Need for Speed: ProStreet Review

Need for Speed may be one of EA’s big franchises, but I’ve never really been a big fan of the games; Burnout’s been my racer of choice. That being said, I can understand why people have liked the past NFS games (even without running from the law). If you’ve been a fan of the series and are looking for some more NFS action, ProStreet is your cup of tea. If you’ve become bored of it, or were hoping for a big renovation like EA promoted, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

It’s fairly obvious EA wanted to change the direction of the NFS franchise somehow. Unlike past titles, this game places more emphasis on street racing and realism, and less on just running from the police or racing at night.

To accomplish that, the one new addition I absolutely love was added: damage modeling. Unlike Burnout, the damage modeling in NFS ProStreet is fantastically realistic. You see paint scraping off, fenders hanging, doors dented, mirrors busted-basically the stuff you’d expect to see on a real car that had to undergo the rigors of constantly racing.

To make it even better, the damage stays with you and affects performance. You can pay to get your car repaired, but to do so requires you to win races. If you don’t repair your car, you can’t win races. Sounds like a bit of a catch-22, but some of the fixes in the game reflect that hectic nature of real life racing. Duct tape repairs, hastily fixed scrapes-all is fair in car repair, and even the hastiest fix usually helps out.

That’s really the only new thing that I liked. I understand EA wanting to take the franchise in a new direction, but to almost completely abandon the street racing and illegal aspects that made the franchise so beloved in the first place? All racing takes place on closed off tracks, so you don’t have to worry about the police, traffic, pedestrians, or any of that stuff. Basically, it’s become a circuit-based racer.

The fact so much space and effort seems to have been spent on making a quick buck off advertising is also a slap in the face for any longtime fans. Why would I want 360 achievements sponsored by companies? Things like that coupled with the fact that you can spend money and buy new cars rather than unlock them do nothing but cement all the negative hoopla that surrounded in-game advertising and microtransactions. Why fan the fire, EA?

If you can ignore those issues and don’t mind NFS trying to become a “legit” racer, then ProStreet is still fun. It’s got more realistic customization than any racing game outside of Forza, and you can really get into the nitty gritty if you want to customize your car and know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, the new direction and further emphasis on the tuning of cars and career racing may alienate the fans who loved NFS due to the thrill of street racing or running from the police. ProStreet is a very solid racer; it’s just not as fun as the previous NFS titles for casual racing fans.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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