The Resident Anime Addict
10th December 2006
Am I the only person to think that EA really don't want to make money anymore? To one side, you see fans praising such games as Underground 2 and Most Wanted whilst hating on Undercover, Hot Pursuit and Shift. Mainly due to the car customisation option seemingly being lost in translation into the newest generation of console gaming.
Now, one could argue that many gamers love creating a "persona" when it comes to racing games, picking their favourite car maybe not purely because of performance but because they feel it best suits them, then they slap a paint job on it with some costume vinyl and body work and they're off. This is what made Underground 2 and Most Wanted popular.
This is also why Forza 2, 3 and now 4 have a marketplace where people can buy car designs to stick on there cars for use in game. Is it possibly because just one guy on the dev team likes this aspect of racing games that they've gone to the trouble of setting up such a system? Heck no! Its because car customisation is an aspect of the main enjoyment of a game like this.
In response, EA released a statement regarding its newest game "The Run" saying that they ditched car customisation in favour of a heavily storyline focused game. Ok, now they really don't want to earn money! The only game where I liked the story was Most Wanted because of how basic it was. You're a street racer, there's an underground ranking system to get to the top. The guy at the top betrayed you and stole your car. The cops are out to get you. Off you go. The fact that he stole your car made it all the more satisfying to me when I kicked his ass with my new one with my own paint job, as if to say "Ha! you can keep it!" Basically, it was open enough that I could slip right in as the protagonist and build my identity through my cars and racing styles.
In more recent NFS games I feel less and less connected to the games as the cars feel a lot blander and seem trying to steer towards a different market, its just i don't really get what market it could be? Does anyone here play a racing game with a heavy focus on story? infact, can anyone think of one? Forza is defiantly the leader of racing simulation (on xbox, only console i have which is why this is all forza references) so NFS can't want to try to take them on, can they?
Long story short, I'm tempted just to rent this one and punch through the campaign then take it back because if I can't customise my car and unless the driving mechanics are so good that I want to replay it, i can't see myself holding onto this one.
What are you're thoughts then? Does EA not have any idea what to do with its long standing IP?
8th September 2006
I would say that the lack of car customization is on the bottom of the list of reasons to not like EA... Other than that, I've pretty much got nothing to say. I don't play car-based games much.
4th August 2006
EA does this with pretty much every franchise that they can get their hands on. Not that certain other companies are any better but EA has been doing this for so long that I am starting to wonder if their initial plan is to ruin gaming. I don't really play racing and car games so much either since it isn't much of an interest for me but I can relate to certain things from a certain favorite franchise of mine that EA ruined.
17th July 2006
Personally, while I love the old games, with the customization, I loved Shift 2 and HP more.
Shift 2 is honestly one of the best racing games I have ever played.
NFS has a core fanbase. 2 distinct Groups, I would say, 1 that loved the customization, and one that loved the simulation style of Shift 2. What they need to do after Run, is make another Street Racing version, then say bounce between the 2 from title to title.
Viola, making both partys happy!
13th December 2009
What's happening with NFS is the same thing that has/is happening with the Fast and Furious series: it's changing direction. F&F was all about cars first, but the 4th onward it became more story, more action oriented.
NFS is now doing the same. From illegal street racing to suddenly track racing (like NFS Shift 2 -awesome game btw) to now a more story oriented game. More action. That way, it can appeal to a broader public and more money can be won. If you're a story/story/gameplay person like me, then you'd be prone to buy games where, after finishing it and knowing the story, you can say "WOW!".
This does not mean that NFS should leave out the core of their game: car customization. If it does, and seeing the E3 2011 gameplay demo of "The Run", NFS should be renamed to NFA- Need for Adrenaline.
I don't know what I'm doing
16th March 2008
Honestly, I got really sick of all the visual customizations. Maybe I'm just at an age where I don't really care about having neon lights or flashy colors to set myself apart. Performance tuning would be nice, but even then, I'm just fine with simply choosing a standard car and instantly getting into a race. Years ago, I would play a few races in Hot Pursuit 2 - which offered almost no customization - almost every day. Currently, I pretty much play Hot Pursuit (2010) at least once every week. I really enjoy these types of racing games.
Now with that said, I am still really worried about The Run, mostly because of the story. The only NFS game that had some sort of story that didn't bother me was Underground (and maybe also Underground 2). After that, all the stories, or rather, all the cheap cutscenes and corny actors, were too much for me. The thought of a heavily story driven racing game doesn't put me at ease.
Another thing that worries me about The Run are all the quick time events. Seriously, this makes me cry.
1st January 2005
I'll start by pasting my response to a thread on the official Shift forum titled "Is this the end of the line for the Shift franchise?" The first paragraph refers to one of the problems being a lack of patch support on the console versions of Shift 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"No matter how good the PC version, titles are always judged anymore by how well received the console versions are. That's a given, because most of the sales come from them. It's odd that PC players still get accused of being the most picky, but nowhere is discontent more evident than when you upset impatient console players. That and consoles being a fixed set of hardware is why I find it odd they were so lax on patch support for them. Regardless of the marketing end of it or any potential devs EA can scrounge up IF they pursue another Shift, it's obvious EA are struggling with a bit of a race genre identity crisis as of late. Hot Pursuit was made by a team that specializes in crasher games, it too had loads of input lag issues, they're working on a first ever race game that involves on foot segments, and NFS itself is perhaps more fractured in game styles than it's ever been. It seems like EA despite obvious signs of needing to refocus their racing games has if anything continued to LOSE focus. This is also going to make their fanbase and any devs they try to recruit lose faith in them, and God forbid they should try and develop all their race games themselves. I was hoping for a Shift 3 that combines the best of both Shift 1 & 2, but maybe that's asking for too much. EA seems to be trying to put too much on their plate to produce any one title with polish." _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
So basically I think one of the main problems is EA is going through an identity crisis with NFS. It started with them trying to rebound from titles that weren't well received via attempting to reinvent the franchise. This involved many different concepts, different dev teams, and branching out the genre into multiple styles of racing, both arcade and SIM-like. I'm not sure if you're aware of it but Slightly Mad Studios left EA after Shift 2.
This "race" title they're working on now, "The Run", is perhaps more detached from the original concepts of NFS that any they've done. I see the main problems with it being A) it contradicts the attempted feel of a cross country, do anything it takes to get there race when they put big glowing turn barriers up that place you on a somewhat linear route that circuit races use, and B) the on foot idea is a step even further away from what NFS fans have been asking for.
EA certainly aren't the only ones using strange gimmicks and producing overall poor quality race games though. Ubisoft's new Driver: San Francisco title (developed by Reflections) has the strangest premise for any race game I've ever seen, involving constant fantastical flying spirit type elements that don't fit with racing at all, and Codemasters has produced some pretty gimmicky, repetitious stuff with F1 2010, 2011 and DiRT 3.
So as much as I agree with you regarding EA going farther south with their race games, others aren't doing a very good job either. What bothers me is some of these crazy race titles are selling fairly well, which can seriously change and damage the race game genre.