|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Black Box||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 11, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
August 27, 2007 - It has been alleged that automotive games can get somewhat tiring and a little too formulaic. And when you buy several automotive games on an annual basis and can't tell one from the other, the feeling is more than palpable. It's plausible. Luckily for us, the folks over at EA have realized that this is a problem as well, and have decided to re-engineer one of their annual franchises: Need for Speed. Street racing in itself has changed, and the newest Need for Speed game looks to inject a healthy amount of realism into its new effort-- Need for Speed: Prostreet.
One of the first ways that Need for Speed: Prostreet will be garnering a little bit of realism is through its locations. Even though most automotive games do feature realistic locations, Need for Speed: Prostreet uses time and location to actively mimic a practical true-to-life street racing experience. First of all, it showcases cities that are the more modern hubs of street racing. Even though Tokyo drifting is fun, it's been done so much that it's now considered a little tired and bland. Real racers flock to tucked away locales nestled away from big cities where Johnny Law might be lurking.
Another thing that real street racers do is have other jobs. Most people who race have a nine-to-five job and race as a hobby or recreational sport. And Need for Speed: Prostreet is also trying to take this into account. Instead of spending days on end in the game racing, Need for Speed: Prostreet aims to have you utilize your efforts during weekend racing events that combine the thrill of racing with the immediacy of containing all your action to a single two-day period.
One thing all automotive game fans really love is damage. And so far, the Need for Speed franchise hasn't given us much eye-candy in the form of twisted metal. But Need For Speed: Prostreet is looking to change all this. Instead of a graphical switch and replace when a car is hit, there will be a physics-based engine creating realistic crashes a-plenty. The physics-based engine also means that cars will be crashing in different ways depending on how they are hit. Which means that the possibilities to grizzly crashes are nearly limitless!
But aside from crashing cars, you may want to occasionally do some actual racing. And not to worry, Need for Speed: Prostreet will feature four main modes to challenge you. The first mode will be your standard "get-there-first" speed mode. There's also a pretty standard drift mode that features extra-wide tracks that let you drift it all you can to get the trophy. Drag-style racing will also be an available mode for when you need that sudden immediate burst of speed. And then there's grip racing. A somewhat newer form of street racing, grip racing is basically a dirty circuit course that allows players to engage in all but total road warfare to try and complete the course first.
Overall, Need for Speed: Prostreet is making some incredible strides to try and redefine the automotive genre. And although some people think that the automotive genre is all out of ideas, or just replaying an indefinite loop, I would challenge them to take a look at Need for Speed: Prostreet when it releases this November. Hopefully this game will help to take some of the dull sameness out of the automotive genre and inject some much needed adrenaline. So get ready to start your engines!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer