There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the new Need for Speed. We know it’s in development by Criterion Games and…that’s about it. Unfortunately, we probably won't hear much about Need For Speed 2022 until E3.
Released in 2019, NFS Heat was the last game in the long-running series. It was warmly received, but this didn’t stop EA from shutting down Ghost Games and handling the keys to Criterion, the developer behind the Burnout games, Hot Pursuit 2010, and Most Wanted 2012.
Heat was arguably the best NFS game in years thanks to its intense police pursuits, in-depth customisation, and a risk vs reward money system. However, Heat's post-release updates left a lot to be desired.
After Heat launched, a small handful of cars were added to the roster. A March 2020 Black Market update added an Aston Martin DB11 Volante and McLaren F1, but most updates fixed bugs instead of adding new gameplay features and content to keep players engaged.
With Criterion Games back in the driving seat, we have high hopes the next NFS will revitalise the franchise. But when will we find out more information about the new NFS?
The sound of silence
We don’t expect to hear much about Need For Speed 2022 until E3 at the earliest.
After all, new NFS games are traditionally revealed at E3 in June. The 2015 Need for Speed reboot was shown for the first time at E3 2015. Payback was also revealed at E3 2017 with a gameplay trailer showing a Fast & Furious-style highway heist.
NFS Heat, on the other hand, was notably absent at the EA Play E3 conference in 2019. Instead, Heat was announced a couple of months later in a reveal trailer released 14 August, 2019.
With the public show cancelled, E3 2022 will almost certainly be a digital-only event. EA hasn’t announced its plans for this year's E3 yet, however.
Last year’s EA Play conference was held on July 18, 2021, around a month after the E3 conferences. This year’s EA Play could be shown during E3 in June, or in July like last year to give EA’s titles more spotlight.
Either way, Criterion’s new NFS should be shown this summer to get the hype train rolling.
Need for Speed 2022 release date
Originally, the new NFS game by Criterion was slated for a 2022 fiscal release between 1 April 2021, and 31 March 2022. However, NFS' development was paused when Criterion Games joined DICE to help finish developing Battlefield 2042. As a result, Criterion’s NFS was unceremoniously delayed.
Going by previous games in the series, the new NFS will likely release in November 2022 just in time for Christmas. 2022 is going to be a crowded year for racing games, so NFS will need to stand out from the crowd.
Need for Speed 2022 platforms
So far, EA has confirmed the new NFS game will release on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. However, a cross-generation release on PS4 and Xbox One with downgraded graphics seems likely to maximise sales. Thanks to the more powerful hardware, NFS' visuals will be vastly improved on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
In 2020, a brief teaser video showing a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Nissan 180SX previewed the game’s impeccably detailed car models. Modifications on the cars such as aftermarket wings and garish paint jobs suggest customisation will once again play a significant role in the new NFS. This will no doubt please fans of NFS Underground.
Criterion Games has already rebooted Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted - could Underground be next? We'll have to wait and see, but fans have been begging for NFS Underground 3 for years.
Given Criterion’s history with Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, police chases could make a comeback and we won’t be surprised if the new NFS is set in a large open world.
We can’t wait to find out what Criterion is cooking up for NFS this year. In the meantime, you can check out the 5 things we want to see in the new Need for Speed.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Need for Speed page.