The home of virtual motorsport news, guides, & reviews

Need For Speed Unbound Update Lets You Turn Off Cartoon Driving Effects


Need For Speed Unbound Update Adds Realistic Driving Effects

This month marks the first anniversary of Need for Speed Unbound. Unfortunately, a lack of publicity meant it drifted onto PC and consoles with a whimper rather than a bang.

Following last month’s underwhelming Vol 5 update, Need for Speed Unbound is ending the year with a surprise patch update, bringing with it a host of community-requested features and improvements.

The end of Need for Speed Unbound Volume updates?

Vol 5 might be the last Volume update, with an official blog post confirming Criterion is shifting focus to “adding new features and enhancing existing ones.” This suggests Need for Speed Unbound won’t get any new cars after speeding past its first anniversary, but the open-world racer hasn’t reached the end of the road yet.

Need for Speed Unbound update
click to enlarge
+ 2

“We're working in a slightly different way now, looking at improving Unbound by adding new features and enhancing existing ones. Going forward, we want to try out some things with you all and see what you think,” creative director John Stanley wrote in a blog post.

A more realistic look for NFS Unbound

One of Need for Speed Unbound’s most divisive features is its stylised Driving Effects. These comic book-style effects give the game a unique visual style, but there was no option to turn them off. The latest update changes this by adding a new ‘Original’ driving effect to the tags menu with more realistic tyre smoke.

Need for Speed Unbound update
click to enlarge
+ 2

Along with realistic driving effects, the update also brings a few quality-of-life improvements including new sorting options for cars and Open Playlists to Freedrive. You can find out more details in the patch notes below.

We’re glad to see EA continue supporting Need for Speed Unbound, but with Criterion moving away from NFS to focus on the Battlefield series and underwhelming Unbound sales, the future of the franchise is uncertain. However, the franchise may return next year in the form of a rumoured Need for Speed Most Wanted remake.

Need for Speed Unbound update 5.1.0 patch notes

Added realistic driving effects tag - “Original”

‘Original’ driving effect, has now been added to the tags menu, bringing a more authentic and realistic feel to tire smoke.

We know that many people have requested this feature, but this version of smoke couldn’t possibly work like other tags whilst remaining realistic. Ultimately this is about you expressing what you want, realistic or stylistic. We feel it’s important you now have that choice!

Please note that equipping ‘Original’ smoke can impact the game experience. For example, you won’t get visual feedback on the vehicle for perfect starts or for signature boost earning as you will with other tags.

Added sorting for All My Rides

We have now added sort orders to the All My Rides screen in the garage for those of you committed to larger car collections. We salute all car collectors, and we hope this small improvement helps you to organize your collections.

We have further ideas on ways to make it clear which vehicles you already own on other screens, but we aren’t quite ready yet and really wanted to give you the ability to sort your vehicles first

Added Open Playlists

Open Playlists have now been added to Freedrive. These are playlists that don’t come from other players. In the downtime between other freedrive events (linkups, boosted events), the server will send out invites to playlists.

Our hope is that you all find the action keeps rolling and playlists become fuller. We have more thoughts around this too, and hope to share soon.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the latest racing game news and deals straight to your inbox!

For more articles like this, take a look at our Need for Speed page.