Need for Speed 2022 location: Where is Criterion's new NFS game set?

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With Criterion Games back in the driving seat, expectations are high for the next Need for Speed game. Marking the series PS5 and Xbox Series X|S debut, not much is known about Need for Speed 2022, however.

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Modern NFS games are usually set in exotic open worlds, and we expect the Need for Speed 2022 game to be no different. With that in mind, where is the new Need for Speed game set?

Need for Speed 2022 map leak

The Need for Speed 2022 map has reportedly leaked online. Although the screenshot is low quality, it gives us a good idea of the scale.

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This could be our first look at the Need for Speed 2022 map.
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This could be our first look at the Need for Speed 2022 map.

Reportedly called Lake Shore City, the massive map looks like it features a variety of locations to explore, from city streets to high-speed highways and twisty roads for drifters.

Need for Speed 2022 location: Fictionalised Chicago rumoured

According to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Need for Speed 2022 is set in a new location called Lake Shore City. Whereas Need for Speed Heat’s Palm City was heavily inspired by Miami, Lake Shore is reportedly a fictionalised version of Chicago.

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Need for Speed Heat key art
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Lake Shore City is reportedly a fictionalised version of Chicago

“Criterion wants to make it feel like a real city, even though it’s a fictionalised version of a city,” he said.

This is still a rumour for now, however, as EA hasn’t officially announced the location yet.

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Anime elements

Grubb also said the game’s art style will incorporate “photorealistic” graphics mixed with “anime elements.”

“It’s going to be photo-realistic, but it’s going to have on top of that, anime elements,” Grubb said.

“You know when you see a car commercial or something like that and the car’s driving around, but then cartoons flames and stuff are flying off it? That’s the kind of the aesthetic that they seem to be going for.”

Need for Speed Heat screenshot
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Need for Speed 2022 will reportedly combine photorealistic graphics with "anime elements"

Grubbs didn’t share any further details, but we expect Lake Shore City will be an open world filled with bustling city streets and highways to explore.

Again, these details are rumours for now. We’ll have to wait until EA gives us a proper look at Criterion’s new Need for Speed game to find out if the rumours are true.

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Need for Speed 2022 release date

There’s no official release date yet, but rumours suggest Need for Speed 2022 will release in November. This is plausible since Need for Speed games traditionally launch in November to capitalise on Christmas sales.

As for platforms, Need for Speed 2022 is reportedly current-gen only. This suggests it will only be released on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, skipping the last-gen PS4 and Xbox One platforms.

A PC version also seems likely, but this isn't confirmed yet.