Need for Speed 2022 map looks massive in leaked screenshots

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Need for Speed 2022 is one of our most anticipated new racing games of 2022. Back in 2020, EA confirmed a new Need for Speed game is in development by Criterion Games, the studio behind the acclaimed Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010 game. Even though Need for Speed 2022 hasn’t been revealed yet, details are already emerging about the visual style and location.

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This, however, is the most major leak yet. Ahead of the game’s reveal, renowned NFS insider ynk has leaked the map, user interface, and first Need for Speed 2022 screenshots.

First look at Need for Speed 2022 map

Posted on Reddit, a leaked screenshot shows the Need for Speed 2022 map for the first time. Although the screenshot is low quality, it gives us a clear idea of the map size.

It looks massive and dense, with a variety of environments to explore from highways to urban streets and twisty mountain roads perfect for drifting.

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Need for Speed 2022 map leak
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Need for Speed 2022 is reportedly set in a fictional location called Lake Shore City inspired by Chicago

While the location name is unconfirmed by EA, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb recently claimed Need for Speed 2022 is set in a fictional location called Lake Shore City inspired by the city of Chicago.

With a Chicago setting, perhaps the new Need for Speed will incorporate changing seasons and weather effects – we would love to race in the snow again like in the underrated Need for Speed The Run.

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First Need for Speed 2022 screenshots leak

The leaker also shared the first Need for Speed 2022 screenshots. Again, the screenshots are blurry and likely based on an early internal build, so it’s not representative of the final game.

The first screenshot shows a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo parked next to a view of the city skyline.

Need for Speed 2022 screenshot leak
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A leaked screenshot suggests cars can be heavily damaged in Need for Speed 2022

The Lancer appears to be heavily damaged, suggesting that Need for Speed 2022 will have advanced damage modelling. After all, crashing cars is what Criterion does best in games like Burnout Paradise.

A third screenshot also shows the game’s user interface displaying money earned, a GPS map, and a redesigned speedometer.

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Leaked screenshots give us a first look at the UI in Need for Speed 2022
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Leaked screenshots give us a first look at the UI in Need for Speed 2022

Grubb also claimed Need for Speed 2022 will adopt a unique art style combining photorealistic visuals with “anime elements”. The leaked screenshots don’t appear to have exaggerated anime elements, but they likely come from an earlier build of the game.

When will Need for Speed 2022 be revealed?

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If these leaks are legitimate, an official reveal may not be far away. EA Play is cancelled this year, but NFS 2022 could still be revealed this summer around June or July.

Like other recent NFS games, NFS 2022 is expected to arrive in November.

Rumours suggest Need for Speed 2022 will only release on current-gen consoles. If true, it means PS4 and Xbox One owners will miss out on Criterion’s new Need for Speed game.