MCV takes a look at the latest entry in EA's racing series and its new AllDrive multiplayer mode.
Need for Speed Rivals is out November 22nd.
Rivals is the 20th entry in the Need for Speed series and is made by Ghost Games – a new EA studio divided between Sweden and the UK.
The street racing franchise returns, letting gamers play on either side of the law. This time the game is set in the open world Redview County, which is the biggest Need for Speed map yet with over 100 miles of road.
Much like 2010’s Hot Pursuit, players can choose to be either cops or robbers. Both sides have their own challenges and consequences, adding an element of risk and reward to playing both sides of the law.
When playing as a cop you can choose to play as Patrol, Enforcer and Undercover classes. Meanwhile, as a racer gamers play as the mysterious Zephyr, playing Race, Pursuit and Speedlist modes.
During the game, players earn Speed Points, which can be spent on personalising vehicles. Cars are totally customisable – players can change the paintjob, rims and add decals to their rides. Both sides also have upgradeable gadgets: racers have access to turbo boosts, jammers and EMPs, while police can set up roadblocks and have helicopters swoop down to mark their targets.
The new AllDrive online feature blurs the lines between the solo and multiplayer experience. It allows players to seamlessly go from playing alone to playing co-operatively or competitively against friends.
The world is brought to life by Frostbite 3, EA’s proprietary game engine, offering realistic weather effects. The publisher claims this makes the Need for Speed world feel more alive than ever.
Returning to Need for Speed is Ferrari. This is the first time the sports cars have appeared in the series since Hot Pursuit 2 in 2002 with the exception of Shift’s DLC.
The Need for Speed series started in 1994 on the 3DO, the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, featuring both races and the series’ trademark police pursuits.
Following the popularity of The Fast and Furious films, EA changed the direction of their series to focus on illegal street racing in the US.
The result of this was the Underground series, which included a variety of Japanese import and tuner cars. This sub-series also introduced car body customisation for the first time.
The Shift sub-series started in 2009 and focused on legal racing over a variety of exotic locations.
Rivals is the first Need for Speed entry from EA’s new Swedish studio Ghost Games. The game was created by a 170-man team, made up of both Ghost Games and Ghost Games UK employees.
To date the series has sold in excess of 140m units, which places it in the top-ten selling games of all time.
From the beginning of the campaign back at E3 commentary has been consistent that Rivals looks phenomenal, particularly on next-gen, testament to the power of DICE’s incredible Frostbite 3 Engine.
New to the Need for Speed franchise this year is All-Drive where there is no distinction between single player and multiplayer.
Players can seamlessly join a world where your friends are already racing and chasing. No lobbies. No waiting. It’s a really new way to play racing games and something we’re really excited about. Also new for Rivals, and something fans have reacted incredibly positively to this year, is the ability to play as the cops in elite supercars. This adds another dimension drawing on the overall premise of the game – the rivalry between cops and racers and players and their friends.
Racers can choose evasion technology while cops are outfitted for aggressive busts with shockwaves, roadblocks and more.
EA will focus the majority of its marketing camaign for Need for Speed: Rivals on the series’ core fanbase.
The publisher has been targetting the audience via Facebook, letting consumers pick in-game features such as the car useable by both the Cop and Racer classes.
Leading up to the game’s launch on November 22nd, EA will roll out a digital campaign in partnership with media outlets to target both car enthusiasts and gaming audiences.
EA will also support the launch of Rivals with an extensive TV campaign. TV spots will begin from November and will continue up until Christmas to maintain awareness of the game well into the seasonal buying period
The publisher has also announced a partnership with XGamers winner and racing phenomenon Ken Block. The multi-year deal will see the professional rally driver serve as the franchise’s racing advisor, alongside sponsorship of Block’s viral video series Gymkhana SIX.
GAME is offering an exclusive Limited Edition SKU of Need for Speed: Rivals.
The edition offers consumers the Ultimate Cop Pack, which includes a variety of bonus content such as the Nissan GT-R Black Edition cop car, advanced pursuit technology and custom livery for users to customise their vehicle.
Early buyers who pre-order Rivals will also receive the Ultimate Racer Pack. In addition to a bonus allocation of in-game currency, players will also receive the SRT Viper TA car and additional designs.