Unbound is the name of the next Need for Speed. Putting the series back in the hands of Criterion’s racing game experts raised hopes for a sequel that could reverse the series’ downward trend. The announcement will at least make you sit up and notice.
What is outlined in a short trailer and in rough descriptions can hardly be distinguished from the last parts of the racing game series from a distance. Also in Unbound, players work their way up from nobody to the king of a street racing scene, building up a fleet and extensively customizing it to their own taste. The design of this very old idea almost seems like a new reboot.
It starts with the graphic style. Gone is the realism of a Need for Speed Heat, instead the graphics are complemented by comedic elements. Secondary characters are no longer represented by actors, but in the form of drawn figures. Aesthetically, the street art style makes the game more geared towards a rebellious underground scene. The hip-hop soundtrack, with the rapper A$AP Rocky and his label AWGE as pillars, fits in well with this.
Customization and graphics are intertwined. Graphics and sound effects are among the things that can be customized on the vehicle – at least that is the pre-order bonuses, which include a license plate, in-game currency, banner, artwork and stickers, and a “driving effect” indicate. The alter ego’s clothing can also be customized – an idea that is already gaining ground in other EA racing games, as it opens a new portal for microtransactions.
The game money from the pre-order pack is only usable in multiplayer mode. There should be a separate campaign from the single player part. This indicates that Ghost Games’ live service hodgepodge, which could not even be interrupted in some parts, is being reduced to a healthy level. Several events will be driven with a total of 143 vehicles, which EA lists in a separate blog post. These include time trials, police chases and drifts.
The completed game will be available on December 2, 2022 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, including Steam, Origin, and the Epic Games Store. The suggested retail price per platform is around 70 euros.
System requirements moderate
The system requirements are moderate for Unbound. Only with the processor, also on the lower limit, more than the usual four cores are used: Intel must also have six cores. This requirement profile hardly changes, even with the recommended configuration: Intel mentions six cores and twelve threads, AMD mentions a third-generation Ryzen. On the graphics side, only an average mid-range is required.