It's no secret that Need for Speed is a series with a serious identity crisis. Having been swapped between developers over the years, the series has been steered in a myriad of directions, from its inception as a serious simulation, to arcade racer, to cops v.s. racers, to track racer, to the open world Autolog-driven game it is today. WIth Need for Speed: Rivals, EA Ghost Games are hoping to steer the series back on-track and reestablish Need for Speed's brand identity as it gears up for the next generation.
During this year's Eurogamer Expo, Alan sat down with Executive Producer Marcus Nilson to find out what we can expect from this latest iteration of Need for Speed, covering its new AllDrive system, how the next generation consoles have enhanced the game and what's in-store for the future of Need for Speed now that EA Ghost are permanently sat in the driving seat.
EA Ghost have effectively taken over the series for the foreseeable future whilst bringing some of the Criterion crew along for the ride and seem to have a clear strategy in mind for the future of the series, which should hopefully make its previous wrong turns a thing of the past..
Rivals can therefore be seen as a foundation of what to expect from future titles as EA Ghost continue to build upon it with new features – expect that foundation to consist of exhilarating cops v.s. racers scenarios, open world environments, Autolog and AllDrive. As for those who are pining for a return to the days of Need for Speed: Underground, deeper car customisation is definitely on the horizon according to Nilson, who confirmed it will be a core focus for EA Ghost in future Need for Speed games during a developer session held at the Eurogamer Expo.