Need For Speed ProStreet
The smell of gasoline and burnt rubber are a must for every car freak. Each year we dare going on the road (as true fan or just out of habit) with a car in the newest Need for Speed game. True to tradition the game doesn’t follow the rules of realism and we just have to keep in mind to go “full throttle ahead”.
With the previous game, NFS: Carbon, EA slightly missed the ball. The well-known development studio thought that everyone was pretty sick and tired of the whole underground-fuzz and scrapped free roaming, removed the night parts and only added a few new elements to what was left. ProStreet is the result of that labour and is quite legal now.
To make up for the free roaming through a city, we now get a career card. There all events, or racing days, are nicely lined up and differ from each other by having different pictures on the very handy navigationable cards. These events need to be completed to get face to face with Ryo Wanatabe, the Showdown King. You’re considered a rookie but do get a nice car, a tight budget and a lot of respect.
In the end, as a more advanced racer, you’ll want to get a different car. There’s plenty of choice as the showroom is filled with a ton of them. Just about any brand you can think of is present with at least one. New is the fact that you have to categorise your ride for a specific type of racing after you’ve bought it. It’s not possible to use a “drift car” in drag races as well.
Yes indeed, drag makes a comeback. Other types of racing are drift, grip and speed where the latter is the most fun to take on a friend. It’s all about pushing down the throttle and steering is hardly necessary. Unfortunately, the career mode doesn’t have too many speed challenges and certainly in the beginning it will mostly be about “grip”, “sector duels”, “sprint”, “circuit” and “knockout”
In the circuits of these latter game types there are usually quite a lot of curves present. Since NFS are supposed to be arcade games, you would expect steering to be quite fluid, but you even have to brake if you don’t want to quickly get your car to the status of total loss. Fortunately, you can use a repair card if you’ve won one, or you can just pay up some hard-earned cash to get your ride fixed when necessary. What does get noticed is that all cars seem to have a similar feeling and a fast one won’t seem too different from a slow one. This results in a Porsche, Lamborghini and similar vehicles in this group being terrible for taking curves.
By tuning (moving around some hardly meaningful bars) you can improve this a bit but the question remains whether all gamers are so interested in finetuning their car. And since we’ve started talking about adjusting your ride: the accessories are again great. The available wheels, spoilers and bodykits are very varied and just about anything can be autosculped. You do have to watch out a bit there with what you do, but you get some help from a wind tunnel. It’s not only by adjusting your engine, nitro, induction or brakes that you can improve or deteriorate the driving behaviour of your vehicle.
Graphically things are more than ok. The babes look very appealing, the vehicles are looking great, volumetric smoke is something you really want to look at, and also the soundtrack is very suiting. For the very first time in the series we get a commentator but unfortunately the man doesn’t add much to the experience and can become even quite enervating at times.
Another extra is that you can exchange your cars and track records with friends over Xbox Live. You can spend hours fiddling with your ride to then just put it on the net for others to check out. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly see someone driving an exact copy of your vehicle during an online game.
Playing over the internet with ProStreet has the same qualities and possibilities as Carbon, but with the added fun extras from this version.
All in all ProStreet is a more than innovating game in the NFS-family, mostly thanks to the circuit racing, the long career mode and some new game types. You can see it as a Hot Pursuit 2 mixed with Carbon but without cops and completely legal. The game is a worthy successor in the series although the controls could have been better. Hopefully we’ll be getting more from this but a bit better