In isolation, there's nothing wrong with those events: Standard races to climb through the 200-strong field; Battle races against three specific cars; head-to-head Rival races against the cream of the field; and Checkpoint races, time trials to make up lost time.
In truth, they manage to engage initially, as you head out from San Francisco, through Yosemite and Death Valley, and around Las Vegas. But by cycling these four events ad nauseum fatigue sets in by the time you've reached the Mid-West, and the game's second half descends into a monotonous slog.
It's not just the events that prove repetitious. America's iconic landmarks and cities provide a sumptuously varied backdrop for the point-to-point races – thanks in no small part to the extremely capable Frostbite 2.0 engine – but punishing racing conditions mean you'll become far too acquainted with each location as you fail time and time again.
No smoke without tyre
You see, success almost invariably requires nothing short of perfection. Each and every missed racing line, short-cut or minor collision gifts your opponents an insurmountable lead which no amount of nitrous boosting can claw back.
It's punishing enough contending with belligerent AI alone. Opponents display an implausible disregard for self-preservation by colliding with you at every opportunity.
But you'll also have to deal with near-constant police harassment and roads chock full of slow-moving traffic, all of which conspire to precipitate the sort of punitive twitch gaming better left to bullet-hell shooters.
Next page: Couple of chasers
I was put of the N4S franchise a decade ago - I liked the driving but the whole chav vibe of pimping my car really annoyed me.
Is this still the background to the games, or have they grown up and the N4S name is more a brand than anything else?
Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed
came out around 2000, it had *really* accurate physics, and a bunch of Porsches from the 356 on. This is what I want out of a car racing game, one where the cars drive like cars. Out of the cars it had, I found the 944 the easiest to drive fast (actually due to it having *less* power -- the 911 is real easy to break the tires lose on a turn, then really easy for it to go *really* out of control after that ... the 944, you have a wide range of throttle to control that with.)
Although I must admit to having enjoyed NFS3: Hot Pursuit. It's amazing how car tech has advanced since then, it had some grade A muscle from that era and it'd just about top out at 130.
More crap from EA
Yet more arcade crap from EA. Can i have my Porsche's back where they are deserved now? i.e. Forza 4.
I was actually looking forward to this game
I had last read about not long after they had announced it, so I have been somewhat dismayed by the reviews and comments that this has been picking up. Which is a shame because I've always felt that a racing game based around the simple act of racing from one side of a country to the other while avoiding the police and other road traffic would make for a very good game. I imagine a starting point where one has a number of serious of cars to pick from, say 50, all well programmed and designed to fully accentuate their real world differences. From there, there is the case of choosing the route, with say just a few jokers allowed to be played for changing this in the course of the game. Of course we would have to plan fuel stops, oil changes, tyre changes etc as well. With a unified start and finish point and a minimum distance to be covered and a well reproduced game world you could really have some fun with this. And then you're off! With say a maximum of 18 cars per race and if you kept it so that one type of car could only be used by two racers maximum it would ensure a very mixed grid and range of opponents
I imagine that you could play persistent online races as well, where a group of say 3 to 12 could compete in the same race with all progress saved between stages and the race only continued when all the competitors were online and available. And yes the same limitations on the number and types of cars would be carried over from the single game.
Obviously a lot of this is going to be against the clock, but sooner or later the cars are going to passing down the same road at the same time and so the racing against others would possible. Maybe for some parts of the route all cars could follow the same route and then the stages could run like the Tour de France with points awarded for "sprint winners". Once one country was finished then it would be off to the next! Racing across Russia from East to West would be fun!
The game must make the distances true though, of course, otherwise the whole point of the game would be lost!
Mine is the green anorak with the map covered with fuel economy figures in inside pocket.
Count me out
Yet another "driving" game where the AI opponents magically suffer none of the issues the player is confronted with, and the player has to succeed perfectly in every aspect if he is to have a chance to win.
And they call that a GAME ?
Sorry guys, for me a game is something that amuses me. Constant frustration does not amuse me, and it seems this title has it in spades.
So I'll stick with NFS Porsche 2000, thank you. It's graphics may be dated, but it seems that its gameplay remains best-of-breed.