When the Need for Speed reboot was announced earlier today, Ghost Games and EA didn’t dive into all of the game’s features. Instead, they gave us a teaser and said the game will feature deep customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative.
While more information about Need for Speed will no doubt arrive on June 15 alongside the gameplay trailer, Ghost Games General Manager Marcus Nilsson sat down with Eurogamer to discuss their racer.
Starting off, Nilsson explained why they went with a full-on reboot instead of a sequel to Underground or Most Wanted:
If you think about Need for Speed in the last couple of years it’s been bouncing back and forth between studios and different creative teams. And it’s seldom built upon what has been before.
So, you could say Need for Speed has lost its way… what the brand stood for. As we talked to our fans and the players, it emerged they wanted also what we wanted to build: to go back to what we call the roots of Need for Speed. They are the roots of what we think the experience needs to be. It’s the Need for Speed experience that resonates the most with most people.
What this means is that we’ll be getting a storyline that pulls you through the game, caring about your car as you travel around an open world, which will feature lots of variety.
Nilsson also says the reason for a reboot comes from the fact that they haven’t delivered on the love of cars in recent year:
For many years we have not delivered on the love of cars, I think, or really gone deep into what are the right vehicles people want to have. If you look at Rivals, we had high-end cars – absolutely fantastic and cool high-end cars – but with that you leave some of the grassroot authentic car culture cars out. And this is an area we’re looking into much mor
So the reason we go back and we call this a reboot is, imagine we went back into a room with a whiteboard and we said, ‘okay, with all the Need for Speed games being a little bit all over the place during the last few years, what is the game we need to make going forward? And what do we want Need for Speed to stand for going forward?’ This means we will get a creative direction starting with this game that we will probably follow for the next couple of years.
Explaining that a “nocturnal open world” means the world is set at dusk to dawn, Nilsson confirmed AllDrive is coming back in Need for Speed, “but in an improved way, making it easier to play with your friends. We want you to go into that world and get a large selection of variety. AllDrive is obviously part of that.”
As for cops, Nilsson acknowledges that they’re “a core tenet of Need for Speed, but you don’t necessarily have to play them.” So, while they’ll definitely be present in the world as adversaries, “they’re not going to be other players.”
Turning to gameplay, Ghost Games is “trying to dial into how people enjoy their cars in real life, and try to make something interesting from a gameplay perspective with that.” In terms of handling, the customization of your car is important, as they’ll be giving you “pretty much unprecedented choices when it comes to how you want to set it up.”
Thanks to the new Need for Speed leaving the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 behind, and focusing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it gives the developers focus. Thanks to the stronger consoles, they can do physics-based rendering and “employ techniques than can not run on older generation hardware.”
Although they’re discussing it internally quite a bit, Nilsson couldn’t go into detail about whether or not Need for Speed will go back to being an annualized franchise, or stay with its new two-year development cycle. “I can’t really go into it,” Nilsson began, “but I’ll go as far as to say we are looking into different ways we can run this franchise going forward.”
Are you excited to see where Ghosts Games takes Need for Speed when it launches this Fall?