Test: Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound, FINALLY the NFS of our dreams? [PS5/Xbox Series]

In recent years, the Need for Speed ​​opus ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ have been linked, with more or less success, depending on the case. Also, in 2022, the Standard Games had a (noble) mission to win back the hearts of fans who had lost their way. A goal far from being easy to achieve, the reality of satisfying everyone remains, technically, impossible. However, with Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound, we can have NFS with its DNA intact and offering a longer life than average for titles in the genre. We tell you more today, with this small test of the title of Electronic Arts, which is evaluated on its SONY Playstation 5 version.

Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound: new-gen exclusive and it shows!

Released a few days ago, Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound has been running on PS5 by LMSA for a long time, since its official release and even before. Exclusive to new generation machines, this new episode hits hard from the start, with beautiful graphics and a framerate that ensures an optimal sense of speed. Clearly, NFS 2022 is a real achievement, technically. The humidity effects, the reflections on the tarmac, the environments and above all, the representation of the vehicles are excellent. It’s good enough to honor the PS5 and Xbox Series, though there’s room to do better.

On the soundtrack side, as you can imagine, we’re in a very “hip-hop/rap” environment. A culture where not everyone is sensitive. However, the whole thing has become so coherent that, even without following this musical, we let ourselves be carried away by the plot, decorated with cel-shaded visuals of the protagonists, the effects of the tags generated by the car and an impressive selection of designer clothes, shoes and other accessories.

Because, before thinking about participating in unrestrained wild races, it is possible (but not mandatory) to create your avatar (with many possibilities in terms of haircuts and colors, gender, hair, celebrations, etc.) by dressing him as he likes . Puma, Champion, Vans, Fila and many others are present in the software, offering a very wide catalog with the possibility to buy new accessories as you progress. A great treasure, therefore, even this facet may seem secondary in a racing game.

A very progressive race, which requires a lot of management

On the other hand, the theme to follow should be unified. In fact, Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound also and above all offers a well-stocked tuning workshop, which can be upgraded to get additional parts and improvements. The body kit (which in the “basic” Lamborghini Countach offered is gorgeous, see the photo below), more powerful engine, exhaust, brakes, tires, the possibilities for improvement are many. The goal, of course, is to get cars that can win more races. But also, to move your machine to the next category, just to participate in more prestigious and more profitable events.

needed for speed unbound

Moreover, you’ll quickly notice that Criterion and EA’s title encourages you to manage your budget (almost) like an accountant! So, know this from the beginning, every thoughtless expense will have consequences on your progress. In fact, from the beginning of the adventure and throughout the development, it is necessary to invest equally between the commitments for the races and the improvements of your vehicle. Before you think about expanding your garage. Although, in some cases, getting a new car is naturally necessary.

However, the game mechanics encourage you to build your primary vehicle by carefully and wisely choosing the events in which you participate. Due to the event of defeat, it is not rare to lose money, the bonuses are not very large, compared to the tariffs of promises. In the beginning, especially. A great, subtle approach, where we’re not used to an arcade-style racing game. And if that is clearly disturbing at first glance, we quickly appreciate this facet which constitutes, in our opinion, the main asset of the game. Because, instead of “sending the sauce directly” by chaining the purchases of supercars, at the risk of Tired of the game too quickly, the nearly 150 models on offer are slowly discovered, step-by-step step and thereby generate real rewards. Knowing that, here again, carefully consider a purchase because of the impact this acquisition will have on your overall budget.

nfs is not bound

A fascinating map, adrenaline abound!

Now we move to the concrete, with the map and the races on offer. In terms of events, there is nothing really original then we find classic racing formats, that is, facing rivals by joining assembly points. However, here again, the developers have done something original by removing this standard feature of NFS, which aims to artificially slow down the vehicles in front of you, to allow you to be picked up. So, your podiums and your achievements have to be worthy, on the track, in the driving (everything is relative, in this kind of racing game) and as mentioned above, by choosing events, the cars and their improvements economically. But don’t expect to chain success with your fingers to your nose, you will fail…

As for the map / game area itself, it offers everything we want in a Need for Speed. Especially, marshy places, mountain roads (and a ski resort with a huge springboard!), rural areas, highways, industrial areas or even the city. Of course, certain actions allow you to unlock additional content, accessories and…mesh! Enough to put the butter on the spinach and therefore, encourage you to drive for hours, trying the second goal. Like “shooting” a certain number of police cars, performing a certain amount of “jumping”, brushing cars, breaking speed records, drifting or losing the police force. Again, this aspect of the gameplay helps extend the life of the game.

Knowing that beyond the mechanics of the game that is closely related to your budget, the dose of fun delivered by the software, in the hands of the controller, is clearly superior! In addition to the crazy speeds that can be reached, it’s also the jumps – sometimes astronomical – that will make you “kiffer”. Jump across a river, smash billboards in the air, fly through houses (with cool special effects along the way, which we let you discover), once you start, you won’t stop! Especially because the game design offers a lot of freedom, with a maximum destructible element, which allows you to drive for long seconds at maximum speed, without being stopped by an undesirable trap. A real outlet, offering an alternative to this more subtle aspect/management, linked to story development.

Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound: the bet wins, in our opinion!

In the end, Need for Speed ​​​​​​​​Unbound completely satisfied us! While offering the usual recipes, which fans appreciate (high speed, freedom, jumping, chasing, etc.), Criterion software has a longer life than expected. This is due, in large part, to the financial aspect, because it is out of the question to waste your money. In fact, dollars are won by the force of the pulse and easily lost. That’s why we progress a little bit slowly, discovering new vehicles little by little.

However, the “open world” aspect of this exciting map to discover (secret passages, jump ramps, challenges, etc.), mixed with fast and easy-to-use handling – in the spirit of the series and above all, with good realization ( graphics, in particular) offers a characteristic of madness and pure fun. To make this NFS Unbound “also” a stress reliever, if needed.

needed for speed unbound

So, unless you are a collector (vehicle) first of all, we can only recommend this new opus, with longevity, online games only increase this aspect of the game. Need for Speed ​​Unbound is definitely THE racing game of this year’s end.

The +:
– Graphics
– The map
– The need to manage your budget properly
– Car upgrade possibilities
– Forever

The – :

– Scenario a little cliché, close to a Fast and Furious movie
– Some collision bugs
– The cel-shaded aspect of the characters, not necessarily inspired

Graphics: 18/20
Soundtrack: 15/20
Handling: 16/20
Enjoyment of playing: 18/20
Lifespan: 17/20

Global score: 17/20

The article was published on 08/12/2022 at 12:11 pm

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