E3 2013 Preview: Need For Speed Rivals
The Need for Speed franchise has been going strong for years, and EA is showing off the latest game in the long running series called Need For Speed Rivals. I had a chance to spend a good 10 minutes with it after waiting in line for 30 minutes. Was it worth the wait?
They stuck about 18 of us in the demo area. Some of us played racers, while others played the cops. I was a racer (despite the following pics showing just the cops). The goal is to try and rack up as many points as possible. You do this by entering events strewn throughout NFS Rival's open environment. Pass up another racer and hit L1 and you can start a race. If you pass a cop, he can pursue you and it's your job to get away from him.
This was my first time using the PS4 controller and I was pretty impressed. It was very confortable to hold and the shoulder buttons were a lot easier to access and press. The analog sticks felt tighter as well. I didn't use the touch screen in the center so I'm not sure if it does anything in the game.
Speaking of the game, let's get back to that, shall we? As I drove around I noticed the controls were a tad loose. Your car can easily get away from you. Drifting seemed a bit trickier than in previous installments. You have the typical control layout of nitrous, e-brake, etc. Nothing really new as far as controls go.
After driving around for a bit and trying to initiate races, cops would get on my tail and try to take me out. I will say this, playing a cop in pursuit is probably a lot more fun than playing as a racer. Even if you try and ram a cop, it'll bust your car up instead, which was a bummer. How else can I take these pigs out?
The graphics were stellar as I drove through open fields, forests and highways. Weather was constantly changing and looked really impressive. The more you damage your car, the harder it is to control. And it's really easy to damage your car. After about five minutes I went from exotic sports car to Archie Andrews' jalopy.
The sense of speed is there and if you manage to go fast enough, you'll earn points for it. If a cop busts you, he'll take your points. So in multi-player it's crucial that you try and avoid these guys or outrun them. Problem is, it's can be tough to tell where they're coming from. It always felt like they had the advantage.
After the 10 minute demo I wasn't sure what to make of the game. It's Need For Speed but it didn't feel very groundbreaking in its execution. Just more of the same old thing. Still, it was fun driving around in such a large open environment without any restrictions. I'll be spending more time with this new racer when it launches in November of 2013. You coppers can't hold me forever!