As a big fan of the NFS series, I am saddened to see how the NFS series got wrecked when EA developed it throughout the years. I would like to give my sentiments about it. I am actually comparing the old NFS and the newer NFS.
Well I guess the NFS series gets so much beating because EA just screws it. We know that NFS: Undercover should have been the last nail in the coffin to make sure NFS is dead. Many game reviewing groups already listed the most recent NFS as the worst game of the year ever. But then did we really know what caused it to suck? I guess yes, but what was it? I know I don't have to write this topic but its worth going back in the drawing board.
Customizations ruined it
Customization at its infancy
Back when NFS:Underground was released, the car upgrades was a stunning feature in the NFS series. But then it got old so quick that when it was carried on to the newer NFSs, it caused it to suck. I agree upgrades like engine, rim, body, n2o resulted in freedom for users to customize their rides, nothing beats customization. But when the newer NFS series came, customizations were the same. They didn't seem to improve, but it evolved. Evolved into a more complicated way that may not be appealing to players. I guess customizations were only appropriate on few selected NFS series, not the entire series. It over evolved and everything in customizations were overdone.
One other thing that pissed me off is their Upgrade System. Level 1 N2O? Level 2 N2O? Level 3 N2Oh wat?
Acquiring the Upgrades were also easy to get, because money was just lying around in the game. And whenever you win a game, you get big stacks that is too much for you to keep.
If we go back on the older NFS series, there were only cars which had different characteristics but were not customizable. It still rocked and I still even play ye old NFS 2, why don't EA just go back on how the older NFS series worked? No upgrades, just plenty of balanced cars for us to choose.
Lets bring back the old FZR2000 cheats.
Cars were fine, I have no problems with them. As what I have written above, EA does not have to limit the number of cars and just put plenty of upgradeables for the users to enjoy modding with. Plenty cars will do the job. It doesn't matter if the car is fictional or not. Fictional is fine as EA will not have to do some copyrighting stuff for the cars they will have to put in. Nonfictional is also good, nothing beats the feeling that in NFS you drive the car that you actually own in the real life. You get to crash that car in game for fun where you can't do it in real life(why would you crash your Hummer Truck when it isn't even insured at all?).
Game Difficulty was, well... Too easy in hard
(no image to describe AI here)
One thing I've noticed about the newer NFSs is that money was just like raining all over. You do not get that feeling that your money is short or lacking for you to upgrade. When you get all of the upgrades, you just noticed that you just had too much money left in your pocket and there's nothing left to purchase.
Its not just that money was almost free but opponents and cops were really stupid. You can easily exploit their weaknesses by taking them down. Its like these drivers never learned defensive driving, just stupid driving. You'll notice that the AI cars sometimes ram and crash into pillars even though there is no interference in the enemy ai. And even if the game is in the last lap already and you're in 8th place, you can still catch up and win as first. There's no sense of challenge in this game, even with plenty of newer NFS games out there, AI didn't improve at all.
Start reading a book instead.
Back on the older NFSs, they didn't have a background story. When EA placed a story, it was a major turnoff when everything wasn't perfectly staged. The way it was staged was not just the only downside but also how can you put a story on a Racing Game. Even if NFS:Underground was still good, it's story was still confusing. How can a plot evolve by just racing and winning in the game? Even using actors as storytellers was not an improvement because it just won't basically fit in the genre in the game.
Forget NFS, take Burnout Paradise as an example. It's a game of today's generation similar to NFS. It doesn't have a story however it tops against NFS even if you take out Burnout's Unique drive-and-crash driving system.
New NFSs being released almost year by year
Need for Speed: Underground (2003)
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (2004)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
Need for Speed: Carbon (2006)
Need for Speed: ProStreet (2007)
Need for Speed: Undercover (2008)
Need for Speed World Online, Nitro and Shift (2009)
Are you now getting the pattern? The gap between each game released is only 1 year away. EA should start thinking about quality, not quantity about $$$ and their portfolios.
<insert angry DRM comment in an image macro here>
Do I need to expand this further?
I know EA might not read this and ignore this instead. But I hope they would stumble upon this article and start rebuilding NFS. And this ends my review of Need For Speed - What did EA do wrong? Please comment on what you think about this article! If there's anything you think that should be added in here, post it!
Edited by The Colonel, 06 August 2009 - 09:44 PM.