to 65 people moved from Criterion over to Ghost Games UK seemingly permanently to work on Rivals and the franchise leaving about 20 at Criterion.
In April 2013 Electronic Gaming Monthly published a report that a reboot of 2004 Need for Speed Underground 2 could be the next NFS game that report was contradicted hours later by Criterion Alex Ward. Initially it was suspected that Criterion would not be developing racing games in the shortn term but Ward clarified that he was speaking personally instead of speaking for the studio. In a 2013 interview with VideoGamer, Ghost Marcus Nilsson stated that they were working to restore the credibility of the franchise He also suggested a sequel to 2004 Underground 2 if the conditions were right. Later in the year at the Eurogamer Expo Nilsson hinted that the franchise might return to a style of progression in the future similar to the Underground Most Wanted Carbon series.
In 2014 Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson announced that there would not be a new Need for Speed game that year making it the first year since 2001 that a Need for Speed game was not released.
On 21 May 2015 EA announced their next Need for Speed game with a teaser trailer following marketing material tease days before. EA later clarified that the new Need for Speed game is not really a spiritual Underground 3 game but it would still share a lot of the stuff that made that game great.
On 29 May 2015, EA confirmed that Need for Speed would require an online connection to play, but reassured that “the benefits are nice” for requiring such restriction. Previous Need for Speed games have featured connected online worlds for players to race and inhabit together, although they have not required a player to stay connected to play the game. This was met with criticism from critics, who pointed to 2013’s SimCity, which was unplayable at launch as a result of requiring an online connection to play. The reason for an always-online internet connection was because of Autolog’s new in-game snapshot feature explained by Marcus Nilsson which rewards the players and their snapshots with Rep Points, Experience Points and in-game money if other players liked them enough.
On 14 September 2015 Electronic Arts announced that Need for Speed for Windows had been delayed to Spring 2016 in order to allow Ghost Games to give the version an unlocked frame rate and increase the visual quality. The Windows release date has later been updated to a more precise 15 March in the US and 17 March everywhere else and March 10 as a demo in the Origin access program. Along with that announcement several other announcements were made among which include Windows exclusive support for 4K resolution, various gamepad and steering wheel controllers and the previously announced unlocked frame rate as well as a manual transmission option for both the PC and console versions.
The game is offered in two editions the Standard Edition and the Deluxe Edition. The Deluxe Edition includes several extra features and content such as a lifetime discount on all purchases made with in game currency a special VIP Icon exclusive car wraps more upgrades, and a pre modified BMW M3 E46 modeled after the M3 GTR from 2005 Need for Speed Most Wanted as both the leading car on the game cover and the player tricked out starter car that is in the garage next to the Honda Civic the Subaru BRZ, or the Ford Mustang Foxbody in the purchase your first car menu.
The game has neither microtransactions of any sort nor paid DLC. All additional content is available for free through mandatory updates leading the game to be called the Living Game by developers.