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In brief: EA has dropped its official Need for Speed Unbound reveal trailer, highlighting a new art style designed to set the title apart from the sea of other racers already on the market. In NFS Unbound, players will "race against time, outsmart the cops, and take on weekly qualifiers" in a bid to reach Lakeshore's ultimate street racing challenge, The Grand.
The game blends cel-shading with "the most realistic looking cars in Need for Speed history" to create a unique art style, and puts a heavy emphasis on expressing yourself through driving effects, exclusive wraps and cutaways, and customizable win poses.
Unbound also features rapper A$AS Rocky as both an in-game character and on the soundtrack. If you are into the new age, underground street racing scene, this will likely be right up your alley.
The Need for Speed franchise looks far different today than it did when it debuted in 1994. The first game in the series included just a handful of exotic supercars with a heavy emphasis on realistic interiors, handling and real world audio. It was as close to the real thing as tech of the day could deliver and scratched the itch for millions of auto enthusiasts.
Related reading: 27 years of Need for Speed
The franchise evolved over the next several years, notably adding police pursuits to spice up the action. The focus was still on the cars (as evident by entries like 2000's Porsche Unleashed) but that started to change in 2003 when EA shifted gears to spotlight a different facet of car culture: street racing and tuning.
Open-world racing became a mainstay in subsequent NFS games with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer modes in later titles. With Unbound, it seems EA wants to revisit the underground street racing scene.
What are your thoughts on the direction EA is taking the franchise? Are they catering to the correct demographic or would you rather see them focus on a different area of car culture?
Need for Speed Unbound races onto Xbox Series, PlayStation 5 and PC on December 2, 2022. Will you be buying it?