It’s fair to say that the Need for Speed series has been met with a somewhat ambivalent reception in recent years. The lofty heights of games like Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit seemed like they were behind the franchise, and each new instalment felt like EA was losing its way just a little bit more.
Now, a new Need for Speed game has been announced, and it looks like it might inject a little much-needed life into the ailing racer franchise. Need for Speed Unbound has a completely new anime aesthetic and the participation of hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky, but will these things be enough to elevate it above its predecessors? Here’s our rundown of the new story, features, and modes in Need for Speed Unbound.
The Need for Speed Unbound release date is pretty soon
According to the debut trailer, the Need for Speed Unbound release date will arrive on December 2nd. The game will launch for PC, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, on that date. We don’t have a release date for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, which unfortunately suggests that Unbound probably won’t be making its way to those platforms. It looks like you’re out of luck if you don’t have a current-gen console yet, sadly, but since PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles are in better supply these days, now may be the perfect time to pick one up.
There’s a Need for Speed Unbound story mode too
Thanks to the Need for Speed Unbound Steam page, we know that the game will have two separate campaigns: a multiplayer campaign and a single-player mode. Story-wise, you can expect a relatively uncomplicated affair this time around, it seems. You’re aiming to make it to a race called The Grand, which is the biggest and most important street racing event in Lakeshore, where the game takes place. To do so, you’ll have to prove your worth as a street racer, starting from nothing and gradually winding your way up towards greatness.
Need for Speed Unbound modes
The various Need for Speed Unbound modes on offer aren’t quite clear yet, but we do know that everything you do in the game will earn you cash, which you’ll need to work your way up to The Grand. We also know you’ll be able to use your earnings to place bets on other racers, which will in turn grant you more cash if you manage to emerge from the betting round victorious. We’ll almost certainly learn more about Need for Speed Unbound modes and what they entail as we draw closer to the game’s launch, so watch this space.
The Need for Speed Unbound trailer announces the game
Right now, there’s only one Need for Speed Unbound trailer, and it’s the one that announces the game. You can see that trailer here. It’s flashy and fun, showing off the game’s new anime aesthetic and demonstrating what we can expect from Unbound, namely good old-fashioned Need for Speed racing and a central role for A$AP Rocky. Here’s hoping the game has what it takes to elevate it above previous Need for Speed games, which have been flagging in recent years.
What Need for Speed Unbound features will there be?
As this is a brand new Need for Speed experience, you can, of course, expect lots of fun gameplay features, although many of them will be familiar to you if you’re a fan of the series. Here are some of the features we know for sure will be in Need for Speed Unbound.
- New anime aesthetic. First off, Need for Speed Unbound has a brand new anime aesthetic that we’re sure is already proving divisive. Honestly, though, we love it – it feels like the right way to recharge an ailing series and give it that jolt that it needs, and besides, Need for Speed has always been pretty over-the-top, so an anime feel is the right direction.
- Burst Nitrous. We’re not sure how you’ll activate this yet, but EA is making a big deal of Burst Nitrous, a new feature that delivers “a dizzying rush of speed”, according to the developers.
- Police chases. This is a Need for Speed game, so it’s not unreasonable to expect police chases, and indeed, that’s exactly what you’ll be getting. You’ll need to outrun the cops or choose to take them on if you’re going to make a name for yourself as a street racer. Being able to battle the cops instead of constantly outrunning them is an exciting prospect, given how annoying they could be in prior Need for Speed titles.
- Betting on other racers. Using cash you accumulate throughout Need for Speed Unbound, you’ll be able to place bets on other racers. If they win, presumably, you’ll net yourself even more cash!
- Meetups. EA is touting a new feature it’s calling Meetups, which refer to showing up to a meet with rival racers and showing off all the stuff you’ve accrued over the course of your career. This includes cosmetics, fashion, and tricking out your car (which, of course, you’ll also be able to do, given that this is a Need for Speed game). There will also be custom win poses you can throw when you score a particularly exciting victory.