Need for Speed Unbound, the sequel to Heat, is officially on the way! The new NFS game will be available before the end of the year after three years of waiting.
NFS Heat was a decent entry for the franchise but what should Criterion carry forward from the previous entry? Here are our picks!
Need for Speed Unbound & Heat
While Need for Speed Heat didn't hit the heights of NFS' glory days, it was a step in the right direction for the series. NFS had lost its way for years, but Heat had some features included that were very welcome.
1. Day/night cycle
In general, Need for Speed games fall into two categories. Those that are open world and those that are not. Both types have good and bad entries, but the open world entries either took place solely in the day or night time.
However, Heat bucked that trend, by allowing you to explore Palm City in both the day or night. This was available via a manual switch in the garage, as daytime racing was legal street races and the night consisted of illegal underground racing.
Both times of day showed Palm City literally in very different lights. The neon lights reflecting on a wet road at night and the Miami lookalike glowing in the tropical sunshine both looked fantastic.
With Unbound being confirmed only for next-gen consoles, the graphics will look even better this year. From the trailer as well, we've seen both daytime and nighttime gameplay, so this feature should be retained.
2. Customisation system
Need for Speed has always had great customisation. Even if it has wavered a little over the years, there isn't many better places to go to pimp your virtual ride.
Criterion has seemingly recognised this as well, as the cars we've seen in the Unbound trailer are some of the most heavily modified racers we've ever seen in NFS.
Heat's customisation system was good, but Criterion should build on this for Unbound. After all, the game is called "Unbound" and that freedom should apply to the decals on your car too.
Superficial modifications such as body kits, spoilers, exhausts, rims and even neon lights and the colour of your tyre smoke should be available. The same should be true for the engine under the hood, which was available for swap-outs in Heat.
We've seen so far that Unbound will have over 10,000 customisation options for your car. Not only that, but you'll be able to change your character's appearance thanks to top-level fashion brands being represented in-game.
3. Character Personalisation
There was a time not long ago when you played as a nameless, faceless mute in Need for Speed. However, since Heat, this has been changed and a very welcome alteration it has been.
We don't know what the Unbound story will entail, but we know A$AP Rocky will play some role. For fans of the rapper and those wanting to have a more personal touch in the game, it'd much more engrossing to have your own face in there.
It's a pipedream, but it'd be incredible to see FIFA's Game Face feature available in NFS. While both are EA games, this is unlikely, as it's never been used outside of the annual football game.
However, if Game Face was incorporated into NFS, it would allow for the most realistic and accurate faces for your avatar.
What we're hoping will remain though is the expansive wardrobe and other customisation options for your character. Given the level of detail we've seen in F1 Life in F1 22, there's no reason why we can't see customisation celebrations and perhaps even changeable decor in your garage.
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