Need for Speed Unbound: 5 things you need to know before you buy

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Need for Speed Unbound is just around the corner but many players are still debating buying the game.

With a radical new art style, a massive open world to explore, and the next-level customisation yet, NFS Unbound is shaping up to be a return to form.

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With the much-anticipated release imminent, here are five things you need to know before you buy Need for Speed Unbound.

Next-gen only

First, NFS Unbound is a next-gen-only game, which means it isn’t coming to PS4 or Xbox One. This is surprising as many players are still using last-gen hardware as the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles are still sometimes difficult to find.

Instead, NFS Unbound is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. As with all modern titles, you'll need some decent PC specs to run it – you can find the minimum and recommended PC system requirements here.

Need for Speed Unbound

That said, you don’t need a GeForce RTX 4090 or Intel i9 13900k to play NFS Unbound - most run-of-the-mill gaming PCs or laptops should suffice.

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Crossplay

Next up, we have crossplay. Thankfully, NFS Unbound's online multiplayer will support crossplay from launch - so, whether you're on PC, PlayStation, or Xbox, you can squad up and take to the streets for a convoy. There is a caveat, however.

Need for Speed Unbound

While online PvP will be boosted from eight to 16 players for races, Criterion has confirmed party sizes are limited to a maximum of four players – down from eight in Need for Speed Heat.

Of course, this could change post-launch after the negative reaction from players. For now, though, you’re stuck with three friends in car meets.

No nighttime multiplayer free roam

If you're looking to cruise around Lakeshore city at night with your friends, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Need for Speed Unbound
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Criterion has confirmed online free roam will be set to daytime only at launch and does not change. However, races in the Meetup Race Playlists will have variable weather and time of day.

Let's hope online night-time free roam is added after launch so you can cruise with your crew day and night.

Radical art style

One of the most divisive elements in NFS Unbound is undoubtedly the art style. With colourful graffiti-inspired effects mixed with realistic cars and environments, the new art style is dividing players.

Need for Speed Unbound

We think the new art style is a breath of fresh air that reinvigorates the racing genre, which has been somewhat stagnated in recent years with so much focus on realism.

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If you don’t like the art style, don’t worry – you can easily turn the driving effects off and enjoy driving without the effects cluttering the screen.

Single-player

Finally, there’s the single player. NFS Unbound features a new storyline that sounds gripping from the start, opening with a robbery at a family auto shop.

Need for Speed Unbound

In a story that sounds reminiscent of Most Wanted, you play a rookie racer who climbs their way to the top with aim of claiming back the priceless vehicle.

Cop chases also make a welcome return, updated with a new escape mechanic. As with previous NFS games, the more risks you take, the larger the reward.

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Release date

The wait for NFS Unbound is nearly over. Players who pre-ordered the Palace Edition can start racing and customising on 29 November.

After that, the Standard Edition arrives on 2 December for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.